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#ImWithSam – experiences of hate crime

In research for this campaign, we received almost 100 heartfelt, awful testimonials. I’m with Sam will help tackle autism and learning disability hate crime and prevent other people going through similar experiences.

We created Sam, a fictional character to represent the 73% of people who have experienced autism and learning disability hate crime.

All stories shared are from real people and are anonymous – they show why #ImWithSam is so important.

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Go back to the #ImWithSam campaign page

Our survey results show

  • 73% of people have experience disability hate crime
  • Over half have experienced disability hate crime in the last year
  • 43% reported feeling scared of other people
  • 45% are less comfortable leaving the house
  • 56% are less confident
  • 62% feel angry

People have been subjected to

  • Verbal attacks by strangers, neighbours, peers and family
  • Physical attacks
  • Accusations of paedophilia
  • Threats against themselves and their loved ones
  • Assault on public transport
  • Gang rape
  • School abuse and bullying

Before and after comparison


  • “Hate crime can wreck lives. It creates a huge mental health problem for people with learning disabilities and autism – people who often don’t have the ability to understand or cope with it.” Mark Brookes, Dimensions hate crime ambassador


  • “Everyone has a part to play. Politicians and civil servants, mums and dads, teachers, police and care professionals have critical roles. But everyone can help give this campaign momentum.” Steve Scown, CEO, Dimensions

Key outcomes

  • Increased awareness of the issue
  • Better resources for families, schools and support workers
  • Improved processes for reporting and prosecuting disability hate crime
  • Wider representation of people with learning disabilities and autism
  • Improved legislation around mate crime and online hate crime

Key data

  • Recent Home Office statistics show a 25% year on year increase in hate crime
  • 2,500 disability hate crimes were recorded by the police in 2015
  • The National Crime Survey estimates a true figure of 70,000 disability related hate crimes
  • Public Health England estimated in 2011 that 191,000 people have a learning disability
  • The NHS estimates 700,000 people have autism