“You're a victim, don't become a perpetrator”
This chapter presents findings from an ethnographic study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council which took place across two phases, first in the spring of 2009 and, second, between May 2010 and June 2011. The aim of the research was to explore victims’ perceptions and experiences of racist hate crime in light of the victim-centred definition of ‘hate crime’ adopted by the criminal justice system in England and Wales. The perception of the victim or any other person is the defining factor in determining a hate incident. The wider research project sought to provide a detailed account of the processes of racist hate crime victimization and to provide empirical research that critically assesses the idea that it is indeed a process. The experience of victimization is analysed with reference to a principal aspect of the caseworkers’ role, which was to “empower” clients. The “empowerment” of victims was the defining feature of the caseworkers’ role.