In a world first, new legislation has just been passed in Nottinghamshire, England, which means that wolf-whistling, cat-calling, or any kind of street harassment towards women is now illegal and will be investigated by police.
This new law, which has been implemented this week by Nottinghamshire police, was initiated in response to the high level of crimes against women in the UK. It is hoped that the new laws will diminish sexist behaviour and promote a healthier relationship towards women.
According to officials, misogynistic crimes are described as “incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman, and includes behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman.” Misogynistic crimes will fall under the hate crime categories, which are identified as an act “perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hatred.”
If you are a woman, then chances are that you have experienced some kind of sexual harassment at some stage in your life, whether you’re aware of it or not. Although the action may seem relatively harmless at the time – a wolf-whistle walking down the street from the builders or an indecent stare in an elevator – it’s how the action makes women feel that is deemed criminal.
Only this week did Dubliner Stacy Grouden post online about her traumatic experience in a popular city centre late-night pizza-parlour:
Grouden, who was on her own in the pizzeria while friends waited outside, claims that the incident would not have happened had she not been alone; which further highlights the need to reduce misogynistic behaviour and promote female safety. Do you think it’s time that Ireland followed suit with the UK and introduce laws to protect women?