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INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is starting a new hate crimes hotline.

The Marion County Hate Crimes Hotline can be reached at 317-327-5314 and gives people a way to report potential hate- and bias-motivated crimes.

“We want to send a clear message that hate has no place in Indianapolis and Marion County. For those who have experienced a bias-motivated incident, we stand with you,” Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears stated. “By providing this hotline and support through a victim advocate, we believe our office can reduce the barriers of reporting and improve law enforcement’s response and support for victims of these crimes.”

The Marion County Hate Crimes Hotline is monitored by a trained social worker and a victim advocate employed by the Prosecutor’s Office.

Once the report is recorded, the victim can choose to file a formal report with the police or be referred to an identity-based community service provider for counseling and other services. Interpretation services for people who speak Spanish and other languages are available.

This is not an emergency hotline — all emergencies or immediate threats should be reported to 911.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, a hate crime is “a crime committed against someone due to their social identifier. Hate crimes do not only just affect the victim, but can impact the entire community who identifies with the victim’s racial, religious, ethnic, sexual, or gender identity.”

In Indiana, an aggravated sentence can be sought if the crime was hate- or bias-motivated.

If you or anyone you know in Marion County has been the victim of a hate crime or the victim of a hate-based incident, you are encouraged to report it to the hotline at 317-327-5314.