Britain Introduces Measures to Curb Avenue Harassment and Violence Towards Girls

2021-07-21 21:00:54

LONDON — The British authorities on Wednesday unveiled proposals to curb the harassment of ladies on the streets, a part of a wider crackdown on violence that comes months after a nationwide outcry over the homicide of Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped whereas strolling dwelling this yr.

The plan was formed by 180,000 testimonies from survivors of abuse and different members of the general public, principally delivered within the months after Ms. Everard’s loss of life. Ms. Everard, a 33-year-old advertising government, went lacking as she walked dwelling from a pal’s home in South London round 9:30 p.m. in early March. Her physique was later discovered a number of miles from the home of a London police officer who pleaded responsible in her kidnapping, rape and homicide. He’s anticipated to be sentenced in September.

The proposals for England and Wales, which can come into impact within the coming months, embrace funding for an app for ladies and ladies to document streets the place they really feel unsafe and specify why, similar to a scarcity of lighting or surveillance cameras. Police will then work with group leaders to enhance security in these areas, the federal government stated.

A course of has additionally been arrange for ladies to report verbal or bodily harassment they face on public transportation, a authorities spokeswoman stated.

The federal government may even present funding for applications geared toward defending ladies at bars and nightclubs, similar to a program that will assign plainclothes cops to patrol such venues. The federal government may even look into using nondisclosure agreements in circumstances of sexual harassment in larger training. Critics say nondisclosure agreements have enabled abusers to silence their victims.

Priti Patel, Britain’s dwelling secretary, stated that she didn’t settle for that violence in opposition to ladies and ladies was inevitable.

“I’m decided to provide the police the powers they should crack down on perpetrators and perform their duties to guard the general public while offering victims with the care and help they deserve,” she stated in a press release on Wednesday.

Some questioned whether or not the measures can be sufficient. Ms. Everard had taken precautions the night time she disappeared: She was strolling down a well-lit avenue and had trainers on.

Girls’s Help, a British charity that helps survivors of abuse, stated the federal government ought to do extra to deal with violence within houses. The group stated the British police obtain a name each minute about home violence, and 9 out of 10 of these calls are from ladies being abused by males.

Sophie Francis-Cansfield, the coverage supervisor at Girls’s Help, stated the federal government’s proposal was too slender.

“It doesn’t ship something significantly radical, and it doesn’t tackle these root causes of inequality that girls and ladies face,” she stated.

Public harassment is only one kind of misogynist and sexist conduct that girls face, stated Ms. Francis-Cansfield, who referred to as on the federal government to higher help group teams which are working to cease violence in opposition to ladies.

Public anger over violence in opposition to ladies and ladies in Britain, and a scarcity of presidency response, has escalated in latest months. Authorities ministers apologized in June after a assessment discovered that the felony justice system had failed hundreds of rape and sexual assault victims. The assessment reported a 59 % drop in rape prosecutions in England and Wales up to now six years, even because the variety of reported rapes practically doubled in that point.

And that’s simply reported rapes. The federal government estimates that solely 20 % of rapes are reported to the police.

The federal government stated the brand new measures to fight the harassment of ladies would complement initiatives already laid out to toughen sentences for rapists and improve safety for victims.

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