Pin It
‘10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman’, Hollabackvia YouTube

Misogyny is now officially a hate crime in the UK

In Nottinghamshire, all instances of catcalling, wolf-whistling and street harassment will be investigated by police

Uninvited sexual advances and street harassment towards women – including catcalling and wolf-whistling – will now officially be recorded as hate crimes in the UK.

The move, which was introduced by Nottinghamshire police this week, is an attempt to cut down on sexist abuse within the county. Now, according to new police policy, all instances of “misogynistic abuse” will be included in the force’s category list of hate crimes. This basically means that all incidents where men target women – whether it’s with unwanted verbal contact or aggy chat-up attempts – can now technically be reported and investigated by police.

In the official guidelines, misogynistic crimes are described as “incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman, and includes behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman”. They will fall under the hate crime umbrella, which is apparently an act “perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hatred”.

At this stage, Nottinghamshire police are the first force in the country to implement these new rules. 

“I’m delighted that we are leading the way towards tackling misogyny in all its forms,” Police Chief Constable Sue Fish told The Guardian. “It’s a very important aspect of the overall hate crime work being conducted and one that will make Nottinghamshire a safer place for all women. What women face, often on a daily basis, is absolutely unacceptable and can be extremely distressing.”

Rachel Krys, co-director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, agreed, adding that the policy will have an “enormous” effect on women’s freedom. “It is great that police in Nottingham will be capturing the way a lot of harassment in public spaces is targeted at women and girls,” she stated. “In a recent poll we found that 85% of women aged 18-24 have experienced unwanted sexual attention in public places and 45% have experienced unwanted sexual touching, which can amount to sexual assault.”

“We know that ignoring harassment and sexist bullying creates the impression that other types of violence against women will be tolerated so we welcome any action which counters this.”