Gender may be the biggest cause of hate crime against women, new data shows

 mashable.com  1/14/2019 2:51:25 PM  2  Rachel Thompson

Gender may have been the motivation for over half the hate crimes reported by women in 2018, a new data analysis has revealed.

Despite the prevalence of this category of hate crime, crimes motivated by gender are "currently not recorded" or acted on as hate crimes by most police forces, per The Fawcett Society, a British gender equality organisation. 

Figures from the Crime Survey of England and Wales show that there were 67,000 reports of hate crime "based on gender" last year — of which 57,000 were "targeted at women." Respondents to the survey were asked "whether the incident was motivated by the offender’s attitude towards their sex".

The UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) defines the term "hate crime" as a "range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim's disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity." This criminal behaviour can include harassment, assault, intimidation, verbal abuse, threats, property damage, and bullying, per the CPS.

Gender was perceived to be the motivation for more than half of hate crimes reported by women last year, while age — which is also not recognised by police as a hate crime motivation — accounted for 41,000 incidents. Race was the third most common motivation, with 16,000 reported incidents. The data also showed that people aged between 16 and 44 were the most common targets of gender-motivated hate crimes. 

In light of the data findings, campaigners have written to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick and National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) Chair Sara Thornton entreating them to support making misogyny a hate crime.

In November 2018, Dick echoed Thorton's assertion that police should not have to tackle reports of misogyny and that it shouldn't be considered a criminal offence, and said police should be focusing on "core policing." 

"Women have not had the confidence to report men’s violence and harassment to the police for fear of not being believed or taken seriously."

Katie Ghose, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said that the official recognition of misogyny as a hate crime would give survivors "greater confidence that our criminal justice system will treat all forms of violence against women and girls more seriously."

"For far too long, women have not had the confidence to report men’s violence and harassment to the police for fear of not being believed or taken seriously," Ghose said in a statement emailed to Mashable.

"The forces that have taken a proactive approach to tackling the rife sexism and misogyny in our society have not seen an influx in reports of 'wolf-whistling', but rather serious reports of harassment and assault that would have otherwise passed unnoticed," she continued. 

Ghose added that the organisation is joining the call for police chiefs to support making misogyny a hate crime so that forces are equipped with ample resources to effectively police "all forms of violence against women."

Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said that the data should serve as a "wake-up call" to everyone, but that the findings are "just the tip of the iceberg." 

"Women are routinely targeted with abuse and threats online and in our streets," said Smethers. "We know that black women, Muslim women, and Jewish women are particularly affected. The way we tackle hate crime must reflect that.

"We have to recognise how serious misogyny is," she continued. "It is at the root of violence against women and girls. Yet it is so common that we don’t see it. Instead it is dismissed and trivialised. By naming it as a hate crime we will take that vital first step."

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f90205%2f38eaed14 9ed2 4e06 962e 207168269c5f

« Go back