By Mollie Gill, August 2019
Work experience student Mollie writes on the campaign to have misogyny classified as a hate crime
The campaign to make misogyny a hate crime seems to originate from a CitizensUK report in 2014 where Nottingham Citizens alliance of community organisations conducted a large study on experiences of hate crime in the city. This resulted in, 2 years later, Nottinghamshire police becoming the first in the country to allow women and girls to report cases of misogyny.
According to research by the ‘End Violence Against Women Coalition’, more than two-thirds of women of all ages have experienced sexual harassment in a public place, a figure that rises to a shocking 85% of women aged 18-24. These statistics are why so many people feel so strongly about having misogyny classified as a hate crime rather than a meaningless word, so when will this change happen?
The Law Commission (a body of legal advisers responsible for systematically reviewing the law of England and Wales, or of Scotland, which recommends alterations when needed) is currently exploring whether misogyny should be recognised as a hate crime. This action could aid police in collecting more accurate data on the public harassment of women which would enable them to assess how serious the problem is in a particular area as well as identify hotspots where women are particularly vulnerable.
Appropriately addressed by Sam Smethers, Fawcett Society Chief Executive on the issue: “Making misogyny a hate crime, in our view, would address the normalisation of gender-based violence our society and enable the police to address violent crimes against women and girls which currently go unreported.”
It seems we will have to sit tight as the Law Commission won’t be presenting its final report until 2021… But what can we do in the meantime? Citizens UK is currently surveying people about their experiences of hate crime so you can get involved by taking the survey yourself. You can also contact your local MP to talk about your experiences and why change must happen.
What do you think, should misogyny be classified as hate crime?