David's Story of Strength

DAVID’S STORY

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My name is David, I have a mild learning difficulty, but it tends not to affect me a great deal, I’m very independent, I can travel on public transport, but if it’s a route that I’m unfamiliar with, then I will need to be shown the route. I’ll need to learn how to use that route.

This is my story about hate crime and there were two incidents.

I was doing an errand for my mum and I was on the way back from the Co-op. Two young schoolgirls called me a dumbass, far no reason at all. I’d said nothing to them, there wasn’t even any eye contact with them. Obviously, that made me feel upset and I did react, I said to them, that if you ever call me that again, I will call the police next time, and they soon went running. But then, a few months after the first incident with those two girls, it happened again, and this time they made pig noises and this time I didn’t say anything to them but I did tell my mum and dad They said to me, if you have any more trouble with them, just call us and we’ll be round there like a shot. And, touch wood, there’s been no more incidents with those two.

The second incident happened when I was on my way back down to my house. Two young schoolgirls, they weren’t the same as last time, thought it would be very clever to push me into the road with oncoming traffic; and they just didn’t seem to care what the consequences could have been.

I think the problem when they’re that kind of age, is the lack of education, the lack of discipline and the lack of respect for other people. 1’d never seen them before and they’d never seen me before. I think what made them do it, is that they were in front of their other mates and I think they thought they were being clever. It was kind of like peer pressure and sort of showing off to their mates. I felt scared after it.

After that first incident, I think it was a week or so, I did not want to go out of our village because I would be scared of running into them again. That fear subsided after a while. I’m not going to let kids like that ruin my life, I’m not going to let them beat me. I felt that it was a hate crime and it shouldn’t have happened Why should I go out in my local community and feel vulnerable and threatened by them? I feel it is important to raise the issue of hate crime. Whether it’s in Lincolnshire, or Nottingham or wherever, I think that it’s very important, that it needs raising. What needs to be done, I think, is educating them in schools and nipping it in the bud, before things can escalate into incidents like this. Get the message across to not just them but to their parents that hate crime will not be tolerated and it should not be allowed to happen.