Calls to make misogyny a hate crime

A Sheffield MP and campaigners have called for misogyny to be made a hate crime.

Friday, 2nd August 2019, 10:43 am
Updated Monday, 5th August 2019, 4:20 pm
Paul Blomfield, MP, Christine Rose, Know The Line Chair and Marilyn Gegory, Chair of VIDA Sheffield, pictured at Netherthorpe Road Tram Stop.

Across the country, 64 per cent of women and girls have experienced sexual harassment in public, with the figure standing at 85 per cent for women aged 18-24 years old, according to government figures.

It has already been piloted in Nottingham where police have so far seen the problem is ‘highly prevelant’, which ‘shocked’ university researchers but has also led to a change in attitudes.

Christine Rose, of Know the Line, has been campaigning to raise awareness of sexual harassment in South Yorkshire for three years.

She said making it a hate crime would help increase the number of incidents reported to police.

“One of the reasons why it’s hard to report it is because it’s very difficult for the police to take action and misogyny isn’t actually a crime at the moment.

“We are working with South Yorkshire Police to try and get it classed as a hate crime and they are very open to this. We work with the police a lot and they do say to report serious incidents but a lot of it goes hidden.

“Women talk about it a lot amongst themselves, there’s the hashtag Me Too where people have started to report these incidents but I think it is very widely under reported.

Misogyny hate crime is defined as ‘incidents against women that are motivated by the attitude of men towards women and includes behaviour targeted at women by men simply because they are women’.

Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, said he believed Sheffield could see the law brought to the city some point in the future.

“We need to seriously consider misogyny as a hate crime,” he said.

“Making misogyny a hate crime is one of the tools authorities could have available to deal with the issue but the real way to tackle it will be changing behaviours, making boys and men aware of what it’s like to be on the other side of that and know that it is unacceptable.”

Misogyny hate crime is defined as ‘incidents against women that are motivated by the attitude of men towards women and includes behaviour targeted at women by men simply because they are women’.

They include upskirting, catcalling, groping, taking unwanted photographs, online abuse and being followed home.

A report was put together by both the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University which recommended rolling the new policy out nationally to increase reporting and publicity of incidents.