IWD 2020: Recognise misogyny as a hate crime

March 9, 2020 1:00 PM
By Wera Hobhouse
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

With reports of sexual assault, rape and violence against women on the rise, it is simply unacceptable that convictions for sexual violence are at a record low.

Tens of thousands of women report crimes to the police each year which are motivated by misogyny, but they are not recorded as such.

Plan International estimate that 66% of girls and young women have been sexually harassed in public.

As the laws stand, women are unprotected by the failure to classify misogyny as a hate crime.

It is time this Conservative government show they are taking violence against women and girls seriously.

I am introducing a Bill that would make misogyny a hate crime so that those who have subjected to this gendered violence and harassment can have confidence that the system will give them the support and justice they need:

Hate Crime (Misogyny)

Bill to make motivation by misogyny an aggravating factor in criminal sentencing; to require police forces to record hate crimes motivated by misogyny; and for connected purposes.

By making misogyny a hate crime, we could understand how misogyny influences crime in requiring police forces across the UK to keep a record. And where the motivation of misogyny is provable, crimes could be prosecuted more severely.

In 2020, misogyny should not be tolerated by anyone. It is time for a culture change.

This legislation would not only give our police the tools to make our streets safer for women, but send a strong message that everyday sexism must and can be stamped out.

Recognising misogyny as a hate crime would help give survivors reassurance that the police are taking the issue seriously.

In 2020, misogyny should not be tolerated by anyone. It is time for a culture change.