Thank you for contacting me about the sexual harassment of women and girls in public.
I agree that sexual harassment of women and girls, including in public places, is totally unacceptable. No one should be forced to change the way they live to avoid harassment and abuse.
I am glad that action is already being taken in this vitally important area. The Law Commission has recently concluded a wide-ranging review into hate crime. In its final report, the Commission made a number of recommendations to provide greater protection on the basis of sex and gender, including extending the offence of stirring up hatred to cover stirring up hatred on the grounds of sex or gender. It is suggested this would help to tackle the growing threat of extremist misogynist “incel” ideology, and its potential to lead to serious criminal offending.
I am also encouraged that action has been taken to implement some of the Law Commission's findings. Ministers have announced that a consultation will be launched ahead of the summer recess on whether there should be a new offence of public sexual harassment. I am confident that this is the right approach to take to allow all those with an interest to submit their views on the arguments for and against any such measure.
You will be pleased to learn that relationships education is now compulsory for all primary pupils and relationships and sex education compulsory for all secondary school pupils. This ensures that concepts such as healthy relationships, consent and boundaries are taught to children.
There is more to do, and I will be paying close attention to the important work which is underway.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes,
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking