Skip to content

Understanding and Measuring Bias Victimization Against Latinos

Project Overview

This project seeks to understand bias motivated victimization among marginalized populations such as Latinos, and particularly Latinos who are or who are perceived to be immigrants. VJRL researchers have implemented specialized victimization surveys in communities with high Latino populations. Major problems have plagued researchers attempting to measure bias motivated crimes perpetrated against immigrants or those who are perceived to be immigrants. The first is accessing populations of potential victims. Bias motivated crime is a relatively rare phenomenon. It is additionally challenging to identify rare events such as bias motivated victimization within populations who cannot be easily accessed through traditional population surveying mechanisms because they do not have a permanent address, do not have access to land-line phones, and are fearful of outsiders. The second challenge is capturing information about bias motivated victimization once a person is identified for data collection. Bias crimes are not well understood among the general population and may seem to be an even more foreign concept for populations who expect to face discrimination, hostility and harassment due to their status or perceived status as immigrants. As a result, it is necessary to ask questions about bias motivated victimization in a way that captures a broad range of bias events, from harassment and micro-aggression to violent or property crime that is motivated by bias.

Latino Experiences Survey Team

Surveys were administered and data were collected by the Latino Experiences Survey Team–a group of researchers within the Violence and Justice Research Lab at Northeastern University and their partners at UMass Lowell and University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). The team aims to understand the prevalence of hate crimes and bias motivated crimes against Latinos and how these crimes impact Latino communities.

Research Team

Carlos Cuevas, Northeastern University

Amy Farrell, Northeastern University

Jack McDevitt, Northeastern University

Jeff Temple, University Texas Medical Branch

Sheldon Zhang, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Research Assistants

Jesenia Robles, Northeastern University

Sarah Lockwood, Northeastern University


Full Report


(617) 903-7073

More Stories

Police units respond on scene.

Gaps in Reporting Human Trafficking Incidents Result in Significant Undercounting


Developing a Hate Crime Resource Center for Massachusetts Schools


Racial Disparities in Portland Area Arrests

Research Projects