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North Yorkshire police: misogyny is a hate crime


North Yorkshire Police, recognise misogyny, hate crime, support victimsNorth Yorkshire Police now recognise misogyny as a hate crime.

Research completed last year on behalf of Action Aid regarding women experiencing harassment in UK cities made stark reading.

The report stated that three quarters of UK women had experienced some form of violence or harassment in cities, with three in seven feeling at risk on city streets and a third feeling at risk when travelling on public transport.

This misogyny is being recognised by North Yorkshire Police as a hate crime as of 10 May 2017.

Although the police already have laws in place to arrest and prosecute perpetrators of harassment or assault, including misogyny as a characteristic of hate crime gives women a clear message that this type of behaviour is not to be dismissed or trivialised.

It gives a clear message to women that they can take confidence in the fact that they will be listened to and taken seriously by the police and that support and advice is available to them.

And makes clear that there is something they can do to take back control and there are steps that can be taken to stop this from happening again to them, or to anyone else.

To help make clear what misogyny hate crime is, North Yorkshire Police worked alongside a group of women from York St John University and made a short film which captures them talking about their personal experiences of misogynistic behaviour, how it made them feel and their reaction to the fact that is behaviour is to be recognised and recorded by police.

The women who appear in the film are representative of all the women North Yorkshire Police spoke to,  and their experiences are proof that this behaviour is something that every woman has experienced and been affected by at some point in their lives.

The misogynistic behaviour of some men has made these women feel vulnerable and intimidated when going about their daily lives, just walking to work or going shopping.

All of these incidents were completely unwanted and uninvited and resulted in the women changing their daily behaviour; re-planning their routes to work, questioning themselves about what they wear and taking steps to not to be victimised again, when it was never their fault in the first place.

Nottinghamshire Police announced in July 2016 that they were to recognise misogyny as a hate crime – the first police force in the UK to do so.

And North Yorkshire Police’s Deputy Chief Constable, Lisa Winward, said: ‘Hate in all its forms is wrong and I’m proud that North Yorkshire Police has become the second force in the UK to recognise misogyny as a hate crime.

‘We will take all the necessary steps to protect our communities and ensure the women and girls of our region feel safe to go about their daily business, without fear of being targeted simply because of their gender.

‘I encourage all victims of all types of hate crime to come forward and report it, either to the police on 101 or to Stop Hate UK on 0800 138 1625. You will be listened to and supported.’

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