Recognizing Violence Against Women: Gender and the Hate Crimes Statistics Act

28 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2004

See all articles by Elizabeth Pendo

Elizabeth Pendo

Saint Louis University - School of Law


This article argues that acts of gender-based violence should be recognized under the Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990, and that certain types of violence against women, such as rape, are fundamentally gender-based. Part I examines the existing definition of hate crimes under the HCSA, and the exclusion of the majority of violence against women. Part II suggests gender should be included as a category under the HCSA because of the similar effects of violence directed at women due to gender, and violence directed at members of other groups because of their group identity. Using acquaintance rape as an example, this part also examines the tremendous resistance to the recognition of gender-based violence against women as a hate crime and the institutionalized inequality which that resistence reflects. Part III examines the possible effects of inclusion of gender in the HCSA. Finally, Part IV offers a critique of the current implementation guidelines of the HCSA for failure to recognize the intersection and interaction of the enumerated groups, and makes suggestions for imporevement.

Keywords: Hate crime, gender, violence against women, rape, discrimination

JEL Classification: J70, J71, J78

Suggested Citation

Pendo, Elizabeth, Recognizing Violence Against Women: Gender and the Hate Crimes Statistics Act. Harvard Women's Law Journal, Vol. 17, p. 157, 1994, Available at SSRN:

Elizabeth Pendo (Contact Author)

Saint Louis University - School of Law ( email )

100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States
(314) 977-2767 (Phone)

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