Press Release

21 February 2022

Refuge responds to Home Secretary view that misogyny will not be made a hate crime

Responding to the Home Secretary’s comments Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO said:

‘This is a disappointing but also deeply problematic position for the Home Office to take, and Refuge urges the Home Secretary, in the strongest possible terms, to reconsider. Crimes committed against women that are driven by misogyny, must be acknowledged as being hate crimes. In the same way that crimes motivated by racism, disablism, religious discrimination, homophobia or transphobia are.

The proposition here is not for a new law to be created. This is a very simple and straightforward step; to extend existing hate crime legislation to cover offences motivated by hostility to the victim’s sex or gender. The Home Secretary has spoken repeatedly about her commitment to tackling violence against women and girls, so we are deeply disappointed that she does not consider crimes such as street and online harassment serious enough to be acknowledged as hate crimes.

Over 9,000 Refuge supporters have written to their MPs urging them to support this amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which would ensure crimes driven by misogyny are recorded by the police as hate crimes. This will increase public awareness, improve survivors’ confidence in reporting, and enhance the police response to violence against women by illustrating the prevalence and geographical breakdown of these crimes across the country. We hope that MPs will vote in favour of this amendment when it comes before the House of Commons next week, and we urge the Home Secretary to listen, reverse her position and show real leadership in tackling Violence Against Women as Girls. Never has it been more important.’


The Home Secretary’s comments can be read here.


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