North Yorkshire has become the second county to officially recognise ‘misogynistic’ behavior as a hate crime.
Following the lead set by Nottinghamshire last year, England’s largest county has declared that a range of actions directed towards woman and girls by some men and boys will fall within this new category of offence. In addition to clear physical or sexual assault, ‘misogyny’ will also include:
*Abusive or sexually explicit language.
*The use of mobile phones to send unwanted messages or take unwanted pictures.
*Unwanted physical contact.
*Unwanted verbal contact (i.e. being spoken to).
*Unwanted sexual advances.
North Yorkshire Police worked alongside York St John University on the new category of offence, producing a short film in which women discuss discuss their experiences of ‘misogynistic’ behaviour:
Deputy Chief Constable Lisa Winward explained:
“Hate in all its forms is wrong and North Yorkshire Police 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 they are a woman. I encourage all victims of all types of hate crime to come forward and report it.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan added:
“I do understand that some people may think this is an example of ‘political correctness gone mad’. However, I’d ask them to pause and think about the impact on the people bearing the brunt of such behaviour. It can’t be right that women and girls feel they have to change the way they dress, the routes that they walk and other day-to-day tasks that should be carried out without fear, worry or intimidation.”
Commenters have suggested that the new category of offence is likely to lead to few if any real world arrests but will instead be used to compile statistics on the reported prevalence of these behaviours.