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Impacts of Social Proximity to Bias Crime among Compact of Free Association (COFA)-migrants in Hawaii

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $382,782)

Bias crime laws are premised in part on the concept that bias crimes “hurt more” than non-bias crimes, both in terms of harms to the direct victim of the crime and to everyone that shares the social identity or community that was the target of the bias crime. While limited research has demonstrated the impact of bias crime victimization on the direct victim of a bias crime, less literature has examined how bias crimes impact community members who were not the direct target but who share an identity or community in common with the bias crime victim. In particular, little attention has focused on how bias crime may disrupt a community’s functioning, including such groups as immigrants, who are often trying to build community and find a place in a new community. There are also geographies in the United States, such as Hawaii, who do not participate in federal bias crime data collection. To address this gap, this study proposes the use of respondent-driven sampling among Compact of Free Association (COFA)-migrants in Hawaii to meet three goals. First, this study will determine what the prevalence of bias crimes against COFA-migrants. Second, to examine the impacts of bias crimes on communities, we propose to examine the diffusion of negative psychological impacts, community impacts, and perceptions of safety for those who had been direct victims, those in the COFA-migrant community who are close to someone who has been a victim (proximal victim) but are not direct victims, and those who are members of the community but have not been a direct victim or know someone close to them who was a direct victim. Last, this study will examine the how these negative impacts of bias crime ultimately impact the adaption of COFA-migrants who have immigrated in the attempt to build new lives in Hawaii. In particular, we will test a new model of bias crime victimization through structural equation modeling that shows the relationships between various potential harms on sociocultural adaptation, and how social proximity to bias crimes moderates those negative experiences and impacts. Results will impact COFA-migrants trying to generate positive community change in Hawaii, and also provide additional evidence to explain the ways that bias crimes harm individuals as well as their communities. ca/ncf
Date Created: September 14, 2016