Violence against any community is a threat to all humanity. At Crisis Text Line, we see the emotional pain anti-Arab, antisemitic, and islamophobic hate crimes cause for our Arab, Jewish, and Islamic communities in the US. No matter the trauma you’re experiencing, we’re here to hold space for your pain. If you need someone to talk to, text HOME to 741741 to reach a volunteer Crisis Counselor.
In recent weeks, hate crimes against Muslim and Jewish people in the US have risen. The Anti-Defamation League has reported a 75% increase in anti-semitic hate crimes compared to the weeks prior to the resurgance of violence abroad. And, this increase in violence against Jewish people only tells part of the story. According to Susan Corke from the Southern Poverty Law Center, “There’s generally a spike in the level of violence directed at Jews when there’s a spike in the level of violence in Israel and Palestine. And often, that’s also accompanied by an increase in attacks against Muslims too.” Such hate also tends to result in violence targeting other Arab communities too, including those who are Baha’i, Christian, and Druze, along with Sikh communities.
The Jewish, Islamic, and Arab communities in the US are experiencing hate crimes—religious slurs, attacks on places of worship, physical altercations, and murders like those in Canada last week—that cause pain and trauma.
If this escalation in hate crimes resonates with your personal identity, it’s understandable for your mental health to suffer right now. You may be feeling:
- Increased anxiety. If you’re constantly afraid for your physical safety, this is likely to cause increased stress and anxiety in your life. You are not alone if you’re feeling this way.
- Exhaustion. Increased anxiety can often make it difficult to sleep, leading to nights of racing thoughts and little rest. Prolonged periods with little rest can lead to a cycle of anxiety and exhaustion that may feel endless.
- Isolation and loneliness. If you don’t know who to talk to about how you’re feeling, or if you’re afraid nobody will understand what you’re going through, it’s likely you’ll feel some degree of isolation and loneliness. You are not alone. If you don’t know where to turn, you can always text HOME to 741741 to reach a volunteer Crisis Counselor.
Living day-to-day with identity-based violence directed towards you and your community can gravely impact your mental health. Whether it’s moments of acute panic or the constant drum of elevated anxiety, your experience is valid and you deserve support. Here are some ways to cope:
- Focus your mind. When you hear often about attacks against your community, it can be easy to get overwhelmed quickly. Try breathing for a few minutes with specific attention to every inhale and exhale. Deep breathing sends a message to your brain and your body to calm down. This video may be a useful place to start focusing on your breath.
- Connect with your community. In moments when you’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed or isolated, it’s often helpful to surround yourself with people who love and care about you. Try reaching out to friends and family and be as specific as you can about how you want them to support you.
- Reach out for support. You don’t have to go through hard things alone. Reaching out is a brave thing to do. Text HOME to 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor. We’re here for you. If you’re looking for resources specific to the Jewish and Islamic communities, here are a few resources to start:
As violence continues to plague our world—and as we continue to bear witness to it online, in the media, and in our lives—it doesn’t get any easier. In many ways, it gets harder. Perpetual violence re-traumatizes wounds that never have a chance to heal. These moments of trauma are especially challenging now for the Islamic, Arab, and Jewish communities that have to live with the acute closeness of the trauma of these events in their own lives. We’re here to support you and remind you that bravery comes in many forms; yes, in moments of overt strength, but more importantly in the quiet act of asking for help when you need it.