How London’s SMEs Can Help Support the Safety of Women Across the Capital

How London’s SMEs Can Help Support the Safety of Women Across the Capital

The safety of women and girls on London’s streets has been brought into sharp focus following the tragic death of Sarah Everard. As businesses get ready to reopen after lockdown, organisations across London are being called upon to help ensure women stay safe across the capital at night. As a small business owner, you can play your part by signing up to the Mayor’s Women’s Night Safety Charter. There is also guidance on how to develop a Night Time Strategy.

The Mayor Sadiq Khan and Night Tsar Amy Lamé are urging councils, businesses, venues and other organisations to support the charter as they set out a bold vision for how a safe and thriving night-time reopening can lead the city’s economic and social recovery from the pandemic. Keeping women safe is everyone’s responsibility. 

Nearly 400 organisations have already signed up to the charter since it was introduced in 2018. The charter sets out guidance for venues, operators, charities, councils and businesses to improve safety at night for women. This includes better training of staff, encouraging the reporting of harassment and encouraging public spaces are safe. Your business can sign up here. 

The Charter sets out seven pledges:

  • Nominate a champion in your organisation who actively promotes women’s night safety
  • Demonstrate to staff and customers that your organisation takes women’s safety at night seriously, for example through a communications campaign
  • Remind customers and staff that London is safe, but tell them what to do if they experience harassment when working, going out or travelling
  • Encourage reporting by victims and bystanders as part of your communications campaign
  • Train staff to ensure that all women who report are believed
  • Train staff to ensure that all reports are recorded and responded to
  • Design your public spaces and work places to make them safer for women at night

Toolkit has been created to help organisations to implement the points in the charter. It was produced with the help of the Good Night Out campaign and advises organisations on possible courses of action, some changes that may need to be made and how organisations can upskill their staff.

The charter includes better training of staff, encouraging the reporting of harassment, and ensuring public spaces are safe. The charter is part of the Mayor’s Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy and London’s commitment to the UN Women Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces global initiative.

Before the pandemic, 1.6m people regularly worked between 6pm and 6am, with the capital’s economy at night growing faster than in the day and contributing billions to the UK economy. With the right support the night time sector can lead the city’s recovery.

Amy Lamé, Night Czar, said: “We’re determined to make London the safest and most welcoming city in the world. That’s why it’s so important that as we look ahead to moving out of lockdown, organisations, businesses and venues sign up for the Mayor’s Women’s Night Safety Charter and help provide a supportive environment for all those working, travelling or enjoying our capital and help women know that nowhere is off limits to them.

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