Help for Victims of Anti-Asian Hate Crimes: Resources + Pro Bono Legal Services

NAPABA has established pro bono legal resources to ensure that local communities have legal resources to address the most egregious hate-fueled attacks against our community.

NAPABA is the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, an organization of 50,000 Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students.

Led by their Hate Crimes Task Force, NAPABA’s pro bono legal resources build upon their expanded Hate Crimes Resource Center. You are encouraged to reach out to members of the Hate Crimes Task Force at as they address hate crimes and incidents in our community, provide technical assistance, and serve as a critical resource to NAPABA affiliate leaders and NCAPA partners.

Hate Crime Laws

Federal Definition: A hate crime include crimes committed based on the victim’s perceived or actual race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. 


State Definition: Most hate crimes are prosecuted on the state and local level. However, state hate crime protections vary from state to state. There are four states – Arkansas, Indiana, South Carolina, and Wyoming – that do not have hate crime laws.


Hate Crime v. Hate/Bias Incident

A hate crime must involve a “crime” and it is often a violent crime, such as assault, murder, arson, vandalism, or threats to commit such crimes. It may also cover conspiring or asking another person to commit such crimes, even if the crime was never carried out.

A hate/bias incident are acts of prejudice that are not crimes and do not involve violence, threats, or property damage. The most common examples are speech in the form of racial slurs.

Reporting Hate Crimes Against Asian Pacific Americans to Law Enforcement

Any individual who has been a victim of a hate crime or has witnessed a hate crime should report these incidents to their local police department first. In addition to local police, incidents should be reported to local FBI field office and state attorney general’s office.


Reporting Hate Crimes & Hate/Bias Incidents Against Asian Pacific Americans to Community Organizations

National and local Asian Pacific American organizations track andrecord hate crimes AND hate/bias incidents against Asian Pacific Americans.


Hate Crime & Hate/Bias Incidents Statistics

FBI Uniform Crime Report
Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON) Stop AAPI Hate Reports


A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions (AABANY)


NAPABA Calls for Action to End Hate Violence Against Asian Americans


Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
Student Tool Kit: Responding to Hate
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles

Identifying & Reporting Hate Incidents in Los Angeles County

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC)
Hate Crimes Tool Kit and Messaging Guidance on China

Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
When Hate Hits You: A resource guide on anti-Asian sentiment including examples of hate crimes, factors that cause anti-Asian sentiment, and steps to take when an incident occurs.
A Troubling Legacy: A concise history of anti-Asian sentiment in the United States.
An Unnoticed Struggle: A concise history of Asian American civil rights issues.
Words Can Kill the Spirit: A brochure explaining racial slurs directed at Asian Americans. 
Anti-Asian Sentiment on CampusA brochure that outlines what to do if a hate incident or hate crime occurs on campus.

Lawyers Committee For Civil Rights Under Law & International Association of Chiefs of Police
Enhancing the Response to Hate Crimes

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates 
Responding to Hate Incidents: Community Action Guide
COVID-19 Toolkit: Strategies to Defeating Asian American Racial Profiling and Xenophobia

Hate Crimes Prevention Guide & Toolkit

COVID-19 Anti-Asian Violence Trainings

Asian American Advancing Justice | AAJC & Hollaback!
Bystander Intervention Virtual Trainings

IMPACT Bay Area Training
Online classes 

Pro Bono Legal and Community Assistance

Community based organizations are often the first point of contact by victims of hate crimes and hate incidents. Many of these organizations have built expertise to work with communities but are seeking attorneys to assist victims on a pro bono basis. Additionally, many of these organizations have culturally appropriate and in-language resources and seek volunteers to distribute them and educate communities about their rights and reporting processes.

Asian Pacific American Based Organizations

Asian Americans Advancing Justice 
The affiliates of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, ALC, Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles, work together to provide legal services, organizing, and advocacy on behalf of the Asian Pacific American community.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
Asian America
ns Advancing Justice | Atlanta
Asian Americans Advan
cing Justice | Asian Law Caucus
Asian Americans Advancing Just
ice | Chicago
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) 
AALDEF is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all. 
Contact AALDEF for legal assistance at 1-800-966-5946 or through their website  here.

Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON)
A3PCON is a coalition of community-based organizations that advocates for the rights and needs of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Community. They work on hate crimes through their project STOP AAPI HATE. 
View resources here.

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
CAIR is a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. 
View list of regional offices here.

Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
Founded in 1929, the JACL is the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States. JACL is composed of over 100 chapters across the Nation, divided into seven district councils. 
View list of regional offices  here.

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates 
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. A membership-driven organization based in Washington, DC with over 50 chapters and affiliates around the country.
View list of regional offices here.

Muslim Advocates
Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths. 
View resources  here.

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
SAALT is a national, nonpartisan, non-profit organization that elevates the voices and perspectives of South Asian individuals and organizations to build a more just and inclusive society in the United States.
View resources here.

The Sikh Coalition
The Sikh Coalition is a community-based organization that works towards the realization of civil and human rights for all people.
View resources here.

Civil Rights Organizations 

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. 
View resources and list of regional offices here.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
Fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.
View resources and list of regional offices here.

Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
Fights to promote and ensure fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of elimination homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
View resources and list of regional offices  here.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
A national civil rights and advocacy organization devoted to achieving equal rights for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people. 
View resources and list of regional offices here.

Lambda Legal
A national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
View resources and list of regional offices here.

Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law
A national organization founded to secure equal justice for all through the rule of law. 
View list of offices here.

Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization.
View list of regional offices here.

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF)
LDF is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. 
View list of offices here.

PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies with over 400 chapters.
View list of chapters  here.

The Southern Poverty Law Center
The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.
View resources and report hate incidents here.

Additional Resources

Government Agencies

Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service (CRS)
CRS acts as a “peacemaker” for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. CRS works with police chiefs, mayors, school administrators, other local and state authorities, community-based organizations, and civil and human rights groups.
Find your regional CRS office here.
Explore information for religious groups here.

Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)
OVC is committed to enhancing the Nation’s capacity to assist crime victims and to provide leadership in changing attitudes, policies and practices to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime.
View more information here.

Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL)
CRCL supports the Department of Homeland Security’s mission to secure the nation while preserving individual liberty, fairness, and equality under the law. 
View more information here.

Mental Health

National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA)
NAAPIMHA’s mission is to promote the mental health and well being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
View resource information here.

National Organization for Victim Assistance
The national victim assistance organization that provides resources, assistance and support for victims harmed by crime and crisis. 
Call 1-800-TRY-NOVA (879-6682).

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free, confidential, 24/7 support for people in distress, as well as provides crisis resources and best practices for professionals.
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

SAMHSA’s National Helpline 
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357). 

Victim Connect Resource Center
Victim Connect is a place for victims of crime to share their stories with specialists and learn about their rights and options confidentially and compassionately. They serve victims of any crime in the United States through online chat or phone.
Call 1-855-4VICTIM (84-2846). 


Defeating Hate: What are Hate Crimes and How We Can Stop Them

Watch this moderated discussion about understanding the difference between hate crimes vs. bias incidents, how a prosecutor makes the decision to charge an incident as a hate crime, proving hate crimes on the state and federal level, and what people can do if they are confronted with a hate crime and/or bias incident. We will arm participants, and their friends and families, with the knowledge they need to deal with these ugly situations, and get the justice they deserve.

Co-Presented by NAPIPA


  • Aileen Bhandari, Cook’s County Assistant State’s Attorney, NAPIPA’s Chicago Chapter Co-President
  • Angie Cha, Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, NAPIPA Member
  • Peter Choi, Kings County Senior Assistant District Attorney, NAPIPA’s New York Chapter Member
  • Thienvu Ho, Sacramento County Assistant District Attorney, NAPIPA’s Northern California Board Member


  • Fanny Yu, San Diego Deputy District Attorney, NAPIPA’s San Diego Chapter President

Pandemic and Acts of Hate Against Asian Americans: From Past to Present

The COVID 19 pandemic has led to an upsurge in violence and racial harassment against Asian Americans, and a rise in racially charged remarks from politicians, including the White House. What lessons from our past inform our present?  In the San Francisco bubonic plague epidemic of 1900, a race-based inoculation plan and quarantine was enforced against Chinese residents.  This was but just one example of a long and unfortunate history of racial scapegoating. Learn how race has been used in the arena of public health, how you can right discrimination, and how states and the federal government can help. 

Presented by the NAPABA Civil Rights Committee & the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY)


  • Chris M. Kwok, NAPABA Dispute Resolution Co Chair, AABANY Issue Chair
  • Prof. Gabriel “Jack” Chin – UC Davis Law School
  • Harpreet Singh Mokha – US DOJ – Community Relations Service
  • Rahat N. Babar – Special Counsel to the Governor of New Jersey; Chair, NAPABA Civil Rights Committee

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