Ginger Hair Victims
Bullying Survivor
Female | London, England   United Kingdom
'Gingerism' hate crime victims speak out
Bullying Type: Physical / Emotional
Posted By: Cantrell27
5/20/13 7:38 AM
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As four-year-old cutie Chloe Doyle smiles for the camera, her mum asks: “Are you a pretty girl?”

“No,” she immediately fires back as her face falls, her smile disappears and she points to her head. “Ginger,” she says.

Chloe’s mum, brother and sister are all fair-haired and her dad is dark. Little Chloe already sees herself as different.

“It breaks my heart,” says mum Sue, 32. “I worry a lot about when she goes to school because I know children don’t get taught about discrimination when it comes to ginger hair.”

For generations redheads have been the butt of everything from daft mickey-taking to cruel jibes.

But while most teasing is done in jest, the ­effects can be devastating.

People with ginger hair make up six per cent of the population, and it seems that many of them have been targets of this emerging “hate crime”.

To look at the attractive people in our picture, it’s difficult to believe there’s ever been any reason to pick on them.

But their brave faces hide the emotional scars left by bullying over their hair colour.

Natalie Harvey, 36, in the middle, has been taunted so badly since a young girl that she dyes her hair black.

Last year, when tormentors took to Facebook and Twitter to abuse her, she had finally had enough.

She left her job as a special needs teacher and set up Combat Bullying (, which offers advice and support to ginger victims.

It was Natalie who brought together the redheads in our picture: pizza restaurant manager Alex ­Kosuth-Phillips, 24, children’s entertainer Heidi Luckraft, 34, and little Chloe.

The Sunday Mirror witnessed their tears as they each told their harrowing stories of “gingerism”.

Heidi told of an incident just a few months ago when a coke can was hurled at her head.

Then there was the time she was playing a princess with a blonde wig at a children’s party.

“One of the mums kept telling her daughter to pull my hair,” she says. “She yanked it hard and pulled it off.

"Her mum fell about laughing and said, ‘Oh my God, put it back on, that ginger is even worse!’”

Alex has little recollection of his birthday night out last year because he was knocked out by a man who called him a “ginger p****”.

But he has the CCTV footage and two metal plates in his jaw to remind him how he was beaten to a pulp.

The attack happened last February when he was waiting to pick up a pizza.

“Out of nowhere a guy started picking a fight with me,” he says. “The last thing I remember was the word ‘ginger’.”

Alex was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery. His jaw was so badly injured he had to eat through a straw for three months, but he says the psychological damage was even worse.

The Crown Prosecution Service regards hate crime as “motivated by hostility towards someone based on their disability, race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation”.

As anti-ginger abuse doesn’t fall into those categories, there are no recorded statistics so it’s difficult to judge the scale of the problem.

But Combat Bullying has received many desperate calls and emails from worried parents and victims of anti-ginger bullying since it launched six months ago.

Natalie says: “People don’t take it seriously but it’s a really serious issue.

"If someone was getting the same treatment because of the colour of their skin, people would think it disgusting.

"But because it’s ginger hair, people think it’s funny.”

Little Chloe already tells her mum she hates her hair. Sue was appalled to witness an older boy picking on her one day.

“He ran up to us and started shouting ‘ginger’ and ‘goggly eyes’,” she says.

Natalie was nick-named Orphan Annie by bullies.

When she was just nine an older boy broke her arm when he kicked a football at her as he taunted her about her hair.

Last year, her tormented childhood came back to haunt her when an acquaintance started posting cruel things on Facebook and Twitter.

Natalie says: “Then she got hold of my mobile number and started sending text messages saying she wanted to beat me up. It was terrifying.”

Eventually she got a harassment order against the bully.

Redhead Prince Harry revealed in 2007 that even royals aren’t immune to ginger jibes, saying: “Virtually every ginger-haired child will have experienced some degree of name calling at school.”

Ten years ago a man was stabbed three times in an ­unprovoked attack over the colour of his hair at a wine bar in Baildon, West Yorkshire.

And in 2010, Nicole Nagington, 12, was forced to leave her school after receiving repeated Facebook death threats from classmates.

Even after she dyed her hair, one of the bullies said: “You’re still a ginger b****. All gingers should die.”

Last year James Prior was subjected to what Southampton Crown Court heard was a “frenzied and sustained attack” because he had ginger hair. Miguel Costa and Robert Knapper admitted actual bodily harm but the attack was still not logged as a hate crime by the CPS.

Combat Bullying is now campaigning for more education in schools and for politicians to take the problem more seriously.

“We need teachers to specifically target the issue,” says Natalie. “If children are taught they are different but equal, tolerance will develop.

“I just hope the bullying stops before any more lives are ruined... or even lost.”

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Posted By: DreamCastle22 | 5/20/13 11:44 AM
I never had heard of anti-gingers, and I can't believe someone was stabbed over being red headed!
I guess hate is hate... so stupid.
Story Details

Name: Ginger Hair Victims
Age: N/A
Country: United Kingdom
Location: London, England
Gender: Female
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Profession: Other
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