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A safer Ealing for women and girls

Women and girls from across the borough are being asked to have their say on how safe they feel in our local public spaces.

In the wake of the recent murders of several women in public spaces across London, women’s safety has become a national debate. Across the UK, 97% of women aged 18-24 have reported experiencing harassment in public.

In response, the Safer Ealing Partnership (SEP) is running a confidential online survey, asking women and girls in the borough to share their thoughts. The survey was to begin tomorrow (Friday, 10 December) on the last day of the UN Women 16 days of activism against gender-based violence (25 November-10 December).

The SEP co-ordinates the work to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour across the borough. It includes representatives from Ealing Council’s community safety team, the police, the fire brigade, drugs and alcohol teams, social care and public health teams, plus voluntary and community groups.

The four key themes the SEP will consider are:

  • What role the Safer Ealing Partnership should play in creating safe spaces for women and girls
  • The places in the borough where women and girls say they feel unsafe​
  • The experiences of harassment and abuse of women and girls in the borough
  • Women’s experience of reporting incidents.

The survey will run from 10 December until 4 February. There is also the opportunity to ask to take part in a focus group where these issues will be discussed in greater depth.

The responses will help to inform SEP’s strategy to tackle violence against women and girls, which is due to be published next year.

Fighting inequality is one of the council’s three priorities. Working with the SEP to make the borough safer for women and girls is one of the ways that the council is looking to achieve this goal.

‘It won’t take long and it’s really important’

Councillor Aysha Raza, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for tackling inequality, said: “Women and girls deserve to feel safe in public spaces at all times and we, and our partners, want to do better. We know that many women will have an experience to share and this survey is open to women of all ages and in all parts of the borough. We want to hear from as many as possible, so we can play our part in helping them to be safer.

“At this stage, we are listening. We want to hear everything that women and girls have to say so I encourage everyone to fill in our short survey. It won’t take long and it’s really important.”

View more in the video at the top of this article.

‘No-one should feel unsafe on Ealing’s streets’

Council leader Peter Mason said: “No-one should feel unsafe on Ealing’s streets, but we know that too many women and girls are concerned about their safety when out and about in the borough. Recent horrific instances of violence against women and girls on London’s streets have made many feel even more concerned about their safety, and we need to do much more to ensure that women can navigate our borough without risk or fear of violence and harassment.

“This conversation will lead to practical, concrete steps we can take as a council, with our partners, to deliver a safer borough for women and girls. Please do take part and feed in your experiences, concerns and suggestions”

From tomorrow (Friday, 10 December) you will be able to access the survey online.

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