The Short and Longer Term Impacts of Hate Crimes Experienced Directly, Indirectly, and Through the Media
A longitudinal study (N = 774) explored the short and longer term impacts of anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans (LGBT) hate crime experienced directly, indirectly, and through the media. In the short term, being a victim (direct) or personally knowing of a hate crime victim (indirect) was positively associated with vulnerability, emotional responses, and behavioral intentions after reading about a hate crime. Direct victims were also less empathic toward other victims and engaged in more victim-blaming. A structural equation model showed direct experiences (via personal vulnerability and empathy) and media experiences (via group-threat and victim-blaming) to be cross-sectionally associated with behavioral intentions. Media experiences also had lasting demobilizing impacts on actual behaviors, again serially mediated by group-threat and victim-blaming. The findings highlight the emotional and behavioral impacts of hate crimes on both direct victims and on the wider LGBT community. They also raise questions about media reporting of hate crimes and the role of victim-blaming.