Violence Reduction Alliance

To mark the end of the global 16 days of action to end violence against women and girls this Sunday (10 December), the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Violence Reduction Alliance (VRA) is inviting all businesses and organisations operating across the County and City to sign their Safer Places for Women and Girls Charter.

By signing the Charter, businesses will show they acknowledge the issues women and girls face and that they are ready to get proactive in improving their safety and experience.

Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime and Chair of the VRA, Ben Adams, said:

“Protecting people from harm is an absolute top priority in my Police & Crime plan. In Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, the VRA has made significant progress to reduce the threat of violence against women and girls.

“Overall crime rates in Staffordshire are well below the national average, but there is still more to be done which is why we have supported the global 16 days of action campaign. By taking a coordinated partnership approach with businesses who sign the Charter, I am certain we can not only make our communities safer for women and girls, but also ensure that they feel safer too.”

A local survey carried out by the VRA in 2021 highlighted that 67% of female respondents had experienced harassment, intimidation, or violence in a public place. Following this survey, the VRA developed the Safer Places for Women and Girls Charter and Toolkit to support organisations in making their spaces a safer place.

In addition to the Charter and backed by successful Safer Streets and Safety of Women at Night funding bids totalling £850,000, the VRA has developed a number of other initiatives to help improve the safety of women and girls living in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. These include:

  • Developing Vulnerability Awareness Training for all public facing businesses and organisations, including those in the night-time economy
  • Implementing a street pastor scheme to offer advice, signposting, basic first aid and help in managing the allocation of taxis
  • Producing Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education resources for use within schools
  • Creating community awareness campaigns to drive public awareness around different aspects of women’s safety during the day and at night
  • Installing additional lighting, CCTV and alley gating
  • Supported the establishment of three safe spaces in Hanley (Safer Nights Initiative – YouTube), Newcastle-Under-Lyme and Stafford where those who may find themselves feeling vulnerable during the night-time economy can seek support

Detective Superintendent Victoria Downing, from Staffordshire Police, said:

“By everyone coming together collectively to call out violence and abuse, we can continue to target those responsible and best protect those affected by it.

“We are committed to working alongside our partners to deliver the toughest enforcement available to those found guilty of violence against women and girls. We’ve already undertaken a significant amount of work in this area and we’re committed to continuing to make progress and supporting those affected by violence, abuse and intimidation.”

Find out more about the Safer places for Women and Girls Charter: Safer Places for Women and Girls​ – Violence Reduction Alliance


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