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Seven steps to stop hate

Author Matthew Williams switched from journalism to criminology after being targeted in a vicious assault. It set him on a journey to find out why. He’s now written a new acclaimed book, The Science of Hate. Here he tells his story as well as setting out what can be done to stop it

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Research: To understand the nature of increasing division across the globe, we need to get to grips with the origins of hate. Credit: Getty Images

Research: To understand the nature of increasing division across the globe, we need to get to grips with the origins of hate. Credit: Getty Images

Getty Images

Matthew Williams’ journey started after an attack. Credit: Albert Pamies

Matthew Williams’ journey started after an attack. Credit: Albert Pamies

Matthew Williams is the author of The Science of Hate: How Prejudice Becomes Hate and What We Can Do To Stop It, published by Faber & Faber. Paperback £9.99

Matthew Williams is the author of The Science of Hate: How Prejudice Becomes Hate and What We Can Do To Stop It, published by Faber & Faber. Paperback £9.99

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Research: To understand the nature of increasing division across the globe, we need to get to grips with the origins of hate. Credit: Getty Images

It was a summer holiday weekend in the late nineties. One of those weekends you look forward to for months. I was in London visiting friends on a blisteringly hot day. It was my last chance to see them before I started my postgrad degree in journalism, so I made the most of it. After one too many for a lunchtime, we convinced ourselves to carry on the party. The destination of choice was a bar on Tottenham Court Road well known for the diversity of its clientele.

A few hours into the sprawling celebration I stepped out of the bar for some fresh air when a stranger approached me asking for a light. Before I knew it, two other guys jumped me from behind. I hit the floor with a thud. All I could think about in the moment was the metallic tang of the blood pouring from my split lip. I’d been a victim of a homophobic hate crime.


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