Three new partnership campaigns, launching today, will raise awareness of issues such as harassment, spiking and violence against women and girls, aiming to make Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire safer places for everyone.
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Violence Reduction Alliance campaigns are part of a wider £850,000 investment by the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office to reduce violence more broadly, using funding secured from the government’s Safer Streets Fund and Safety of Women at Night Fund.
The ‘Make No Excuses’ campaign focuses on the harassment of women in public places, using a thought-provoking video which highlights the harm caused by unwanted behaviours such as sexual jokes, wolf whistling and inappropriate touching.
The ‘Safer Nights’ campaign aims to make nights out in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire safer for all, but for women in particular. Tactics include raising awareness of the issues of spiking and preloading drinks, and informing the public about the support networks and safe zones available to them in the night-time economy.
The final campaign, ‘Unite’, aims to unite communities against harassment by highlighting the role we can all play in challenging unwelcome and inappropriate behaviours, encouraging everyone to ‘call them out’.
Ben Adams, Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, said: “These important campaigns shine the spotlight on harassment and violence against women and girls, and the unacceptable and criminal behaviours that can leave people feeling distressed, anxious and unsafe.
“It’s vital that we continue our work to not only reduce violence, but to ensure that people feel safer in our towns and cities too.”
T/Superintendent Victoria Downing, who co-ordinates the force response to violence, abuse and intimidation against women and girls, said: “We are proud to support the three Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Violence Reduction Alliance campaigns.
“Every public space should be a safe place for all women and girls and whilst we are making progress in improving the police response to tackle violence, abuse and intimidation against women and girls, everyone has a role to play.
“It is important that we continue to raise awareness and members of the public feel confident in calling out any unwanted and inappropriate behaviour, as highlighted in the campaign messaging. However, we will always strive to hold perpetrators to account for their actions and never ask women to change their behaviours.
“We continue to refocus our efforts through the local violence strategy and work with partner agencies including the Violence Reduction Alliance to ensure there is a robust approach to both prevention of violence and the protection of those who feel at risk.
“It’s really important communities engage with us by speaking to local officers and reporting where and why they don’t feel safe; this can also be done anonymously by using the Government’s Streetsafe online tool.
“We can then respond appropriately and work with partners to identify ongoing requirements to drive forward our focus in this area.”
The campaigns and their messages will be promoted across billboards throughout Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire as well as on social media platforms including TikTok and Spotify.
The Violence Reduction Alliance is made up of a number of partners across the third sector and public services, such as the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office, Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
Although the new campaigns focus specifically on violence against women and girls, they form part of a wider preventative approach to reducing violence more broadly, including:
- Over £2m already secured through Safer Streets rounds 1, 2 and 3, with round 3 seeing £550,000 allocated to improving the safety of women and girls in Stoke-on-Trent
- Establishing the Violence Reduction Alliance to deliver the local Violence Strategy
- Holding a dedicated Violence Reduction conference
- Establishing a Violence Against Women and Girls Commission, to deliver related actions.
For further information on the three campaigns, visit: https://violencereductionalliance.co.uk/category/campaigns/