Over the next week we will be publishing information about all of our Write to End Violence Against Women award winners. You can find the full list here or read Annie McLaughlin’s article for the Sunday Herald here.
Libby Brooks reported on Nottinghamshire police force’s pioneering policy to recognise misogyny as a hate crime and a call by Maria Miller, women and equalities committee chair, for the approach to be adopted nationwide.
In her winning article, Libby wrote of responses some women have received when reporting street harassment. Read the full article ‘Sexist hate crimes given second-class status, says senior Tory MP’ on the Guardian.
“One Londoner described how a 999 call handler insisted that she return to the road where a man had followed her, threatening to rape and murder her, to confirm the spelling of the street name.
Another respondent from the east Midlands, after reporting that a man had followed her from a train station when she was eight and a half months pregnant, then grabbed and squeezed her bottom “so aggressively that I could feel his fingers dig in between my buttocks”, was asked by an officer: “Are you sure he didn’t do it by accident?” A student who managed to run away from a man who had grabbed her and told her “I’m going to rape you” was advised by police to get a taxi in future when returning home late at night.”
The awards panel commended the “good use of statistics and first hand experiences…to sell a compelling case for why we need misogynistic acts recognised as hate crime.”
Libby Brooks said of her win: “I think that the media is gradually becoming more aware of its responsibilities in terms of reporting of violence against women, but some outlets in particular have a long way to go. It’s easy to feel fairly powerless in the face of huge media organisations but groups like Zero Tolerance and Women 50:50 have been great at galvanising women to call out bad practice where they find it.”
Photo credit: Vaida V. Nairn