The government have missed a huge opportunity to ‘level up’ protections for women, and sent completely the wrong signal to society, after MPs voted against an amendment to the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill which would have seen misogyny classed as a hate crime and treated as seriously as crimes motivated by racial or religious hatred.
The amendment which passed in the House of Lords last week, has now been struck out of the Bill, significantly weakening its powers and giving a green light for anyone with ingrained hatred towards women to carry on, safe in the knowledge that they will not be prosecuted.
The vote comes days after a man pleaded guilty to the murder of Sabina Nessa and just days before the anniversary of the murder of Sarah Everard.
Caroline Voaden, Chief Executive of Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services said,
“Sadly it comes as no surprise that the government has yet again spurned the opportunity to protect women from everyday hate and abuse.”
“Whilst it is heartening that Police Chiefs representing six different forces have spoken out against the government to say that legally recognising misogyny as a hate crime would significantly help combat violence against women and girls, fewer than half of the UK’s police forces currently record cases of misogyny.”
“With government ministers from the Prime Minister downwards actively turning a blind eye to hatred for women in society, this toxic attitude, exhibited by some, is likely to continue unabated.”
The Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill will now return to the House of Lords.