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Women’s Safety campaigner Jess Davies backs campaign to help make Cardiff safer for women
<< Back Posted on 29th November 2023

By Abbie Dix

Women’s Safety campaigner Jess Davies backs campaign to help make Cardiff safer for women

Women’s Safety Charter aims to make city safer after survey found one-in-five women do not go out after it gets dark in Cardiff

Former model and campaigner Jess Davies has backed a new campaign to make Cardiff a safer place for women.

The online creator has signed up to become a Women’s Safety Charter ambassador, to coincide with the launch of the Women’s Safety Charter.

Speaking of her involvement in the campaign, Jess Davies said:

“I think that this is a great initiative, it’s good to know that there is help out there for women.

“I’m really passionate about women’s safety. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced a lot of public sexual harassment in my time.

“Sexual harassment is a spectrum. It can take many forms. It can be sexual jokes, it can be following someone, touching someone without consent. It can be a lot of sexual comments.

“This charter will be able to train businesses, so they’ll have a champion in each business that knows exactly what to do when a woman comes in and asks for Angela.”

Launching on November 27, the campaign aims to make all businesses and the public in-and-around Cardiff aware of the charter, why it is important and how they can become allies and work towards Charter status.

In 2021, the most common crimes in Cardiff are violence and sexual offences, with 12,158 offences.

A recent survey of women 18+ who live in Cardiff found: “one-in-five women do not go out after it gets dark in the city”.

The survey highlighted that when women do venture into the city after dark, 48% do so in a group and only 12% would go out alone. 40% of these women indicated that the reason for this is that they are too afraid and feel unsafe.

Carolyn Brownell, Chief Executive (Interim) of FOR Cardiff, said:

“The importance of the charter being 24/7 was highlighted during our research, which showed that women often feel most vulnerable during working hours, especially when opening up early in the morning or walking into a car park after work in the winter, when its dark.

“The introduction of this first-of-its-kind charter will support the women and vulnerable people in Cardiff at all hours of the day and night, with the seven commitments we outline giving employers the tools they need to address how they make their working environment safer for all.”

There are seven commitments for the Charter, one of which is supporting the public, and the campaign will also see the launch of a bilingual version of the well-known Ask Angela campaign.

The Women’s Safety Charter will support businesses in training staff and supporting the public to create a zero-tolerance culture around sexual harassment in shops and public spaces across Cardiff.

The seven commitments of the Women’s Safety Charter are:

  1. Appoint a Champion – Someone who will champion women’s safety and act as a point of contact. This can be any member of staff regardless of gender identity or role.
  2. Communicate – Demonstrate your organisation’s zero tolerance approach towards sexual harassment through positive public and staff-facing communications campaigns, both online and in your space.
  3. Support Your Staff – Create routes for reporting, and establish a zero-tolerance culture around, sexual harassment in your workplace.
  4. Support the Public – Create routes for reporting, and establish a zero-tolerance culture around, sexual harassment while using your service or space.
  5. Training: Responding – Train staff to ensure that all women who report are believed and are signposted to the right sources of help.
  6. Training: Recording – Train staff to ensure all incidents are recorded and provide a register of all staff who have been trained.
  7. Designing for Safety – Audit your spaces and adapt them to ensure women leave your premises safely.

FOR Cardiff are also championing the introduction of a Cardiff-specific, bilingual Ask for Angela campaign, which is being introduced in time for the festive period.

The concept revolves around a simple ask at the bar – ‘Is Angela here?’ – which will immediately indicate to venue staff that a patron needs discreet help and support and will take appropriate action.

This action can include calling a taxi, separating patrons from an uncomfortable situation, or contacting the authorities if necessary.

Carolyn added:

“By also championing the introduction of a bilingual, cohesive, Cardiff-based Ask for Angela campaign, we’re also promoting a simple first step in bringing the charter into the hospitality sector and look forward to supporting businesses across the city in implementing it.

“We hope that everyone enjoying a night out in our city this Christmas will feel safe, however if something changes or doesn’t feel quite right, using the simple phrase ‘Is Angela here?’ in participating venues will get them the help they need.”