Moves to Protect Women From Misogyny as at Hate Crime
Misogyny is a distorted hatred of and discrimination against women and can come in many different forms. These can include social exclusion, condescending behaviour, belittling and ultimately can result in violence.
This month, a new report from the Law Commission, has stated that women should be protected from misogyny under expanded hate crime laws in the same way as other discrimination when it is the motivation for a crime.
According to the BBC News website, “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. The Commission plans to make its official recommendations to the government in 2021.”
What is misogyny?
Misogyny is the dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women. In many instances, it stems from a hatred towards women.
Synonyms of the word misogyny include woman-hater, anti-feminist, male chauvinist, male supremacist, chauvinist and sexist. Misogynists are often referred to informally as male chauvinist pigs; they tend to harbour prejudice against women and this can manifest itself in many ways. They may discriminate against women, belittle them in conversation, seek to control their behaviour, objectify them, or be violent towards them.
Support for Change
Campaigners have welcomed the proposal, including Labour MP Stella Creasy, who called it “our moment for change”.
In the same BBC report, the commissioner for criminal law, Professor Penney Lewis, said: “Hate crime has no place in our society and we have seen the terrible impact that it can have on victims. Our proposals will ensure all protected characteristics are treated in the same way, and that women enjoy hate crime protection for the first time.” Read more here
Along with Women’s Aid, at Calan DVS, we welcome this review by the Law Commission as we have direct, first-hand experience of supporting victims of misogynistic hate crimes which have turned to violence and physical as well as mental abuse.
We believe that a sexist attitude by men and a lack of equality for women can lead to a number of hate crimes including harassment, domestic abuse, sexual violence.
We anticipate that the Law Commission’s proposals will make it clear that misogyny and related actions are not acceptable in today’s society. Most importantly, we need to make perpetrators understand that women will be supported and protected if they are victims of any form of abuse.
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