Community members have relayed to the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA) incidents of hate targeting people of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) ancestry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, CAPAA does not do case work, nor may we provide legal counsel. We urge all victims of hateful acts to take the following actions:
Get medical help, if necessary.
Write down all details of the crime as soon as possible after the incident. Include the perpetrator[s] gender, age, height, race, weight, clothes and other distinguishing characteristics. If any threats or biased comments were made, include them in the report.
Make a report. Report the incident to your local law enforcement. If victims do not want to go to the police, submit a report to the local Civil Rights/Human Rights Task Force in your area). Even if an incident doesn’t meet the legal definition of a hate crime, it is still important to report it to the appropriate entity. Please refer to the information listed below.
State, county, and city governments and other organizations often have a place to report acts of hate and discrimination including, but not limited to, the resources listed below:
- Washington State Human Rights Commission
Under the law, everyone has the right to be free from discrimination at work, in housing, in a public accommodation, or when seeking credit and insurance. Any individual who believes that he or she has been discriminated against based on protected class status may file a charge of discrimination for employers, housing providers, and businesses.
- King County Office of Civil Rights
This office has authority to handle discrimination complaints only for King County government and for employers, housing providers, and businesses in the unincorporated parts of King County (outside the cities).
- Seattle Office for Civil Rights
This office upholds laws that protect you against discriminatory harassment in housing, employment, or public places within Seattle city limits.
- Spokane Police Department: Reporting Hate and Bias Crimes
This page contains information on what a hate crime is, and how to report it.
- City of Spokane’s Human Rights Commission
This is the appropriate point of contact if you reside in the City of Spokane. The page contains information on different types of complaints.
- Spokane County Human Rights Task Force Hate Incident Report Form
This is the appropriate point of contact for incidents anywhere in Spokane County. Collected information will be used to support and coordinate educational, programmatic, and awareness activities of the Task Force along with improving response and prevention efforts to hate in our community.
Non-government/non-police reporting tools and resources are also available. Report the incident to one of the following entities to help educate the public on what’s happening and shape policy. You can go to:
At the start of the COVID-19 crisis, CAPAA worked with community leaders and the Attorney General’s Office to develop a non-governmental reporting tool for victims of hate and bias incidents, as well as a map to track bias incidents reported through the tool.
- King County Coalition Against Hate and Bias
The Coalition is a community-led initiative to address hate and bias incidents by strengthening and networking communities who experience racist and bigoted treatment and all forms of oppression. The Coalition Partners are also the administrators of the Hate and Bias Incident Response Survey to collect data from communities affected by hate and bias.
- Stand Against Hatred
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is tracking incidents of bias. By sharing what you experienced or witnessed, you can educate the public, empower others, show service providers where help is needed, and strengthen advocacy efforts for hate crimes response and prevention. Forms available in English, Chinese (traditional & simplified), Korean and Vietnamese.
- AAPI Hate Incident Form
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). Submitting hate incidents through this form will help us OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates monitor hate towards AAPIs across the country.
- Stop AAPI Hate
Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) and Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) have launched this reporting center to allow community members to report incidents of hate they have experienced. Individual information, including personal identification details, will be kept confidential and will only be shared with permission. In the aggregate, the information will be used for assistance, advocacy and education. Forms available in English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Khmer, Thai, and Japanese.
- Report Attacks on AAPI Elders
In light of recent attacks, the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) has formed a database on anti-Asian crimes which will be used to help policy makers frame legislation. If you or someone you know is an AAPI older adult who has been the victim of a violent crime, please report the incident by filling out and submitting their form. The online anonymous form is available in 27 AAPI languages.
Finally, find support. Being a victim of hate and discrimination can affect your mental health as much as your physical health. Reach out to friends and family for emotional support, if you can. You can also try reaching out to the following organizations for emotional/mental health resources:
Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) also has a guide for victims of hate crimes: What to Do If You’ve Been The Victim of a Hate Crime.
COVID-19-Related Harassment in Schools
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has a “Confronting COVID-19-Related Harassment in Schools / A Resource for Families” fact sheet available for reference and use.
Read the Fact Sheet (English) PDF | မြန်မာစကား (Burmese) PDF | 简体字 (Sim. Chinese) PDF | 繁體字 (Trad. Chinese) PDF | Hakha Chin (Hakha Chin) PDF | 日本語 (Japanese) PDF | ကညီကျိာ (Karen) PDF | ខ្មែរ (Khmer) PDF | 한국어 (Korean) PDF | ພາສາລາວ (Lao) PDF | ไทย (Thai) PDF | Tagalog (Tagalog) PDF | Việt-ngữ (Vietnamese) PDF
Self Defense Resources
At request of community, we’ve also looked into self-defense lessons for our concerned community members. AAPI Women Lead’s Solidarity in Action series includes community- and self-defense lessons. Their website has a full list of upcoming events available for anyone interested. Their YouTube page also includes self defense lessons with MMA Champion “Killer Bee” Bi Nguyen, and an intro to defense & self-defense with Mollii Khangsengsing of Tuff Love Defense.
If you would like to seek self-defense training, you can reach out to the Washington Initiative (WAI). WAI is a branch of the Initiative Collective, which is grass roots, global group of volunteers comprised of everyday citizens who have banded together across states and countries to do something heroic each day. The WAI offers self-defense courses and other resources you can tap into. For more information, contact WAI at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 206.291.7574.