Our campaign to make misogyny a hate crime started in 2014 when our Nottingham Citizens alliance of community organisations conducted a large study on experiences of hate crime in the city. This culminated in a report which recommended that more be done to tackle hate crime generally, and misogyny in particular.
As a result, in 2016 Nottinghamshire Police became the first police in the country to allow women and girls to report cases of misogyny, offer support to victims and investigate perpetrators.
Why it matters
Classifying misogyny as a hate crime means that hateful attitudes to women in our society are being challenged and that women can walk taller on our streets, knowing that they are taken seriously. It also allows police forces to intervene and thus prevent more serious cases of violence from taking place later down the line.
A few police forces have voluntarily followed in Nottinghamshire’s steps, such as Avon and Somerset Police. But much more needs to be done. There are over 30 more police forces that don't treat misogyny as a hate crime and studies show that an overwhelming majority of young women (85%) and nearly half (45%) of all women have been sexually harassed in public places. Yet, only one in ten receives help after these incidents.
Nottingham Women's Centre pioneered this work and working with Nottingham Citizens secured this commitment from the Police Commission at a Citizens Assembly in 2016, after many months of community organising work and powerful public testimony from people affected by hate.
Now the city is reaping the benefits. In 2018 a study commissioned by Nottingham Trent and University of Nottingham showed there is clear support for the policy from men and women in the general public, as well as victims who have reported. The overall recommendations call for the policy to be rolled out nationally alongside publicity to increase reporting and education to help change behaviours.
We think every community should have safer streets and recourse to justice for women facing hate and harrassment.
How you can get involved
Write to your MP:
Ask your MP if they will back the campaign to make misogyny a hate crime - as we will need support from politicians as well as the police to make this happen.
Law Commission hearings:
We held a series of evidence hearings with the Law Commission in Newcastle, Birmingham, London, Cardiff and Manchester.
These hearings formed a powerful evidence base on why Hate Crime Law needs updating to better protect many different identity groups.
We will also use it to put forward a strong case for better protections for women from harassment and abuse - via misogyny being classified as a hate crime.
A report will be published in 2020. For more information on how to get involved. Contact: Charlotte.Fischer@citizensuk.org