Scotland Yard Chief Urges Women To Report Wolf-Whistling To Police
A Scotland Yard chief has urged women who are made to feel ‘uncomfortable’ by wolf-whistling to report such incidents to the police.
Louisa Rolfe, an assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan police, spoke out amid conversations and protests about violence, misogyny and a lack of trust within the UK’s police forces following the death of Sarah Everard earlier this month.
As people express concerns that officers do not offer suitable protections or justice for women, Rolfe acknowledged there is a need to ‘build confidence’ between the two parties.
Rolfe leads the Met’s strategy on violence against women and girls, and told The Times that women should not hesitate to report instances of being made to feel uncomfortable by wolf-whistling, even if the incident in question does not constitute a crime.
Per the MailOnline, she commented:
I would urge them to report to us. We do take them seriously. While every incident might not have a criminal justice outcome, we want to know about patterns of offending.
If you said to somebody about wolf-whistling [that they should] report it to police, they might think that’s strange. But, actually, if anything is making you feel frightened or so uncomfortable and upset that you’re adjusting your daily life to avoid it, then let us know.
Rolfe’s comments come after Labour MP Stella Creasy urged the government to make misogyny a hate crime in an effort to ensure all police forces record the violence and harassment suffered by women.
Creasy told The Independent that introducing such measures would build ‘a picture of abuse, harassment and violence which women face’.
New measures would mean if someone is targeting women, which we know is a longstanding issue, it will be taken into account in the sentencing in court in the same way that it is if someone is being targeted because of the colour of their skin.
In an effort to gain support for her proposition, Creasy urged ‘every woman who has walked with keys in her hands at night, been abused or attacked online or offline to come forward and be heard’.
She noted this is the ‘moment for change’, adding: ‘Rather than telling women not to worry about violence or to stay home at night if they want to be safe, it’s time to send a message that women should be equally able to live free from fear of assault or harm from those who target them simply for who they are.’
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas.
Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on their website or on their free helpline 0808 800 5005, open 9am–5pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 8am–8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10am–2pm Saturdays.
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