The launch followed months of actions, starting with a listening campaign and culminating in community meetings with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, the Brixton Business Forum, local night venues, the Council’s Licensing Review Board and others, to negotiate concrete changes night venues can make to improve women’s safety at night.
In the borough of Lambeth, which includes Brixton, we have one of the highest rates of rape and sexual violence in London. There was a 30% increase in reported rape in 2009/10 – far higher than the London-wide increase. A significant number of rapes reported this year have involved suspects who have briefly known the victim and are classified by the Metropolitan Police Service as stranger 2 incidents. For example, the victim and suspect may have met at a club, party or bar. Many of the incidents are connected to the night time economy in Brixton Town Centre and the surrounding areas, as well as public transport. Offences are most likely to occur from Friday to Sunday nights (for more info, see the Council’s excellent Know the Difference website).
The women’s safety charter (Hands Up for a #SafeNightOut) is designed to combat this issue, promoting a unified community response with practical steps both the Council and night venues can take to improve women’s safety in their area.
Want to know more? We’re hosting an event at Labour Party Conference on Sunday where some of the leading activists will share their stories in more detail. There’s also further information elsewhere on our website.