Press Release

4 February 2022

Refuge launches celebrity video calling for misogyny to be made a hate crime.

Refuge launches celebrity video calling for misogyny to be made a hate crime.

Famous faces including Olivia Colman, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Bronagh Waugh have united to call on the government to add misogyny to existing hate crime laws.

The new video, launched by Refuge, the country’s largest single provider of specialist domestic abuse services, backs proposals to include misogyny (the hatred of, or contempt for, women) as a hate crime in an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. This would mean that the motivation for a crime based on sex or gender is considered during prosecution and sentencing in the same way that homophobic or racist motivation is taken into account.

The ‘Newlove Amendment’ tabled by Conservative Peer Baroness Newlove has the potential to transform how crimes against women and girls are dealt with, and already has the support of the House of Lords and will soon be debated and voted upon in the House of Commons. Refuge is urging its supporters to contact their MP and urge them to support the amendment.

The video released today highlights the way in which women are expected to change their behaviour and the everyday activities which women have to think about in a way that men don’t. The Independent Office for Police Conduct report this week has drawn into sharp focus the sheer scale of misogyny and the very urgent need to address it – within the Metropolitan Police but also within our wider society.

Misogyny is at the root of so much violence against women. It’s only by acknowledging and addressing it head on that we can start to build a world where women can be safe.

Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO said

‘So much violence against women and girls, including domestic abuse, is ultimately driven by misogyny.

This week we’ve seen some truly horrific examples of misogyny in the police – who are supposed to be there to protect women and girls. Acceptance of systemic misogyny is why ‘locker room banter’ that tries to make jokes about domestic abuse has been tolerated for years within the Met Police force and in society more generally. It is why crimes against women are not treated as the serious crimes that they are – as reflected in woefully low prosecution rates and weak sentencing. Is it any surprise trust in law enforcement is so low?

Refuge is grateful to everyone who has lent their time to this video, and we hope the government will listen to our very simple call – to add misogyny to the existing hate crime laws. This will not only give women and girls the same protections we give others who are targeted solely because of who they are, but will help identify trends, enable tougher sentences and help women feel more confident coming forward to report’.

If tougher measures are taken to stamp out misogyny, women and girls will feel more empowered to report crimes committed against them for simply being a woman. Recognising misogyny as a hate crime has the power to reshape women’s lives, and our society, for the better.


About Refuge:

Refuge supports thousands of women and children on any given day, and runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which is the gateway to accessing specialist support across the country. More than one in four women in England and Wales experiences domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime, and two women a week are killed by a current or former partner.

Please signpost to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for free, confidential specialist support. Or visit to fill in a webform and request a safe time to be contacted or to access live chat (live chat available 3pm-10pm, Monday to Friday). For support with tech abuse visit