The number of hate crimes committed against the homeless has been growing in the USA. Two public organizations published a report which came to such a conclusion, ITAR-TASS reports.
One hundred and sixty people fell victims to such attacks in 2007 against 142 victims in 2006. US homeless were beaten to death in 28 of those cases, whereas there were 20 such incidents in 2006.
The research was conducted by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. The researchers believe that the real figures of attacks on the homeless, especially those that did not end with lethal outcomes, are higher. They said that many of such crimes were not even recorded. About 44 percent of homeless individuals who spend the night outdoors are listed as most vulnerable at this point.
The researchers also said that teenagers aged from 13 to 19 commit about 64 percent of the crimes. There were two incidents reported in which the attackers were only ten years old.
Maria Foscarinis, the Executive Director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, believes that young people see how adults treat the homeless, how they criminalize them and leave them out of sight and out of mind. Therefore, Foscarinis believes, young people presume that the homeless are not humans at all, so they can be attacked easily.
"It's a crisis that has grown and not been addressed at any level of government. This leaves people who are homeless extremely vulnerable,” she said.
"Hate, Violence and Death on Main Street U.S.A.," the 111-page report contains a list of recommendations to federal and local authorities, as well as the police, regarding the measures to improve the critical situation with violence against the homeless in the country.
About 3.5 million people find themselves in the street temporarily or permanently during a year. About 750,000 men, women and children sleep outdoors on each certain night. Their number has been growing steadily against the background of the ongoing mortgage crisis, which threatens millions of US families to deprive them of homes.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov