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Police: Wolf-Whistling Is Now A Hate Crime

Police in Nottinghamshire, England, have recently recognized misogyny as a hate crime category, which includes wolf-whistling.

According to The Telegraph, a police force spokeswoman said the new policy also means that a hate crime may not be an actual criminal offense:

Nottinghamshire Police has been working hard to understand exactly what hate crime means to the people of Nottinghamshire and has a clear definition.

A hate crime is simply any incident, which may or may not be deemed as a criminal offense, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hatred.

Unwanted physical or verbal contact or engagement is defined as exactly that and so can cover wolf-whistling and other similar types of contact.

If the victim feels that this has happened because they are a woman then we will record it as a hate crime. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a criminal offense has been committed, but means we will carry out risk assessments and offer support as we would to any victim of a hate crime.

The police department worked with the Nottingham Women's Center to officially recognize misogyny hate crimes, which are described as "incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman, and includes behavior targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman," notes ITV News.

Some of the incidents listed under the new policy are: "unwanted or uninvited sexual advances, physical or verbal assault, unwanted or uninvited physical or verbal contact or engagement, use of mobile phones to send unwanted or uninvited messages or take photographs without consent."

Nottinghamshire Chief Constable Sue Fish said:

I'm delighted that we are leading the way towards tackling misogyny in all its forms. It's a very important aspect of the overall hate crime work being conducted and one that will make Nottinghamshire a safer place for all women.

The work we are doing with Nottingham Women's Center is so valuable and I am looking forward to continuing that work. What women face, often on a daily basis, is absolutely unacceptable and can be extremely distressing.

Sources: ITV News, The Telegraph / Photo credit: streetguy/Wikimedia Commons

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