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Southwark Labour delivering on manifesto commitment to improve women’s safety

16 September 2014
Radha Burgess Southwark Labour has taken a major step in delivering the manifesto commitment to introduce a Women’s Safety Charter, in order to tackle sexual harassment and help women to feel as safe as possible in the borough.

The Labour council is tackling the notoriously under-reported issue of harassment head-on by introducing a list of commitments for venues across the borough, designed to give women the confidence to report incidents of harassment.

The council is asking female and male residents and other interested parties to share their experiences of harassment in bars, clubs and other public spaces, including how it was handled and how we can improve the way these issues are dealt with.

The initiative is being championed by Councillor Radha Burgess, the country’s first ever deputy cabinet member for women’s safety. Speaking about the launch of the Women’s Safety Charter Cllr Burgess said:

“Southwark Labour takes the issue of women’s safety extremely seriously, which is why we have pledged to introduce a Women's Safety Charter and to work closely with the police to develop a domestic violence strategy. 

“Typically, harassment is seen as 'normal' and goes without being reported or even spoken about. We believe it is time this trend was reversed and that women are made to feel confident enough to speak out against incidents that make them feel uncomfortable, intimidated or threatened.

"The consultation will introduce the idea of a Women’s Safety Charter to residents and licensees, and guide our plans for a formal agreement to tackle harassment. If supported, this is just one of the initiatives we hope will make Southwark a safer place to be."

Southwark Labour will seek to build on this charter and introduce a host of other campaigns over the next four years to help keep women in Southwark safe.

Please take part in the consultation by visiting the council's women's safety page. It's absolutely not just for women, we really want to hear from men too. We want to get as broad feedback as possible about what venues can do to make the nighttime economy safer for women, what role the council can play, the type of harassment women experience and how comfortable you think people feel about reporting harassment. Spending a couple of minutes responding to the consultation will really help us shape services.

Please share the link to the consultation with your ward residents and friends and family in the borough. Tell us your experiences & help shape services.


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