Violence against Women and Girls
Safety for women and girls
The safety of all women and girls has always been a high priority for us and that’s why we are committed to safeguarding and preventing harm. As more services re-open for face-to-face support, we want to better understand the extent of threatening or intimidating experiences of women and girls in public spaces, views on accessibility to support and ways in which safety can be improved.
The Council carried out a year-long programme of work to address the safety of women and girls in the borough. This included a borough-wide survey around the safety of women and girls in public spaces. The survey results were published online
There has been ongoing work this year to keep Kingston one of the safest boroughs in London. This has included:
- International Women’s Day theme around women’s safety and awareness raising of our local support services
- Community Bystander training to members of the public to identify ways to safely intervene and support those experiencing VAWG
- Regular training to nighttime economy businesses around safeguarding and tackling Violence Against Women and Girls
- A Walk and Talk session with women and girls in collaboration with the Police to better understand women’s experiences in public spaces
- Launch of the Kingston survivors forum to ensure that survivor's voice is incorporated into our local strategy and work
- Launch of a language Guidance document for professionals to ensure there is no tolerance for victim-blaming language in Kingston
- Ongoing preventative work with young people through collaborative work with the Kingston and Richmond Youth Council
Our year-long programme also resulted in the council being awarded government funding to continue making streets safer for women and girls. A cross-borough partnership led by Kingston Council has received £200,000 from the Home Office’s Safer Streets funding initiative to continue its innovative work to tackle violence against women and girls in South West London.
The partnership made up of Kingston, Richmond, Merton, Wandsworth Councils and the Met Police South West London, will adopt a whole-system approach to tackling the issue. This will include:
- Further training to nighttime economy businesses on safeguarding and tackling sexual harassment.
- Further bystander training sessions for the community
- Trauma-Informed training to first response officers
- Development of a safe space near a key transport hub
- Further work in schools around tackling VAWG
- Extensive media campaign to ensure services are accessible
Last year, Kingston Council became a White Ribbon accredited organisation, increasing the knowledge and skills internally for staff to address violence against women through male ambassadors, working with communities to raise awareness and improve safety for women and girls, and engaging with schools and youth settings around preventative work. The council has also signed up for the Night Charter and carried out an engagement with residents in Kingston about women and girls' safety in public spaces, informing the development of a Kingston-specific VAWG strategy.
More information about domestic and sexual violence and how to get help can be found on our website.