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This new campaign aims to make Liverpool’s streets safer for women and girls

2 years ago

A new campaign has been launched across Liverpool to help make the city’s streets safer.

It follows a survey carried out last summer which asked women and girls across Merseyside what could be done to help make them feel more secure.

And it aims to reinforce the message that sexual harassment will not be tolerated, as well as provide ways to tackle it if it does.

Emily Spurrell, Merseyside Police and Crime commissioner, was among those who spearheaded the Safer Streets Liverpool Campaign, successfully seeking government funding to create it in partnership with Merseytravel and Liverpool City Council.

It will focus on public transport which was highlighted by young women as one of the main concerns, and revealed how uncomfortable they felt when travelling alone, especially at night.

Emily, who carried out the survey in 2021, says: “A lot of people think it’s okay to tap someone on the bum, or make a comment, and we want to say it’s not okay; it’s not acceptable.

“It makes women feel incredibly vulnerable, it can be traumatic. If you touch someone without consent that is sexual assault – and it should not be tolerated.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She said all those involved wanted to get across to people what was sexual violence, not just to the perpetrators, but to their friends who are being urged to flag up unacceptable behaviours.

As part of the campaign, a text reporting service is being launched with Merseytravel who will be able to pick up reports and, linking with the police, identify any patterns of behaviour happening in order to target them and their perpetrators with the hope of stopping them.

Posters in stations and along roadsides – which will also be shared on social media – will underpin the message that ‘staring and leering at people’ is not acceptable; that ‘taking explicit photos of people without their consent’ is not allowed, and that ‘uninvited touching is sexual assault’ – alongside the warning #NoExcuse.

Liverpool councillor Sarah Doyle is fully behind the campaign: “I think the campaign’s really important because of the fact we know there’s rising incidents of women feeling unsafe across our city and across our country.

“There have been some horrible events recently that point out to us that we need to do more as a society, to all come together and tackle this.

“We want it to appeal to people who have seen their friends acting in a certain way, maybe relatives, and for them to say ‘this isn’t right, you shouldn’t do this’; so it’s very much calling out the perpetrators and the behaviours of sexual harassment and misogyny.”

And Sarah adds: “One of the special things about this campaign is that it’s been co-designed with a wide group of people from LGBTQ+ people, ethnic minorities and survivors of sexual assault, and it’s brought everything that they feel has been missing from previous campaigns, and what we really need to do, and that’s what we’ve put into this campaign.”

If you see or experience sexual harassment, support is available.

Visit Sexualviolencesupport.co.uk to find your local support service.

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