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- Bias Crime is an actual criminal offense motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias toward the victim's status. According to the federal law, the types of prejudice and bias motivation are limited to those based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, and disability. For example, an aggravated assault motivated by the actual or perceived sexual orientation of a victim constitutes a clear case of a Bias crime. Because Bias crimes are not separate, distinct crimes, but rather traditional offenses motivated by the offender's bias, CWU Department of Public Safety and Police Services has an enforcement protocol in place to assist with investigating and reporting of Bias crimes.
- Victims of Bias crimes are not always limited to those individuals or institutions directly targeted by the crime. For example, racist graffiti or vandalism on campus may target an entire population without actually damaging any of their individual property. While damaged property belongs solely to the institution, indirect "victims" of such crime are also the individuals of the status evoked in the racist message. This plan will advocate for persons affected and track Bias crimes that are not perpetrated against any particular individual if such crimes generate an indirect, but unequivocal impact on the individuals or populations at risk (e.g., defacing of public statues, burning down of synagogues, destroying certain books in a library, altering of road-side signs, etc.).
- Bias Motivated Incident is an action in which a person is made aware that her/his status is offensive to another, but does not rise to the level of a crime. Incidents are motivated by bias as targeted individuals or groups are intentionally selected because of the actual or perceived race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity/national origin and, for the purposes of this program, sex, gender, gender identity and gender expression. For example, a university student of certain ethnicity/national origin continually encounters messages denigrating her ethnic background written on the classroom chalkboard or posted around her residence hall. There is no actual crime committed. Remarks are easily erased or removed, no property is damaged, and the student is never assaulted. While not a Bias crime, this episode is a clear case of a bias motivated incident. To report a bias incident, sufficient objective facts must be present to lead a reasonable and prudent person to conclude that the offender's actions are motivated by bias toward the status of a targeted individual or a group.
- Victim/Person affected - these terms are used interchangeably with one another. Not all persons affected by an incident will consider themselves a victim. Many will, however, so the terms are interchangeable depending on the situation.