A Merseyside MP has joined police in a plea urging victims of hate crime not to suffer in silence.
Luciana Berger, Labour MP for Wavertree, spoke out about hate crime as part of national Hate Crime Awareness Week.
She became a target of internet trolls because of her Jewish background.
Ms Berger said: “It makes me feel pretty bad. It’s a very difficult thing to go through. You are attacked because of something you can’t change, by way of how you are born – whether it is your gender or because of a disability or your race or religion. To be attacked in that way and to be really targeted was awful and also because other people don’t know it is happening.
“More often than not you experience it alone and that can be hard and then when your family find out about it it’s difficult for them as well because they are concerned about your safety and wellbeing and they shoulder that pain and upset as well.
“I think it is really important that people know what hate crime is, the different forms it can take. It can take place in many different ways and most people don’t know what it is.
“It bothers me that some people could have been affected so negatively - as I know that I have been - by that type of crime and essentially suffer alone.”
Assistant Chief Constable Ian Critchley added: “Hate crime comes in a lot of different guises but we recognise the impact that it has on individuals and communities.
“Hate Crime Awareness week is about raising awareness of what hate crime is and letting victims know that we are committed to supporting victims and bringing offenders to justice.
“We are grateful that Luciana Berger has been so upfront in talking about her experiences and encouraging people to come forward in confidence that their report will be taken seriously.”