Let’s Keep Up The Momentum To Make Misogyny A Hate Crime In The UK
This Change In The Law Is Long Overdue…
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A law commission that will report back to the Government this 2020 (with some delays caused by Covid-19) has provided a perfect time for women to continue rallying together to fight the cause of making misogyny a listed hate crime.
In 2016 Nottinghamshire police were the first local force to run a pilot for misogyny being listed as a hate crime. Trained professionals answered 111 calls and ran full investigations into reports of gender hate crimes. The result? Women being empowered and feeling safer on the streets there. Something as women we can all agree is long overdue.
As long as women have walked this earth we have had our experiences of misogyny trivialized. Even in discussing the proposal that misogyny should be made a hate crime by law people will argue that it is over the top. You can hear the echoes now of the naysayers slurring out ‘it’s just PC gone mad’ probably to be followed by leering at a passing stranger ‘smile love’. But that is exactly why re-classifying this is so important.
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Fear of not being taken seriously if you want to report a misogynist crime has deterred many women from reporting crimes, which in turn leaves people who should be criminals free to continue abusing without justice being served. The last thing you want when you’re already feeling vulnerable is for someone to turn you away and tell you you’re problem isn’t valid.
It might start with a catcall from a passing car, an inappropriate gesture from a stranger, an uninvited grope in the workplace, the list goes on, and on, and on…becoming more threatening and dangerous.
This is why the whole narrative needs to be completely shaken up. No more of this turn-the-other-cheek attitude that we adopt as women because ‘that’s just the way it is’. Now is the time to be able to put our trust in the law and be told by the police we get it now, we are here for you and we are going to take this seriously.
Following the results of the Nottinghamshire police pilot study Avon and Somerset, North Yorkshire and Northamptonshire also made misogyny a hate crime. The country is moving and women are being heard but until it is a national norm we shouldn’t back off.
It is imperative that this fight for the safety of our community of women in the UK does not lose momentum and we continue to put pressure on the UK Government to bring this in as a UK wide police requirement. And if you are reading this and aren’t UK based why stop there? Let’s share the momentum and be inspired to make a wave of change globally. Contact your local women’s and citizens' charities to see how you can get the ball rolling.
In the UK organizations including but not limited to Women’s Aid and Citizens UK are leading this women’s rights fight and are sharing some useful resources and ways that you can get involved and help fight the cause here.