In March 2021, council members raised concerns regarding the lived experiences of many women in Warrington ranging from verbal abuse, harassment, intimidation and violence.
In a Full Council meeting in March 2021, elected members unanimously agreed to commission a piece of work that will assist the council and its wider partners to understand and address the prevalent issues that Warrington women and girls face, so they can expect to be able to go about their daily lives without fear of intimidation, harassment and violence.
The first step of this work is the launch of a survey, where anyone who lives, works or visits Warrington can offer feedback on. The survey will provide insight and understanding into issues being experienced by women and girls.
Concerns with the harassment and violence women and girls receive is not only a local matter, but is being further investigated on a national level. Following the Queen’s speech on 11 May, the Government set out its priority for ‘The Violence against Women and Girls Strategy’ to be refreshed to improve outcomes for rape cases and a Draft Victims Bill intends to enshrine the rights introduced in the recent Victims’ Code into law, where proposals will be brought forward to address violence against women and girls.
Cllr Sarah Hall, Cabinet member for children’s services and proposer of the motion to establish the commission, said: “The issues of harassment and violence against women and girls continue to be at the forefront of national conversation. In Warrington we are listening to those concerns and taking action. We hope this survey will help us to understand what we need to do to keep women and girls in Warrington safe.
“We also know that many men in our town want to do the right thing to make sure women feel safe and secure, but sadly there are some who encourage and engage in abusive behaviour - or simply fail to challenge it. We want to make sure we can also improve allyship for women from men in the local community. We therefore encourage everyone to take the time to complete the survey and have their say, so we can improve the safety of our public places.”
The survey takes around 15 minutes to complete and is compatible with mobile phones. To complete the survey, please visit smartsurvey.co.uk/s/wbcsafetypublicplaces before the closing date of Sunday 27 June.