The Vancouver Police Department website now provides online forms for reporting racist or hate incidents and crimes in Chinese, Punjabi, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, as well as English.
“We did it,” wrote Vancouver lawyer Steven Ngo on Facebook.
The change came after Ngo highlighted a gap, sparking a groundswell of interest in his experience, but also a much wider conversation.
“Language is a barrier to reporting hate crimes. … I faced barriers reporting my own hate crime where I waited on the phone for over 30 minutes and could only find online forms in Chinese,” he posted.
Ngo started by asking friends for help in drawing attention to the issue. He has also been getting support to press government officials and discuss anti-Asian discrimination at national, corporate events.
“I think, right now, we have a social licence to speak up. Ten years ago, to say something like this, it wouldn’t catch,” said Ngo.