Hate or Bias Crimes, Incidents, and Discrimination
In alignment with the City Council goal of creating a safe community, the City of Eugene is committed to working with community partners to promote a community where every person, regardless of their identity, is safe, valued, and welcome.
At the City of Eugene, the following categories are protected against hate or bias crimes, incidents, and discrimination:
- Association and political affiliation
- Familial, marital, and partnership status
- Gender identity
- Housing status (Bias crimes only)
- National origin
- Sexual orientation
- Source of income
The Office of Equity & Community Engagement operates the Rights Assistance Program (RAP), which tracks hate or bias activity and provides support to survivors of hate or bias crimes, incidents, and discrimination.
Definitions and Examples
Hate or Bias Incident
A hate or bias incident is any non-criminal hostile expression that may be motivated by a person’s real or perceived association with race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, and unhoused status.
- Name calling; using a racial, ethnic, or other slur to identify someone; or using degrading language.
- Creating racist or derogatory graffiti or images/drawings.
- Imitating someone with a disability, or imitating someone’s cultural norm or practice.
Hate or Bias Crime
A hate crime, known as a bias crime under Oregon law, is any crime motivated by a person’s real or perceived association with race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and, for bias crimes that can be prosecuted by the City of Eugene in municipal court, unhoused status.
- Assaulting, injuring, or even touching someone in an offensive manner because of their protected class.
- Creating racist or derogatory graffiti on someone else’s property based on their protected class.
- Threatening to physically harm a person, their family, or their property based on their protected class.
Both bias crimes and incidents can be verbal, physical, or visual, and can target someone in a protected class, a family member, or even someone incorrectly perceived to be in a protected class.
Is a civil rights violation in housing, employment, or public accommodations based on a person's real or perceived association with a protected class.
- Denying someone access to housing (renting or buying) based on their protected class.
- Treating people disrespectfully or denying access to a place of public accommodation (i.e. grocery store, medical offices, gym, etc.) based on their protected class.
- Denying someone employment or the right to contract based on their protected class.
How to Report
If you are in immediate danger call 911. If it is not an emergency, you may submit a complaint or concern in the following ways:
- Report online at www.eugene-or.gov/reporthate
- By phone: 541-682-5177
- In person: Office of Equity & Community Engagement located at 101 West 10th Avenue, Suite 119. The office is open to the public Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Call or e-mail for an appointment outside of the drop-in hours.
If you do not live in Eugene and the incident did not happen in Eugene, please contact the State of Oregon Bias Crimes Hotline.
Why Should I Report?
While hate or bias crimes, incidents, and discrimination sometimes target specific individuals, they often violate an entire group or community’s sense of safety and belonging. Graffiti on the wall, fliers, anonymous emails, denying services, and language meant to harass individuals convey intolerance that impacts all of us. We want Eugene to be welcoming and inclusive.
Reporting is designed to help us track hate or bias crimes, incidents, and discrimination, who was targeted, where the incident took place, and support survivors. We want to:
- Support survivors who have witnessed or been the target of hate or bias crimes, incidents, and discrimination.
- Refer survivors to services that can help.
- Inform policy makers, city leadership, law enforcement, and the community about the extent of the problem.
- Support community action.
Information and Referral
The Rights Assistance Program is a reporting and referral service designed to support bias victims. We are not able to investigate any report submitted to us. Reports submitted here may not receive an immediate response and will not result in an investigation.
If you believe a crime has occurred and want it investigated, you may contact Eugene Police or your local law enforcement agency directly. You may also submit a report to us and indicate that you need assistance reporting to law enforcement.
We are not able to give any legal advice to anyone reporting a bias incident.