The National Police Chiefs' Council chairwoman, Sara Thornton, has said that police forces are too stretched to take on 'desirable and deserving' issues, such as tackling misogynistic hate crime.
Commenting, Danielle Spencer — an advisor on violence against women and girls at ActionAid UK — said:
"Misogynistic hate crime isn’t trivial. Violence against women and girls starts with deep-rooted misogynistic attitudes – and that’s why tackling the problem as a whole is so vital. We live in a world where 1 in 3 women will face physical or sexual violence in their lifetime – and yet still, the vast majority of these crimes aren’t reported, because women simply don’t believe the justice system will help them. At ActionAid our research in the UK and other countries has found that nearly two thirds of women who have been sexually harassed did not report it, and half said it ‘would be pointless.' Who can blame women for thinking this, given the state of debate in the UK alone?
"If we seriously want to tackle violence against women and girls in our society, we need to stop giving women the message that the abuse they face daily is not important. We urgently need a unified, properly resourced approach to tackling violence against women and girls."
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Notes to editors
1. ActionAid works with women and girls living in poverty. Our dedicated local staff are helping end violence against women and girls and changing lives, for good. We won’t stop until women and girls are out of danger, out of poverty and on track to create the future they want.
2. More information about ActionAid UK’s research on harassment can be seen here.