Former UK Victims Commissioner and Conservative Lawmaker Helen Newlove is leading an effort to make misogyny a hate crime despite opposition from Britain’s Tory Prime Minister.
Newlove is pushing to include sex and gender identity in hate crime categories alongside identifiers such as religion, sexual orientation and disabilities. Specifically, it would give judges the ability to impose harsher sentences on those convicted of crimes motivated by hostility towards women, according to The Guardian.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made statements indicating that he does not support Newlove’s efforts.
“I think, to be perfectly frank, if you just widen the scope of what you’re asking the police, you’ll only increase the problem,” Johnson said when asked if he thought the misogyny should be a hate crime, The Guardian reported.
“I was appalled by that. Because at the end of the day we have to fully understand how women feel,” Newlove said of Johnson’s remarks, according to The Guardian.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab also expressed his lack of support for the decision. Raab received criticism last week after saying that “misogyny is absolutely false, whether it is a man against a woman or a woman against a man” in an interview with the BBC on the subject.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab MP was asked about # BBCBBreakfast if he believed that misogyny should be treated as a hate crime.
He said that “misogyny is absolutely false, whether it is a man against a woman or a woman against a man” https://t.co/RIWo6f2kXN pic.twitter.com/8RGrwhlnnF
– BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) October 6, 2021
“If the rhetoric is, we’re going to have an investigation for Sarah Everard, for the Prime Minister to sack [making misogyny a hate crime] isn’t really understanding what happened to her, “Newlove added, referring to the woman murdered by a police officer earlier this year.
“I am disappointed and I hope the government will start to listen,” she added.
In the wake of Everard’s murder in March, Johnson announced his support for an “experimental” measure to force police forces to collect data on crimes committed as a result of hostility against women, according to the Government. Guardian.
Everard’s death sparked a wave of protests and demands for police reform. Former officer Wayne Couzens kidnapped and raped Everard as she returned to a friend’s house in March. Couzens pleaded guilty to her murder in July and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole last month.