Victims and witnesses of discrimination, harassment or bias crimes in New York now have a new online tool that will tell them where and how to file a complaint.
Launched Wednesday by the New York Civil Liberties Union, the “Equality Watch” website was created in response to the increase in hate and bias incidents since the election of President Donald Trump, NYCLU associate legal director Chris Dunn said.
Once a user provides information about the incident, including where it happened and what personal characteristic was discriminated against, the site provides users with a list of agencies that can help and specific instructions on how to file a complaint with those agencies. It will also offer one-on-one help from a volunteer trained by the NYCLU, Dunn said.
The tool is designed “to give people a very easy way to get help,” Dunn said. “You can go to the website and very quickly find an agency in your area that has the ability to investigate the incident.”
Examples of the agencies the site might refer people to are the local human rights commissions across the state.
No personal information is needed to complete the form. Users can put in their email so the NYCLU can follow up, but it isn’t required.