Recording misogyny as a hate crime
"Misogyny as a hate crime" is defined as incidents that are motivated by the attitude of men towards women and includes behaviour targeted at women by men simply because they are women. Examples of this may include unwanted or uninvited sexual advances; physical or verbal assault; unwanted or uninvited physical or verbal contact or engagement; sexually graphic and explicit obscene language and use of mobile devices to send unwanted or uninvited messages or take photographs without consent. Sex and gender based hate crime is any crime or incident reported to the police which is believed to be motivated by hatred of someone due to their sex or gender. This applies to women and men.
Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer of Devon and Cornwall Police has announced his force's intention to pursue a pilot project with a view to making misogyny a recordable hate crime. This is an important step forward for women and girls in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and one that the Women's Centre Cornwall has been pressing for for some time.
"Hate crime is a serious matter and one that continues to be a priority for Devon & Cornwall Police. Gender and sexist hate crime (misogyny and misandry) cause great distress to victims and we recognise that the trauma for victims can be life changing. We will also be recording hate incidents; those incidents which are not crimes under the law but which are motivated by hate and can cause great distress to victims."
We are pleased to have launched the new approach to sexist hate crimes with Devon & Cornwall Police and our sister rape crisis centre at Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre - the police want to know if you experience a sexist hate crime (at school, college, university, work, out socialising, on the street, on line etc.) so they can understand how much of a problem it is and improve their response. (you can report anonymously through any of the centres)
The Women's Centre Cornwall, together with Devon Rape Crisis & Sexual Abuse Services, will be reporting centres in this pilot study and will work in partnership with Devon & Cornwall Police to achieve the following outcomes:
- raise awareness of the seriousness of these incidents and encourage women to report them;
- better support affected women and girls;
- raise pubic and professional awareness and understanding of the nature and frequency of misogynistic incidents affecting women in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, including street harassment, sexual assault and unwanted sexual advances, cyber harassment and verbal and physical assault;
- increase public confidence in Devon and Cornwall Police and other agencies to effectively progress reported incidents;
- gather better intelligence to disrupt activities/perpetrators and prevent such incidents.
The long-term aim is to nudge people towards a culture shift and to re-frame these behaviours as socially undesirable.
Please share this, the more we speak up the more people we can help.
You can ring 101 to report to the police or ring 01208 76466 to report anonymously through The Women's Centre Cornwall.
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