Report Your Incident

Have you experienced Coronaracism? Report your story now.

Since January 2020, there has been an increase of incidents of racism coming out of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic in Australia. This racism is targeted at people with Chinese origins/East Asian origins but any person in Australia who is of Asian background is susceptible to this racism – this project aims to track and monitor racist attacks that are related to the pandemic. So far over 500 racist incidents have been collected.

Contributions under an alias are welcome. You can report something that happened to you, or someone you know. All questions are optional.

This reporting mechanism is a project by activist and writer Erin Chew, media outlet “Being Asian Australian” in partnership with the Asian Australian Alliance, Diversity Arts Australia and Democracy in Colour. The survey and research has been collaborated with Research Fellow at the Per Capita thinktank and policy analyst/writer Osmond Chiu.

Many incidents have been reported to the police or featured on Australian/global news/media outlets. However, it is likely that a large portion of these incidents would go unreported, and the purpose of this reporting mechanism is to capture enough data to understand the frequencies of these attacks that are related to the pandemic.

Responses to this reporting mechanism will be used for analytical purposes as well as help in creating campaigns in raising the voices for Asians and Asian Australians in Australia. The only way we will be able to speak up against this racism is by reporting it and putting it out in the mainstream.

Please Note: All responses will be kept confidential, and if follow up or usage of the incident is required, we will contact you directly to seek further information and/or follow up.

Click on your preferred language below to access the survey:

(Image credit: Red Hong Yi)

The Results So Far

As of 20 May 2020, the survey has received 326 responses from all over Australia. The survey will remain open and results will be continually updated.

To date, 81% of the respondents have said that the racist incident that they experienced was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. ​SBS Australia​ also reported that the Human Rights Commission has received a spike in racial discrimination complaints.

“I heard a man yelling at me: ‘You f*****g b***h, you do not belong here. What are you f*****g doing here? Go the f*** back to where you belong’.

I quickly ran into the restaurant. It was scary because this is right around my neighbourhood and it was late, he was obviously under the influence of alcohol and making threatening gestures.”

Survey respondent Lynn Ooi shares her experience of racism.

Of the respondents, 83% have reported that they have personally experienced racism and 13% said racism was experienced by someone they know:

“[My] friend was walking on the street and got approached by a white male who looked like he was in his 50s. He asked her to go back to China and that “her people” brought the disease here.”

“Part way through my run a man walking his dog was approaching in the opposing direction on the track and I heard him say, “move over China”. On the following lap around the track the man started to pretend to cough excessively and stopped after passing. I did not react in any way to this person throughout the incident.”

According to the early findings, 88% of respondents did not know the person/people who committed the racism towards them:

“Driving past a car, passengers screamed out ‘CORONA VIRUS’ then left laughing.”

“I was walking my dog and saw two men in front of me and when I crossed them one of the men called out ‘oh no, corona corona corona’. I was a female alone so did not bother engaging and instead continued to walk in the other direction.”

The percentage of racist incidents that occurred in public / private spaces include:

38% Public street/sidewalk

35% Businesses: Supermarket/grocery store/general stores and shopping centres

15% Public transport

“Racial slurs and offhand comments made directly at me or obviously aimed at me in supermarkets local to me, once by an employee and a couple of other times by strangers asking why I was buying groceries instead of eating bats and the ‘go back to where you came from’ muttered comments in passing.”

Incidents also occurred in schools, universities, workplaces and other spaces:

“We were having online class and it was the first class, one of my classmates entered into the classroom and he is Vietnamese. Another classmate said, “coronavirus is here.” And he said that while laughing so apparently he thought that was funny. No one, even the teacher, said anything to stop him or remind him, pathetic.”

“A patient refused care from an Asian nurse and other Asian staff, stating the staff [member] has covid19.”

Although the majority of surveyed incidents occurred in person (86%), the survey also measured online and other spaces where racist incidents occurred. Of these incidents, online spaces included Facebook (47%), Twitter (14%) and Instagram (16%). Almost 10% of incidents that weren’t in person took the form of an abusive phone call.

“A friend shared a post highlighting the recent concerns over COVID-19. On commenting, a friend of theirs started to abuse me and all Chinese, stating that we should all die and go to hell.”

Respondents identified many different forms of racism experienced including but not limited to:

– 61% – Racial slur/name calling (“Go back to China”, “Stop eating bats/dogs”, “Ching Chong”, “Chink” etc)
– 24% – Making it out as a joke
– 17% – Verbal threat (“I will report you to the police for coughing”, “I will hunt youdown” etc)
– 15% – Getting spat/sneezed or coughed on
– 12% – Shunning (Being excluded)
– 12% – Physical intimidation (Being shoved/pushed, tripped, hit, punched, kicked etc.)”What we noticed from the responses was something like 90 percent of people did not report what happened to the police and so we can go through the more detailed responses to potentially see if they should lodge a complaint, or perhaps suggest organisations they can go for support”

Erin Chew​, founder, Asian Australian Alliance

This includes advocating for cultural safety training for mental health support line services. Some survey responses cited instances where the mental health helplines they accessed had insufficient cultural support for those who had experienced racism, resulting in some of the victims mental health state worsening to the point of self-harm.

Additional results and an analysis from the Asian Australian Alliance will be updated here in the near future.

These survey responses are critical in providing an evidence-base to advocate for action to support those most affected by #CoronaRacism and to address larger social issues of racial inequity.