Bristol secures funding to improve women’s safety

Authorities in Bristol have been awarded £282,000 to tackle crimes against women at night, following a successful bid for Home Office funding.

The funding comes from the Safety of Women at Night Fund, which can be used to tackle sexual harassment against women.

The work being planned by Bristol includes developing and delivering training and an awareness campaign aimed at supporting night-time venues to tackle crime against women, as well as delivering drink spiking test kits to police stations across the city.

people inside bar

Carly Heath, Bristol night-time economy advisor, said: ‘This funding is a very welcome endorsement of our commitment to improving the safety of women at night. It is also a reminder that women’s safety can only be improved by taking action to improve the conditions in which women experience the night-time economy. Our bid was based on the knowledge that many crimes against women at night go unreported but widely witnessed.

‘These crimes are being committed against all women at night, whether they work at night or are visitors to the city’s night-time economy. Recent survey results show that 97 per cent of respondents had witnessed a woman being harassed but most did not acknowledge it as harassment, with painfully few reporting what they’d seen. The need for education and courage to identify and call out criminal behaviour is why we have taken this approach.

‘Our Bristol Rules campaign is already setting out the behavioural expectations we have to ensure women can experience the night-time economy free from risk. We’re working with venues to ensure staff and those who support them are more aware of the signs of harassment and also know what to do when they receive a complaint about drink spiking.

‘We’ve supplied venues with kits to test drinks and are working with partners in the police to have clear guidance on how to report and handle claims. This money will build on this work and take our efforts to another level as we seek to fight back against the perpetrators of these cowardly crimes.’

In related news, people who have experienced domestic abuse in Sheffield have helped shape the city’s latest long-term plan for providing safe accommodation.

Photo by Alexander Popov


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