Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse MP has criticised the Government for rejecting plans to make misogyny a hate crime. Today, Conservative MPs voted against the law, which had been passed by the House of Lords last month.
Cross-party peers had added a clause to the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to make crimes motivated by hatred of women aggravated offences, so they are treated as seriously as crimes motivated by racial or religious hatred. Liberal Democrat MPs voted to keep the amendment, which now returns to the House of Lords.
The move comes just days after a man pleaded guilty to the murder of Sabina Nessa, weeks after a report exposed misogyny and sexual harassment among police officers in Charing Cross, and just days before the anniversary of Sarah Everard’s murder. All of these incidents are a tragic reminder that violence by men against women is still all too prevalent.
Commenting after the vote, Liberal Democrat Women and Equalities Spokesperson, Wera Hobhouse MP said:
“For too long women and girls have been unsafe on our streets. The Government is now refusing to take the action we need to keep them safe.
“Violence by men against women and girls is far too prevalent in our society, and misogyny is one of the root causes. No woman should be the victim of these awful crimes. And no girl should grow up in fear of them either. By voting against making misogyny a hate crime, the Conservatives are turning a blind eye to the hatred that fuels violence against women and girls.
“There is no excuse for misogyny and refusing to make it a hate crime shows that the Conservative Government does not realise the extent of the problem. The law must make clear that these toxic attitudes are unacceptable.
“Recognising the harm misogyny causes is the first step on a long road to tackling violence against women and girls. Recording these crimes will also give an insight into the link between misogyny and hostility, violence, abuse and harassment to women.
“The Government needs to make misogyny a hate crime, educate our society and create funding to support women and girls who are being so desperately let down in society. It is time that the government stopped with the excuses. Misogyny must be made a hate crime.”