Thank you for contacting me about making misogyny a hate crime.

I am really pleased that Baroness Newlove’s amendment was successfully voted for in the House of Lords. I fully support action on misogyny, and I wholeheartedly support this amendment. The Government must not overturn it when it gets to the House of Commons.

We know that misogyny sits behind much harassment and intimidating behaviour that unfortunately, many women experience as a reality every day in our communities. It fuels behaviour that far too often escalates into serious offences and harm to women and girls. The amendment tabled by Baroness Newlove aims to tackle this. It sets out to update the existing law on hate crime by requiring police forces to record data on crimes motivated by hostility towards the victim’s sex or gender. It also requires the court to take into account this hostility as an aggravating factor when deciding the seriousness of cases which are not sexual or domestic offences.

As you will be aware, the campaign to recognise misogyny as an aggravating factor in the same way that we recognise hostility against a person due to disability, race or other characteristics has been running for years. I believe that now is the time to close the gap in our law and to state clearly that we do not accept the status quo and that things must change. There is much support for this reform and the Government should take this opportunity to rectify the law on this.

Even though we have come a long way, progress towards meaningful change for women is too slow. That is why I would also like to see a toughening of existing sentences for perpetrators of rape and stalking, and the creation of new specific offences for street sexual harassment.

Let me assure you that I will continue to support efforts to ensure good intentions are backed up by effective action and real accountability.

Thank you once again for contacting me about this important issue.

Black and white photo of women holding a sign reading
Black and white photo of women holding a sign reading 'Women's Rights Are Human Rights'
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