Violence against women: improving street safety for women at night

New research in Cardiff finds that many women are afraid to head out after dark.

A woman standing alone at night in a rainy day.

One in five women in Cardiff do not venture outside after dark, according to a local organization.

The research carried out by For Cardiff found that many women they spoke to were concerned about safety. Nearly half of them prefer to travel in groups, while only 12% go out alone at night. 

The charity’s chief executive Carolyn Brownell said, “Our research 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 alley looks unsafe at night with a female alone in the alley.

A large number of women, particularly those in the 16-34 age group, report having experienced some form of harassment in the past year. This included catcalls, whistling, unwelcome sexual comments or jokes, and feeling stalked. These data highlight that harassment is a common experience for many women and contributes to their feelings of insecurity.

FOR Cardiff is leading an important initiative, the Women’s Safety Charter, which plays a key role in improving women’s safety in the workplace as well as in everyday life. This charter in Cardiff is unique compared to similar schemes already in place in London and Bristol. It will remain in force 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A female was alone on the road looking back and nervous.

The Women’s Safety Charter will help train staff and support the public to create a zero-tolerance culture of sexual harassment in stores, businesses and public spaces across Cardiff.

To carry out the implementation of the Women’s Safety Charter, For Cardiff will conduct the following trainings. First, appoint an internal champion, regardless of gender or position, to serve as a women’s safety advocate and liaison. Second, communicate the organization’s zero tolerance for sexual harassment through a communications campaign. 

In addition, provide employees with ways to report sexual harassment and train them to properly respond to and document incidents. Also, ensure that women can leave safely if they are in a situation. Ensure that participating members are aware of and adhere to these commitments. Finally, ensure that participating members are aware of and adhere to these commitments.

“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,” said Carolyn, “with the seven commitments we outline giving employers the tools they need to address how they make their working environment safer for all.”