New campaign aims to make it safer for women and girls in Exeter
Published: 28 February 2023
A campaign has been launched to encourage people in Exeter to intervene safely if they see harassment of women and girls taking place in a public space.
Led by the Safer Exeter Partnership, it is also promoting free bystander intervention training.
In 2022, the government launched a campaign to encourage people to call out harassment. Figures from the All-Party Parliament Group for UN Women found 71% of women of all ages in the UK had experienced some form of sexual harassment in a public space.
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Devon and Cornwall said such action could be “potentially life-saving”.
PCC Alison Hernandez said: “I am incredibly proud to be supporting this new campaign to encourage people to take effective and non-confrontational action when they witness antisocial behaviour or harassment towards women in our city.
“We must all do what we can to make Exeter a safer city and prevent violence and abuse on our streets.
“I encourage as many people as possible to register for the free bystander training, and better equip yourself with these potentially life-saving skills.”
The bystander training is delivered free thanks to Safer Exeter.
Exe-Change the Norm is a six hour training delivered over three, two-hour sessions or in a single day. The training venues are all in central Exeter.
The training is participatory and practical, draws on the most up-to-date evidence and is delivered by expert trainers.
For more information and to sign up to the training visit the www.exeter.gov.uk/bystander/
Nathan Eisenstadt, co-founder of Kindling Interventions, which is running the training, said: “The aim of the campaign is to get people thinking about what street harassment is and how to challenge it.
“Our bystander training takes this a step further, helping people to gain the confidence to notice and skilfully intervene in potentially harmful situations.
“Intervening can be as simple as creating a distraction, like asking for the time, checking in with someone we think might be at risk.”
The Safer Exeter Partnership includes Exeter City Council, Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and other organisations.
For more information visit www.exeter.gov.uk/clean-safe-city/community-safety/safer-exeter/