The UK could be about to make misogyny a hate crime

POLICE in the United Kingdom are considering expanding the definition of a hate crime to include misogyny. 

The move comes after a trial of the proposed new laws in Nottinghamshire saw police crack down on sexist abuse and investigate 20 incidents in two months, The Guardian reports.

Since then several other police forces from around the UK have sent officers to the city to discuss expanding the definition of a hate crime - and include misogyny in the same vein as Islamophobia or antisemitism. 

The plan was made public after two men were arrested for sexist abuse, during the trial, according to the Daily Mail.

The Mail also reports no men have been arrested for "wolf-whistling" which was one of the concerns aired by those against the new proposed laws. 

"The reality is that all of the reports so far have required some form of police action," Nottinghamshire Police officer Dave Alton said.

And in a release sent out on July 13 this year Chief Constable Sue Fish praised the move as groundbreaking.

 "I'm delighted that we are leading the way towards tackling misogyny in all its forms. It's a very important aspect of the overall hate crime work being conducted and one that will make Nottinghamshire a safer place for all women," she said.

"What women face, often on a daily basis, is absolutely unacceptable and can be extremely distressing. Nottinghamshire Police is committed to taking misogynistic hate crime seriously and encourages anyone who is affected by it to contact us without hesitation.

"The work we are doing with Nottingham Women's Centre is so valuable and I am looking forward to continuing that work."

Const Fish added that officers had been trained in how to police hate crimes against women. 

Melanie Jeffs, Centre Manager at Nottingham Women's Centre said: "We're pleased to see Nottinghamshire Police recognise the breadth of violence and intimidation that women experience on a daily basis in our communities."

"Understanding this as a hate crime will help people to see the seriousness of these incidents and hopefully encourage more women to come forward and report offences."

The police press release also included an explanation of what defined the crime. 

"Misogyny hate crime, in addition to the general hate crime definition, may be understood as incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman, and includes behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman," the statement read.

 

 

"Examples of this may include unwanted or uninvited sexual advances; physical or verbal assault; unwanted or uninvited physical or verbal contact or engagement; use of mobile devices to send unwanted or uninvited messages or take photographs without consent or permission.

"Domestic abuse is not included within the scope of Misogyny hate crime in this procedure as it is dealt with comprehensively within its own procedure"

Ms Jeffs later told the BBC she had received a "shocking" torrent of abuse about her appearance and her sexuality as well as people threatening to kill her.  


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