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Re-Conceptualising Repeat Reports of Hate Crime/Incidents as Hate Relationships Based on Coercive Control and Space for Action

Donovan, C. and Macdonald, S. and Clayton, J. (2022) 'Re-Conceptualising Repeat Reports of Hate Crime/Incidents as Hate Relationships Based on Coercive Control and Space for Action.', Sociological Research Online .


Developing from existing research in the field of hate studies, this article outlines a new approach to understanding repeated experiences of hate by perpetrators who live in close proximity as neighbours to those victimised. Building on previous work, a conceptual argument is made drawing parallels between what we call ‘hate relationships’ and coercive control in domestically abusive relationships. Empirical data from a hate crime advocacy service in the North East of England evidences these parallels through consideration of the home as central to the hate experienced and the cumulative impact of a pattern of hate-motivated behaviours. As with coercive control, our analysis shows that the apparent inaction of help providers exacerbates hate relationships and their impacts. We argue that the current reliance on a criminal justice system, incident-based, approach to understanding and responding to repeat reporting of hate incidents is inadequate. Rather, an approach identifying hate relationships and intervening early in a hate relationship might better pre-empt escalation and provide possibilities for those victimised to remain in their own homes.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.
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Publisher statement:This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Date accepted:12 October 2021
Date deposited:27 October 2021
Date of first online publication:27 January 2022
Date first made open access:27 October 2021

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