Today, U.S. Representative Don Beyer (D-VA, District 8) called for the House of Representatives to pass the NO HATE Act following the release of the 2017 hate crime statistics, which showed a rise in hate crimes in the United States for the third consecutive year. The release of the data comes just after the Oct. 27 shooting in Pittsburgh, in which a gunman carried out an anti-Semitic attack that claimed 11 lives at the Tree of Life Synagogue. The legislation, sponsored in the Senate by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), would give law enforcement across the country additional tools to track and fight hate crimes.

“For the third year in a row, hate crimes across the country have risen, this year by 17 percent. Unfortunately, the Commonwealth of Virginia has seen its share in this escalation, and it is time for Congress to take action,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “With each passing year, the problem of hate in the United States grows, and it requires Congress to take up and pass the NO HATE Act.”

The NO HATE Act, which has 77 cosponsors in the House and 18 in the Senate, would help combat the recent surge in hate crimes by:

Improving Reporting of Hate Crimes: This law will improve reporting of hate crimes by supporting the implementation of and training for NIBRS, the latest crime reporting standard, in law enforcement agencies without it. This will allow law enforcement agencies to record and report detailed information about crimes, including hate crimes, to the FBI. Between 2009 and 2015, 17 percent of all law enforcement agencies failed to file a single hate crimes report, and in some states, a majority of law enforcement agencies failed to file a single hate crime report over the same period. Helping law enforcement agencies recognize and report detailed information on hate crimes and report that data to the FBI will help establish a clear picture of the threats that vulnerable communities are facing across the country.

Establishing Hate Crime Hotlines: This law will provide grants for states to establish and run hate crime hotlines, to record information about hate crimes, and to redirect victims and witnesses to law enforcement and local support services as needed. This will make sure that hate crimes don’t go unreported and victims get the help that they need. New York and Maryland established hate crime hotlines in November.

Helping Victims Seek Justice in the Courts: This law will establish a federal private right of action for hate crimes, offering victims of hate crimes the option to fight for remedies in civil court, and ensuring that everyone—even in states without hate crime laws on the books—can have his or her day in court. Although Connecticut has a state private right of action, most states do not.

Rehabilitating Perpetrators of Hate Crimes through Education and Community Service: This law will allow for judges to require individuals convicted under federal hate crime laws to undergo community service or education centered on the community targeted by the crime.