Misogyny may become a hate crime in England and Wales

from the Guardian:

Police forces across England and Wales are considering expanding their definition of hate crime to include misogyny after an experiment in one city that saw more than 20 investigations launched in two months.

The initial success of Nottingham’s crackdown against sexist abuse has drawn national interest after the city’s police revealed that they investigated a case of misogyny every three days during July and August, the first months to see specially trained officers targeting behaviour ranging from street harassment to unwanted physical approaches.

Several other forces have confirmed they are sending representatives to Nottingham this month to discuss the introduction of misogyny as a hate crime.

Police and campaigners said the initial figures were broadly in line with other categories of hate crime such as Islamophobia and antisemitism but were likely to rise significantly as awareness increased.

They are not thinking of banning ‘wolf whistles’.  Rather, the crimes involve physical contact or very aggressive bullying.

3 thoughts on “Misogyny may become a hate crime in England and Wales

  1. I applaud the move, but I think the article is misleading: as far as I can tell, it seems that what the police are actually doing is introducing a classification of “misogynistic hate crime”, encompassing a variety of things that are already criminal (such as assault), for investigative purposes. They are not making things illegal that were previously legal. Which is as it should be, since we definitely do not want to live in a society where police—as opposed to legislatures and courts of law—have the power to decide what is legal and what is illegal.

  2. Anon grad student, I agree with the proviso that with the new classification actions may look different. E.g., “teasing” that is actually terrifying may now be seen as criminal.
    Another thing that may happen is that there is more recognition of the truth in what many women have said for years about street harassment.

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