Verbal De-Escalation Strategies

With the rise of Anti Asian Hate Crimes, the need to de-escalate racially tense situations is paramount in protecting the community. According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, overall Hate crimes fell by about 6%, but Anti Asian Hate Crimes rose by 145% from the previous year. Because of that rise, more and more people are experiencing hate crimes second hand. These are a few strategies to de-escalate a charged situation, and what to do if you are a bystander to one.

Finding oneself in a verbal altercation regarding Anti Asian sentiment is very disconcerting, but it is important to minimize any hostility for everyone’s safety. Here are some strategies to employ: Address the specific behavior that is inappropriate, offensive, or violent. Next, speak in an increasingly calm tone. This is to slowly step down the aggression. Then, use “I” statements to vocalize your emotions and intentions without expressing judgement. The goal for this is to prevent the aggressor from being defensive in attitude. Also, use “We” as a way to show a sense of unity. The person is less likely to direct their anger towards you if there is a bond between you and the other person. Moreover, you can choose not to engage in order to de-escalate the situation. Ignoring can be a proactive strategy, but if the situation continues then be prepared to use another strategy.

Being a bystander to Anti Asian Hate Crimes can also be traumatizing. Here are some strategies to help someone being harassed: First, respond directly to the person causing harm. Be confident, calm, and direct. Then, get help by asking for assistance from anybody nearby. Also, bring attention away from either the person causing harm, or the situation itself. For example, causing a distraction so the victim can get to safety. Additionally, if somebody is already helping de-escalate the situation, another way to help is to document the incident with photos or video. This will help authorities identify any aggressors.

The strategies listed can help de-escalate a tense situation, and provide some helpful guidelines to assist those who are being persecuted. Experiencing Anti Asian sentiment is a growing concern for Asian and Asian Americans in this country. It is important to prepare a strategy in experiencing Anti Asian Hate Crimes for the safety of the community.