Recording aggressive misogynist behaviour as a hate crime encourages women to report such acts to police, several British counties have found.

Though women are as likely to be targeted for their gender as others might be for their religion, race or disability, Britain’s list of “protected” identity traits—the attacking of which constitutes a hate crime—does not include gender.

In 2016, Nottinghamshire’s police force decided to internally categorise crimes against women as hate crimes, Foreign Policy reports. In two years, 174 women reported misogynistic hate crimes to Nottingham police.

Over 9 in 10 locals acknowledged that behaviours like catcalling and being followed home or photographed were “a particular problem for women.”

Three more UK counties have followed suit, saying this increased women’s trust in police and helped forces better grasp local crime trends.

Advocacy groups, academics and lawmakers want “gender-based hostility” legally recognised as a hate crime throughout Britain.

But National Police Chief chairwoman Sara Thornton said officers have neither the resources nor time to register misogyny complaints and must focus on “core policing”, including robbery.

Could empowering law enforcement to specifically prosecute violence against women—however “everyday”—detract from more pressing issues?

How should we prioritise gender-based crime within our social ills?

   

Credit for this article's header image goes to Getty.