County tackles misogyny

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Leading figures in law enforcement, education and equal rights are getting together to discuss how to make Nottinghamshire a safer place for women to live.

Police and crime commissioner Paddy Tipping has teamed up with Melanie Jeffs of Nottingham Women’s Centre and Nottingham Trent University to host a conference addressing how misogyny can be tackled across the county.

Speakers at the event include Nottinghamshire’s Chief Constable Sue Fish and a host of experts including Laura Bates (founder of the The Everyday Sexism Project) and Sam Smethers (chief executive of The Fawcett Society).

The conference comes hot on the heels of Nottinghamshire police’s move to become the first force in the country to classify misogyny as a hate crime. The aim is to make public spaces safer for women.

“Nottinghamshire is already leading the way by listing hate directed towards women as a specific offence,” Mr Tipping said. “But we now need to expand our work – and seek a wider, national response – by making best use of the wealth of knowledge and expertise that exists in the public, private and voluntary sectors.”

Melanie Jeffs, centre manager at Nottingham Women’s Centre, added: “Too often women experience violence, harassment and intimidation on a daily basis. It isn’t acceptable behaviour, but many victims simply keep silent.

“If we can encourage wider understanding that misogyny is a hate crime I think it will help people to see the seriousness of these incidents and hopefully encourage more reporting of offences.”

Nottinghamshire Police list examples of what could amount to misogynistic hate crime including -

- physical or verbal assault

- unwanted or uninvited physical or verbal contact or engagement

- use of mobile devices to send unwanted or uninvited messages or take photographs without consent or permission.

The ‘Safer for Women’ conference will take place on Wednesday, September 21, between 10am and 2.45pm at Nottingham Trent University.

The conference will also mark the launch of the new public awareness campaign to tackle misogynistic hate crime.