A consultation will establish whether those abusing women because of their gender should have tougher sentences
Misogyny could potentially become a criminal offence in England and Wales in order to protect women, this is according to a new report from the UK’s Law Commission.
The independent body, of which is responsible for the reviewing of the nation’s laws, will be looking into whether those abusing women because of their gender should be issued with tougher sentences.
Currently, the groups and characteristics protected by hate crime laws include race, religion, sexual orientation and disability, as well as transgender identity.
This comes after face masks and other face coverings will become mandatory for bar staff, shop workers and waiters, as well as taxi drivers in an effort to fight the increase in cases of the coronavirus throughout England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced.
The UK Law Commission is now calling for evidence from victims of hate crimes in the country, as well as from police officers, prosecutors and civil liberties groups in the nation, which will then be assessed in order to help establish in which ways misogyny hate crimes laws could be implemented in practice.
Professor Penney Lewis, criminal law commissioner, said:
“Hate crime has no place in our society and we have seen th terrible impact that it can have on victims.”
“Our proposals will ensure all protected characteristics are treated in the same way, and that women enjoy hate crime protection for the first time.”
Labour MP Stella Creasy, who has regularly campaigned for the review of hate crime laws, said: “Misogyny drives crimes against women – recognising that within our criminal justice system will help us detect and prevent offences including sexual assault, rape and domestic abuse.”
“I now urge every woman who has walked with keys in her hands at night, been abused or attacked online or offline to come forward and be heard in this consultation.”
This comes after the UK could soon be seeing 49,000 new cases of COVID-19 every day unless further action is taken in order to drive down the current rate of infection in the country, according to the government’s chief scientific adviser.
Other areas in which the consultation will be reviewing include the levels of online abuse, as well as threats of violence made towards women in view of the public, as well as the effect on their participation within debate and public life.
It will also look at whether or not amending offences where the large majority of victims are women, including crimes such as rape, sexual assault and female genital mutilation, is helpful to implementing hate crime laws, considering they are already gendered offences in nature.
These new proposals on potential misogyny laws are part of a wider consultation into the existing hate crime laws in the UK, which have received criticism for their complexity, as well as the differing degrees of protection offered to those of different characteristics.