A man with a facial birthmark against a black background

Visible Hate: Together we can stop it

Find out about the abuse faced by many people with a visible difference – and explore how you can get involved in our Visible Hate campaign.

No one should experience abuse, in person or online, because of how they look. Yet according to our research, seven in 10 people with a visible difference do.

That’s why we launched the Visible Hate campaign – to bring an end to appearance-related hate crime and abuse.

On this page, we discuss the abuse faced by many people with a visible difference – and explain how you can get involved in our Visible Hate campaign.

Graphic with text: "7 in 10 people have experienced negative behaviours because of their visible difference"

The reality of appearance-related hate crime

In January 2020 we published independent research which revealed that:

  • Seven in 10 people experience negative behaviour such as stares, abuse and bullying because of how they look.
  • Over a quarter (28%) of people with a visible difference have experienced a hate crime.
  • Almost half of those who have experienced negative behaviours say they have lost confidence.
  • Over a third (35%) say they now feel anxious when they go out.
  • Over a quarter (27%) say their treatment has had a negative impact on their mental health.

Our campaign raises awareness about what hate crime and appearance-related abuse is and how to report it, along with calling for better legal protections for people with visible differences.

Millions of people have watched our campaign film, raising awareness of appearance-related hate crime and abuse:

Visible Hate stories

Changing Faces campaigners and ambassadors are sharing their stories and speaking out so more people recognise and report appearance-related abuse and hate crime. They’ve shared their stories with the media, government officials, social media companies and in Law Commission consultation responses.

  • Emma is sharing her story so people understand Visible Hate has to end. She was born with Char syndrome which affects the structure of the face as well as flattening of the nose. She is also visually impaired. Read her story.
  • Phil is speaking out so more people join us to stop Visible Hate. He was born with a birthmark that covers three quarters of his face and parts of his body. Read Phil’s story.
  • Rory is sharing his story so more people join us to stop Visible Hate. Rory is 26 years old, from Scotland and is an active campaigner for Changing Faces. He has a large facial birthmark. View Rory’s story.

Help us to make sure their voices are heard by sharing our campaign film today. If you’re interested in finding out more about the research we carried out to inform this campaign, further information is available in our press release.

Having a disfigurement means never having a day off. I don’t get to take my scars off and forget about them. Every day when I leave my house I need to check in with myself to see how I am going to handle the stares or comments.

Tulsi

Help us put an end to visible hate

Sometimes, we respond to consultations, talk to MPs or authorities like the police. When we do so, we share examples of hate incidents and hate crimes that people with visible differences have experienced, as well as the impact they have on individuals and our community.

Have you experienced an appearance-related hate incident or hate crime you can share with us? It can be anonymous. Click the button below to tell us about it on our secure form.

Share your experience

Get support

Have you, or someone you know, experienced abuse or harassment because of a visible difference? You don’t have to deal with these experiences alone.

You can read about what a hate crime is, how to report it and where to get support, if you or someone you know experiences appearance-related hate crime or abuse.

We offer confidential practical, emotional and wellbeing support to people with a visible difference via our Support and Information Line.

Words hurt. Comments aren’t forgotten. Even though I wish I could forget them, they will stay with me forever, no matter how hard I try to leave them in the past.

Prisha

Latest on the campaign