This paper utilises the concept of ‘hate relationships’ in conversation with the literature on geographies of encounter to explore experiences of racism for those entrapped by racist encounters with those who are familiar. In so doing we attend to the uneven and harmful risks involved in some forms of everyday urban encounter. We draw upon case notes collated by a hate advocacy service in North East England, UK, to illustrate the cumulative damaging force of enduring hate relationships. By drawing parallels with work on domestic violence, we suggest hate relationships evident in our data exhibit distinct temporalities of routinisation, whereby harmful ‘low level’ violence, often under the radar of the criminal justice system, gains force through repeated neighbourhood-based encounters. In so doing we also highlight both the situated and relational spatialities at work; localised encounters marked by familiarity, racialised territoriality and experiences of fear and immobility, but also relations of entrenched disadvantage and institutional failures that sustain harm. Concerted acts of resistance look to confront and/or escape these relationships, but as forms of resolution, where additional burdens are placed on victim/survivors, these are constrained by the same violent conditions through which such relationships are allowed to take shape.