The effect of hate crime on ethnic minorities in England and Wales is to be examined in a £100,000 study by the Victim Support charity.
Hate crimes against Muslims have risen sharply
A spokesman said the research would help establish levels of hate crime.
"We need to know more about how to support victims effectively and combat further victimisation," he added.
The Metropolitan Police reported a peak in faith hate crime after the London bombings but said levels had returned to pre-7 July levels by 3 August.
Figures from Victim Support show the number of racially-motivated cases dealt with by the organisation has risen steadily in recent years, from 20,950 in 2002/03 to about 22,000 in 2004/05.
Spokesman Peter Dunn said such crime had a wider impact than was generally realised.
"Hate crime has a destructive effect, not just on victims but on whole communities.
"The government and the statutory services have begun to recognise it as a phenomenon, but little is known about how individual victims are affected," Mr Dunn said.
"What we want to achieve from this is more knowledge about the extent of hate crime and the impact that it has on people who are affected by it.
"We also want to be able to improve the services that Victim Support offers and that means knowing more about the needs of the people who we are helping."
The charity said it would apply lessons learned in the exercise to other types of hate crime such as attacks on homosexuals, asylum seekers and disabled people.
Last week police revealed that crimes motivated by religious hatred in London rose by nearly 600% compared with the same period last year in the immediate aftermath of the bombings.
In the period between 6 July and 1 August there were 1,432 race and faith hate crimes, compared with 1,324 in the same period in 2004.
Of these, faith hate crime rose from 41 incidents in 2004 to 273 incidents in 2005.
Race hate crime decreased from 1,283 in 2004 to 1,159 in 2005.
Of the faith hate crimes reported in London since 7 July, most involved verbal abuse or minor assaults and none were classed more serious crimes such as murder, attempted murder, disorder, or serious criminal damage.
Police added that more efficient recording of faith hate crime as distinct from race hate crime may also have contributed to the rise compared with 2004.