Sheffield City Council have launched the city’s first Women and Girls Night-time Charter in a bid to stem the levels of harassment in the city.
The charter is a partnership between the council, and city businesses, who will be included in a citywide training programme after signing up.
It will provide guidance on the safety of women beyond 6pm.
Sheffield City Council Deputy Leader, Councillor Julie Grocutt, said: “It goes without saying that women and girls deserve to feel safe at night. Everyone should be free to enjoy what our great city has to offer without fear of unwanted attention and unacceptable behaviour.”
Reports of sexual harassment in the UK are very high, with 79% of women saying they expect inappropriate comments, touching and behaviour towards themselves or their friends on a night out.
In Sheffield, like other cities across the UK, women continue to feel unsafe late at night
Coun Grocutt said: “Violence against women and girls, especially at night, is far too prevalent and we will not ignore it. This charter calls for the city to come together to tackle the issue as no one organisation alone can fix the problem.”
The Charter has ‘Seven Commitments’, which include making sure staff are properly trained to know how to handle situations where a woman feels threatened. and employing a thorough process for dealing with reports of incidents.
“It sets out steps we can all take to improve safety conditions, not just at night but at all times, and it sends a clear message that we as a city are making the safety of women and girls our priority,” Coun Grocutt added.
“It’s been fantastic to see the number of city centre establishments show their support already and I urge businesses and venues across the city who have yet to do so, to sign up and help make Sheffield a fair and inclusive city, where everyone is safe and welcome.”
Support for the charter has been strong, with the likes of Tiger Works, Bamboo Door, and Bungalows and Bears signing up.
Kayleigh Waine from Bamboo Door in Leopold Square, said: “Half the population are made up of women and girls. As someone who works and goes out in the night-time economy, I know that there is a gap where we notice unacceptable things happening, but not enough is being done or said about it.
“We need to be making steps towards fixing that and this charter is the next important step.”
A YouGov poll of 2,013 adults aged between 18 and 24 who drink in bars, pubs or clubs found that:
• 72% said they had seen some form of sexual harassment
• 63% of women and 23% of men said they had experienced unacceptable behaviour
• 79% of women said they expected inappropriate comments, touching and behaviour on a night out towards them or their friends
To see more about the charter, click here.