A campaign to make Trafford streets safe and free from gender-based violence and harassment aimed at women and young girls has been backed by leading Labour politicians.
The Right to the Streets project, commissioned by Greater Manchester Moving, is exploring ways to make public spaces more welcoming where everyone has the right to lead the lives they want.
The move comes after concerns of safety on the streets being identified as a key barrier to women and girls accessing physical activity, active travel, and sports or cultural events in North Trafford.
Recently, Labour councillors attended a How to be an Active Bystander workshop, organised by Freedom Personal Safety, that aims to empower people to intervene safely in instances of violence, hate crime or harassment, emphasising that everyone can be allies in tackling violence against women.
Cllr Jill Axford, who represents Lostock and Barton ward, said: “Violence against women and girls is extremely worrying and, shockingly, has been rising in recent years.
“Women have the right to feel safe, protected, and confident when travelling on public transport and walking regardless of whether it is night or day.
“It is vital that we explore interventions that enable women and girls, boys and men, to be active citizens in their communities, equipped with the tools, information, networks to take action to stop violence against women because we all have a right to feel safe – we all have right to the streets.”
The team at Freedom Personal Safety have identified five key ways that can empower people to become confident active bystanders by using the 5Ds:
- Distract – start a conversation with the person being targeted.
- Delegate – report the incident to someone, for example, the bus driver or security staff.
- Document – take a photo or video and only if safe and appropriate to do so.
- Direct – confront the person who is being disrespectful.
- Delay –after the incident, check the person who was targeted is ok.
Elaine Howard, from Freedom Personal Safety, said: “It has been amazing to be involved in the Right to the Streets project, and wonderful to see how the community have rallied around and embraced the scheme.
“The negative impact of street harassment affects many women and girls daily, but with some community action and education, we’re hoping to make the streets safer for all.”
In addition to the workshops there are several free activities on offer starting next week including football sessions, audio trails, walking groups, cycling sessions, yoga in the park and forest bathing.
Just click the link for further information – turn up and join in!
Also look out for the #NoPlaceForIt campaign.
Its purpose is to drive home the message that there’s no place for sexual harassment in Trafford.
For campaign updates follow the Instagram page: @righttothestreets_