MPs voted yesterday to reject a proposal that would make misogyny a hate crime. The amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill was proposed by the House of Lords and defeated in the Commons by 314 to 190 votes, prompting criticism from campaigners who say that misogyny is the root cause of violence against women.
There is no specific hate crime law in England and Wales, but judges have enhanced sentencing powers when crimes like harassment and assault can be proven to be motivated by the victim’s race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender entity. These crimes are considered to be hate crimes – and the amendment proposed by the Lords would have added sex and gender to this list.
YouGov polling reveals that seven in 10 Britons (72%) support longer sentences for crimes motivated by hostility or prejudice based on sex and gender, which would have the effect of making misogyny a hate crime (and would likewise also protect men from discrimination based on their sex or gender). This includes four in 10 (40%) who would ‘strongly support’ the move.
Just 14% of Britons would oppose such a proposal, with 14% unsure.
There is higher support for among women for changing the law – three quarters (75%) of women supported the provisions of the failed amendment, compared to two-thirds (68%) of men.
While large majorities of both Conservative and Labour voters would support longer sentences for crimes motivated by sex/gender, Conservative voters are more likely than Labour voters to be opposed, by 20% to just 9%.
See full results here