What is SARI?

We’re a charitable organisation that’s here to support victims of hate within our community.  We also aim to promote equality and good relations between people with protected characteristics, as defined by law. 

Most of our people have some direct experience of facing hate-motivated behaviour. We all have a clear understanding of what SARI is trying to achieve. Our Board of Trustees is responsible for approving SARI’s working policies and procedures. Most of them also have personal experience of hate crime and inequality.

Our employees are mostly engaged in casework, supporting victims of hate crime. But they also work with children, young people and schools and other education establishments, providing support to pupils facing racist and other hate incidents. We also deliver anti-hate, equality, diversity and inclusion, and cultural awareness sessions to pupils, staff and governors. Our work also extends to young offenders.

Our history

Before the formation of SARI, the victims of racism in Bristol received no coordinated response or specialist support from agencies. In 1988, a steering group was set up. Bristol Racial Equality Council, United Housing Association and the Inner City Mental Health Team began working in consultation with victims of racial harassment and community leaders.

A management committee was formed to secure funding, and with the support of a Home Office Safer Cities Grant, SARI was established, becoming fully operational in 1991. Then, it employed a full-time project manager and caseworker as well as a part-time administrator. In that first year, 44 cases were referred to us.

SARI was largely the vision of Black and Minority Ethnic housing provider United Housing Association and its first chair Sohail Elahi. He carried out that role from 1991-1996 after being heavily involved with the rest of the steering group and the pioneering work that led to the creation of SARI.

Whilst Sohail is no longer directly involved with SARI, he remains very involved in our work. He’s extremely proud to see what his vision has become, and the great work that SARI continues to do. Sohail says his work with SARI is one of his greatest achievements and is honoured to be recognised as one of the founding fathers of this organisation.

SARI founding Director Batook Pandya

Another person who was instrumental in our organisation is visionary Director, Batook Pandya. He took us on a journey from a small organisation based in one room of the Coach House, to an award-winning charity based in Portland Square. His death in 2014 was a personal loss to us all, but he will be remembered as the bravest and most committed leader for improving race equality – and conveying to us all just how destructive racism and inequality is.

Batook represented all that SARI stands for – to be brave, to speak out, to work tirelessly and to challenge the very structures that are in place to protect us when they fail. Soon after his death, Alex Raikes and Agnes Yeomans stepped up to take on the challenge of being the new Co-Directors, pledging to continue all the incredible work Batook did for our organisation.

UNDERSTANDING THE WORK WE DO

Recognising a hate crime or hate incident can be difficult. Here’s our definition to help you spot when you or someone you know may be affected. If you’re not sure, you can always talk to us.

WHAT IS A HATE CRIME?

A crime is an act that breaks the law. Any crime has the potential to be a hate crime, especially if it involves one or more of these:

  • Offensive language (including name-calling and insults).
  • Abusive verbal or written comments which are meant to threaten and intimidate (including through email, social networks and mobile phone messages).
  • Physical assault.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Financial exploitation.
  • Vandalism or criminal damage to your property.
  • Sexual abuse and assault.
  • Threats, intimidation, humiliation or degradation.

It’s important to remember that a victim does not have to be a member of the group the hostility is targeted at. In fact, anyone could be a victim of a hate crime. For example, you could be called a homophobic slur, even if you’re heterosexual. 

A crime becomes a hate crime when it is motivated by hostility or prejudice on the following grounds:

  • Ethnicity or race.
  • Disability (including mental health).
  • Sexual orientation.
  • Gender identity.
  • Religion or beliefs.
  • Age.
  • Gender.

what about HATE INCIDENTS?

A hate incident is any incident (which may or may not be a crime) that the victim or any other person believes is motivated by hostility or prejudice towards any aspect of the victim’s identity. Hate incidents can feel like crimes to those who suffer them and often escalate to crimes or tension in a community. Hate incidents should be reported just as hate crimes are.

WHY should i report it?

By reporting hate incidents or hate crime:

  • You stop it from getting worse.
  • You stop it from happening to others.
  • You help identify the offenders.
  • You make your community safer.

Anybody can report a hate crime—whether they’re the victim, someone who saw the crime, or someone the victim has told about the crime or incident. 

If someone’s life is in danger, or a serious crime is taking place, you should always call the police immediately using 999.

In all other cases, you can contact the police on 101. And make sure you say that you believe it’s a hate crime. 

If you or the victim don’t want to talk to the police, you can call us on 0800 171 2272.

Contact Us

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0117 942 0060

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Our Mailing Address

PO Box 2454
Bristol
BS2 2WX

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