September 23, 2020

Misogyny: Women ‘should be protected’ under hate crime laws

By Jennifer Scott

The independent body that advises government said misogyny should be treated in the same way as other discrimination when it is the motivation for a crime.

Campaigners welcomed the proposal, including Labour MP Stella Creasy, who called it “our moment for change”.

The Home Office said it was “committed to stamping out hate crime”.

Seven police forces in England and Wales class misogyny as a hate crime, but this definition has not been adopted across the board.

When a crime is carried out against someone – such as assault, harassment or criminal damage – because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity, it is considered a hate crime and treated more seriously by the courts.

But campaigners have criticised the complex nature of the existing laws, and called for sex and gender to be added to the list.

The Law Commission has carried out a review into the legislation and is putting several recommendations into a consultation.

It said the “vast majority of evidence” suggested crimes were linked to misogyny.

The commission plans to make its official recommendations to the government in 2021.

The Home Office said it asked the commission to “explore how to make current legislation more effective, and if there should be additional protective characteristics” – and it will “respond to the review in full when it is complete”.