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A new network of businesses and organisations designed to make the streets of Cardiff safer for women will launch at an event tonight with Night Czar for London Amy Lamé.
Recent statistics reveal that in the UK, 97 per cent of women aged 18-24 have experienced some form of harassment in public. While women in Cardiff have recently reported being too scared to go out alone at night after a spate of incidents and attacks.
As a result of increasing concerns regarding women’s safety, FOR Cardiff has brought together experts from businesses and organisations across Cardiff’s night-time economy to launch the Cardiff Women’s Safety Network – to hear from the voices of women and help create a safer environment for those out in the city centre.
The launch of the network, Making It Happen: Safer Streets for Women, will be held at Jury’s Inn, Cardiff, on Thursday 11th November, at 5.30pm. Leading the discussion will be keynote speaker Night Czar for London Amy Lamé.
Since 2016, Lamé has been responsible for making sure London thrives as a 24-hour city and has launched the pioneering Women’s Night Safety Charter. This scheme aims to help lower the risk of crime against women in the city at night – and she has increased the number of Charter signatories to over 600 organisations. Commenting on Cardiff’s ambitions, Amy Lamé, Night Czar said:
“The launch of Cardiff’s Women’s Network is a big step towards tackling violence against women and girls. We can only address these issues as part of a whole system approach, and that’s why it’s so important businesses, councils, police, transport representatives and venues work together to improve women’s safety at all hours – as we are doing in London with the Women’s Night Safety Charter.
But we need to be clear, it’s not women who should have to change the way they live their lives or stop going out at night – it’s men that need to change. I’m really pleased to be able to share our city’s experiences and approaches, so we can work together to ensure our cities are safe and welcoming whatever the time of day or night.”
The event will also hear from interim Chair of the Cardiff’s Women’s Safety Network, Carolyn Brownell, and a panel discussion will follow, chaired by FOR Cardiff’s Executive Director Adrian Field. While the network comprises an invite-only committee of experts from hotels, bars, South Wales Police and Public Health, anyone can help shape the conversation via the FOR A Safer Cardiff website, where an online forum is currently being developed which will inform the focus of the committee.
Founding member and interim Chair of the Cardiff’s Women’s Safety Network, Carolyn Brownell, added:
“We need to understand the scale of misogyny that happens to women and girls in the UK, and address this endemic issue with real ambition and focus.
“We know from the overwhelming response to the launch of the Safe Places scheme that the voices of women and their first-hand experiences need to be heard. As a result, we are creating the Cardiff Women’s Safety Network to ensure those voices are elevated – and concerns are acted upon.”
During Fresher’s Fortnight, FOR Cardiff lit up the streets of Cardiff with 35 digital billboards to help women feel safer at night. Inspired by the HandsAway campaign in Paris earlier this year, the screens were lit for two-weeks in the city centre and high footfall student areas – and the campaign attracted national attention, reaching over 65,000 people on Instagram alone and 9,000 likes on TikTok.
Adrian Field, Executive Director of FOR Cardiff explained:
“With the launch of Cardiff Women’s Safety Network and the rising number of businesses becoming Safe Places – where anyone feeling intimidated, at risk or scared can take refuge – we are delivering on our commitment to make Cardiff a city where women feel confident and welcome when spending time socialising, working or living in the capital.”