With the festive season upon us you may find yourself out and about, socialising and meeting friends more than usual. And with the longer and darker nights upon us, we want you to stay safe and remain vigilant.
Ealing Council has been taking action to make the borough’s streets safer for everyone, particularly for women and girls who feel more vulnerable in public spaces.
Last year, the council asked local women and girls about their experiences across out 7 towns, in order to develop its Male Violence Against Women and Girls (MVAWG) strategy. The findings revealed that there was a significant underreporting of incidents of abuse, harassment or violence and a lack of awareness about the support available.
Since then, the council has launched a website, www.saferealing.co.uk, to provide local information and practical advice on staying safe and where to get help.
Conversations are still continuing, and you can have your say in the latest survey to help us determine what needs to done next to make a ‘Safer Ealing for Women’. This survey closes on 24 December.
Improving public spaces
Councillor Jasbir Anand, the council’s cabinet member for tackling crime and inequality, said: “The council is committed to tackling male violence against women and girls and the new Safer Ealing website is an excellent source of information to help women and girls understand that support is available.
“The site is a step towards building more resilient support networks. In addition to this, in the last year we have upgraded 20 CCTV cameras and installed another 24 in places that women told us they felt least safe.”
The council has also increased street lighting on all residential roads and upgraded more than 3,000 streetlights with energy efficient LED lighting, which provides better illumination at night.
Education is key
Women who took part in the council’s listening exercise stressed how important it is to improve behaviour and attitude towards females. As a result, a healthy relationships programme has been delivered in secondary schools across the borough, giving young people the tools to identify and challenge unacceptable behaviour.
The Safer Ealing Partnership (SEP) will continue listening to women and taking positive action to improve the safety of women, and everyone in the borough.
Support is available 24/7
Stress levels can soar at this time of year with the pressure of creating the perfect Christmas, money worries, and often a rise in alcohol consumption, which can all lead to changes in behaviour – and domestic abuse.
If you’re experiencing domestic violence, support is available 24/7.
You can call 999 in an emergency. If you cannot speak, you can cough or if prompted by the call operator you can answer questions by coughing or pressing buttons, you can press 55 to alert the call handler that it is an emergency.
For information on Ealing’s local domestic abuse help and support services, go to www.saferealing.co.uk