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.
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.
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 reframe these behaviours as socially undesirable.