BBC News

Misogyny hate crime statistics revealed

By Jean Mackenzie
Victoria Derbyshire programme

media captionChloe, who has reported a misogynistic crime to the police, was left with "feelings of disgust" after being the subject of a "sexually aggressive" remark

A police force that reclassified wolf-whistling, cat-calling and other misogynistic harassment as hate crimes has handled 30 cases in five months.

And 15 other forces are looking at following Nottinghamshire Police's lead in treating incidents against women in this way, the Victoria Derbyshire programme has learned.

One expert said harassment by men was an "everyday experience" for many.

Harassment on grounds of race, religion and sexuality is already illegal.

Nottinghamshire Police introduced its reclassification of harassment by men against women in July. Its figures, however, cover incidents dating back to April.

The force found that there had been 11 misogynistic "hate crimes" - offences including harassment, kidnapping, possession of weapons and causing public fear, alarm or distress.

There were also 19 "hate incidents" - behaviour also motivated by misogyny but falling short of criminal acts, such as name-calling and offensive jokes.


"We're not saying all men engage in this behaviour, but for some women this has become an everyday experience. A lot of men are not aware of the implications it has on women," said Loretta Trickett, a criminologist at Nottingham Trent University.

"Up until now, women have largely not reported this. Women put up with it because it is trivialised in society. People say it's complimentary to be wolf-whistled.

"I think the new recording will give women reassurance that if they call the police, their incident will be registered and they will do something."

Martha Jephcott, who has trained Nottinghamshire police officers on how to deal with misogyny as a hate crime, said: "Recognising misogyny as a hate crime is important because it acknowledges the world in which women live and the everyday nature of these sorts of incidents."

Fifteen police forces will attend a conference in Nottingham on Wednesday, looking at the possibility of adopting similar schemes, which they hope will increase the reporting of harassment.

Ms Jephcott said: "I want forces across the country to adopt this. I think it's a matter of equality.

"UK-wide, racist and homophobic hate crimes take place and are recognised as such. Women should have that too because, wherever they are, they probably will have experienced this."

Nottinghamshire Police define misogynistic hate crime 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".

The classification means people can report incidents which might not otherwise be considered to be a crime and the police will investigate.

Domestic abuse will not be recorded as a misogyny hate crime because it has its own procedure.

What is hate crime?

A crime that the victim or any other person perceives to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards any aspect of a person's identity.

Police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland annually monitor five strands of hate crime:

  • Disability
  • Gender identity
  • Race, ethnicity or nationality
  • Religion, faith or belief
  • Sexual orientation

Forces can include their own definition of a hate crime with several recently adding sub-cultures.

The Victoria Derbyshire programme is broadcast on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News channel.

Related Topics

  • Nottinghamshire Police
  • Hate crime
  • Misogyny

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