Every day, women and girls experience incidents of abuse, harassment, or violence at school, work, on public transport, in public spaces and at home. Yet many do not know where to go to for help or do not have the confidence to report it.
Last year, Ealing Council asked local women and girls to talk about their own experiences across our seven towns, and the findings highlighted significant underreporting of offences, driven by a lack of understanding or confidence to make a report, and lack of awareness about support available.
Easier to find help
To address this, the council has set up a website www.saferealing.co.uk, which is due to launch soon, to raise awareness and provide up-to-date information on activities and services in the borough. By providing clear, easily accessible, and regularly updated local information, the website aims to improve understanding and increase confidence in reporting.
A local GP has also been working to raise awareness of how we can all try to help. As part of her role, she is currently working on an initiative to help domestic abuse become one of the borough’s key care concerns for 2023/24.
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 we’ve already made improvements to our public spaces, increased street lighting, invested in domestic abuse services and introduced a customised education programme in secondary schools across the borough.
“The new, dedicated website can easily and quickly be accessed through QR codes at key locations where we’ve increased CCTV coverage. This website will support an ongoing dialogue with communities by linking to the websites of specialist local services and will feedback knowledge needed by the council and Ealing’s communities to build resilient support networks.”
CCTV coverage has been improved at 25 locations across the borough with the installation of 10 upgraded cameras and 15 new ones that women identified as places where they feel less safe. A further 8 cameras will be installed by summer.