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Misogyny will be classed as a hate crime from autumn following pressure from campaigners.
Misogyny is to be classed as a hate crime after pressure from campaigners following the 'murder' of Sarah Everard.

Police forces will be asked to record and identify any crimes of violence motivated by "hostility based on sex or gender".

It will apply to England and Wales from autumn and include stalking and sexual offences.

Home Office minister Baroness Williams said this will be done on an "experimental basis".

She added that it could inform longer-term decisions once the Law Commission's review of hate crime was complete.

Campaigners have welcomed the "game-changing" move after warning of an "epidemic of violence" against women and girls.

Speaking as the Lords considered amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill, Labour's Baroness Kennedy said: "If we are not recording crime targeted at women, how can we effectively address violence against women and girls and the police's response to it?"


The UK's leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women's rights, the Fawcett Society, also applauded the decision.

Chief executive Felicia Willow said: "We are delighted that this Government has accepted that misogyny should be treated as a hate crime.

"Fawcett's campaign showed there was overwhelming public support for this.

"It's essential that women have the confidence to report crimes and that they are taken seriously when they do.

"This is a major step forward in changing how we understand, address and prevent violence against women - and one that we hope will help change attitudes towards women."

Labour MP Stella Creasy, who has been campaigning for change, said recording where crimes are motivated by hatred of women will "help us better understand the scale of the problem" and improve efforts to prevent crimes against them.

And Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who publicly backed the move, said it was a "huge victory for women's rights campaigners".

He described it as a "much-needed step towards a fairer society where abuse and harassment of women and girls will not be tolerated".

An investigation by UN Women UK published last week found that 97 per cent of women aged 18 to 24 have been sexually harassed, with a further 96 per cent not reporting incidents because they didn't think it would change anything.


It follows the alleged kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard, who vanished while walking home from a friend's house in south London on March 3.

Her body had to be identified by dental records after being found in a builder's bag in Kent, it is said.

Serving police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, from Deal, has been charged with her murder.

A vigil in memory of Everard on Clapham Common on Saturday night sparked widespread anger at police after they were photographed pinning women to the ground.

Since then, hundreds have gathered outside Parliament and New Scotland Yard in protest at the Metropolitan Police's tactics.

And the force is facing an independent inquiry over its treatment of mourners a the vigil, while Met Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has said she will not resign, despite calls for her to quit.

Others have hailed the introduction of misogyny as a hate crime as "a major step forward".

Domestic Abuse Commissioner Nicole Jacobs said: "I strongly welcome the Government's plans to ask police forces to collect data on whether violent crimes are committed on the basis of someone's sex or gender.

"This is a vital step forward in helping to ensure that we have a more complete picture of the extensive nature of violence against women and girls.

"I look forward to working with the Government and police forces to make the most of this opportunity, and hope to see the pilot result in a requirement for forces to record this information in the long term."

Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine added: "I am relieved that the Government has recognised the need to act on misogyny and follow the lead already taken on this by some police forces.

"If we are to better protect women and girls in this country, then crimes motivated by hatred towards women and girls must be treated as seriously as racially or religiously motivated hate crimes.

"This is a moment when we are sadly too aware of the dangers. We are all grateful to everyone who has worked to make this possible."