Lancaster to Take Action Against Misogyny Despite Conservative Comments on ‘Wage Category’

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Alcohol spikes and injections by young women in Lancashire clubs, the impact of domestic violence on women and children, and the abuse, attacks and murders of women and girls have dominated locally and nationally the last plenary meeting of Lancaster City Council.

The matters were raised during a debate on a motion calling on city council to write to the Minister of State for Crime and Policing, MP Kit Malthouse, for changes to the law, police and other related matters.

A website and organization called the Femicide Census rank Lancashire 13th in murders of women out of 42 police forces in the UK. It also states that there is evidence of a link between domestic violence and terrorism among some men and “incel” groups of unintentional single men.

The City Council motion said women in Lancaster District and Lancashire as a whole suffer from sexual harassment, domestic violence and death. He called for the law to classify misogyny – mistrust, abuse or hatred of women – as a type of hate crime, similar to hate crimes motivated by other factors such as race, religion, sexuality or other characteristics of the victim.

The motion also looked at policing and prosecution, and called for a return to policing resources to levels seen before the Westminster austerity cuts in 2010.

Advisers spoke of local and national cases, including the rape and murder of London woman Sarah Everard by a Metropolitan Police officer; police officers share ‘selfie’ photographs of the bodies of two murdered sisters at Wembley, and hospital electrician David Fuller who sexually abused bodies in hospital morgues.

In addition, counselors shared personal stories of hardship and abuse that they themselves had experienced or witnessed locally.

The motion was brought forward by labor advisers Jean Parr and Sandra Thornberry. Councilor Parr explained the motion and then added, “As a survivor, I want to make things better for my daughter and everyone else’s daughters.

“I am not a lawyer and do not write legal terminology. But in Lancashire, there is only one shelter available for one in six women in need of shelter from violence or abuse. It’s a tragedy.

“If a similar number of people were killed by terrorism or knife crime, the authorities would move heaven and earth to combat it. But the fact that this is violence against women means it is not happening.

“I am an old woman. I remember the 1970s and Peter Sutcliffe (the Yorkshire Ripper who murdered and attacked women all over the North, including the North West). The women organized Reclaim The Streets protests to protest the dangers they faced at the time. We still do.

Earl Thornberry spoke about the attitudes of police and students that were detrimental to complaints from women. However, progress was being made. Nottingham Police were one of the first forces to classify violence, assault and abuse against women as hate incidents. Seven British forces have now done so and have seen progress in reporting and detection.

Lancashire Police have yet to do so, Councilor Parr said. She had also presented the motion to Lancashire County Council, but it had been amended “to her detriment”. She was working with the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner to get through it as quickly as possible. But progress at the county level has been slow.

At the start of the city council debate, Tory Councilor Richard Austen-Baker, who is also a senior lecturer in law at Lancaster University, said he agreed with the ethics behind the motion but did not support not sending it because Parliament had recently passed a new law on domestic affairs. violence.

He said: “All the prejudices are horrible and should be stopped. However, I am against the adoption of this motion because it is only six months since the parliament adopted the law on domestic abuse. This abolished the old defense of violence occurring as part of consensual sexual conduct, created a choking offense, and also brought other changes, including domestic violence issues. Partnerships against domestic violence also need to be introduced, although I doubt they have had time yet to do so, and the Secretary of State needs to strategize and keep it in review.

“We cannot expect the government to produce new measures when we have just had a brand new act of Parliament. This motion is not timely and is “above our level of pay”. It is up to Lancashire County Council to create a domestic violence partnership or council. “

He added: “All crimes are offenses against the Queen’s Peace. It is not for individuals to decide whether or not crimes should be prosecuted. The Crown Prosecution Service makes the decision based on the likelihood of securing a conviction and the public interest to prosecute.

He said hate crimes are used as a statistical element in recording incidents. A hate crime does not need to be proven to be registered as a hate incident. If someone thinks they have been a victim of a crime because of their transgender status etc., it is recorded as such, he said. If a crime is subsequently proven, sentencing is a separate matter which may consider aggravating factors. But conviction was not dependent on whether or not the incident was recorded as a hate incident, he said.

He said: “This motion, if passed, would see city council send a letter to the secretary of state based on a premise that is not correct, and a freshman law student would know about it. “

He would abstain from voting and urged other councilors to abstain as well.

However, labor adviser Erica Lewis disagreed, saying: “The domestic abuse law has not made misogyny a hate crime, which is at the center of this city council motion. It really bothers me that you think we have to be qualified to have an opinion. There’ll be a lot of women in this room that’s been affected by it.

“It’s not ‘above our pay level.’ We are writing to the government about an issue that affects us. We are providing housing and we have responsibilities for shelters and shelters. For many people. , this will be a problem that will affect them I have been a victim of gender violence so don’t tell me it’s not worth supporting.

“Like you, I have a law degree and, like you, I was accepted to practice as a lawyer. You choose to trivialize it. We are not drafting legislation here. We are elected officials and we express a desire for change.

“The domestic violence law is a red herring in this discussion. It is not too much to ask that misogyny be recognized as a hate crime. It is about expressing concern at the widespread problem of violence against women. If we don’t fight it, how will we know if we are effective? “

Councilor Caroline Jackson supported the motion, saying, “Things seem to have gotten worse in my long life. I remember walking about these things – thinking that there would be greater respect for women and that we would be safer. We can work on the actual wording of this motion. But it is about the need for resources and education so that women do not accept a situation that is so damn bad.

Labor council Phillip Black said men should beware of their unconscious biases against women. He said: “We are much less likely to see women as credible. We show them less respect. The women in this boardroom were told to calm down. Women can be seen as aggressive while their male counterparts are not. We may think that we are OK as individual men. But all women need to feel safe and respected by all men. “

Tory councilor Keith Budden said: “I wasn’t going to speak but I want to appeal to all the women in this boardroom to not be afraid or to see all the men as bad. people or people who will rape or kill. There are good men here who love women.

“It can’t be an offense if a man asks a woman for a date, gets turned down and then asks again. It cannot be considered harassment. I have asked my wife for a date five or six times and our golden wedding will be next year. So please, not all men are ogres. Most of us love women and enjoy their company.

Labor council Oliver Robinson, who represents the college district and is also president of the Lancaster University Students Union, said: to sexual assault.

“When I think of sexual violence, I think of men enjoying a night out. These are live issues and they seem to emerge in a terrible way, spikes are happening here and there are reports of injections in Preston. I urge all men to stand up against gender-based violence.

“It is also important that women have the confidence to report incidents. Many of my friends have been assaulted but don’t feel confident going to the police. Women should know that their reports will be taken seriously.

Morecambe Bay Independents Councilor Roger Dennison said: “I will be supporting this motion, but there are some pretty negative comments about Lancashire Police. However, they are working in this area with other organizations to make sure there is support. Services can be better, but I also note that the county police authority is trying to improve the situation. “

The motion was passed in a vote and will go to the government minister.

Some advisers have urged support for a series of events on the issues that are planned during the 16-day global campaign starting in late November. Activities include a White Ribbon Day.

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