We’re pleased to say that there has been overwhelming public support for the Misogyny Hate Crime Policy, indicating a cultural shift away from downplaying experiences.
The biggest impact from the policy has been on individual women’s confidence as they move around Nottinghamshire. This policy gives women the reassurance that reporting will be taken seriously by the police, and it means women no longer have to risk their own safety when challenging behaviour.
A survey made after the categorisation by Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham showed that of those who reported misogyny hate crimes, 75% said they had a positive experience with the police.
Since the Nottinghamshire pilot scheme began, support for the policy has grown across the country. In September 2020, The Law Commission released its consultation on hate crime with the added reform to protect women nationally against misogyny for the first time.
In January 2022, peers in the House of Lords voted in favour of making misogyny a hate crime nationally, but in February 2022 the government rejected these demands.
The national campaign to make misogyny a hate crime is being driven by Stella Creasy (MP for Walthamstow), and Citizens UK.
Still a long way to go
It is key that in times of austerity, Nottinghamshire’s police force continues to be supportive of hate crime incidents. But while so many of us morally disagree with misogyny, focus groups have shown that harassment of women and girls in public spheres remain endemic, with 9/10 respondents in one survey having either experienced or witnessed street harassment.
In Nottingham, many people remain unaware that misogyny is a hate crime which leads to significant underreporting. In a survey conducted by Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham, only 6.6% of victims surveyed reported incidents of misogyny to the police. It is essential therefore that organisations continue to raise awareness of the Misogyny Hate Crime policy with a focus on:
- De-normalising hate crime
- Increasing awareness and knowledge of the policy
- Increasing understanding around the term misogyny
- Continuing positive narratives from police to build confidence in the community