Greater Manchester publishes 10-year plan to protect women

Greater Manchester Combined Authority has published a 10-point plan to protect females – with Mayor Andy Burnham declaring he wanted the “streets, workplaces, schools, universities and homes to be safe for every woman and girl.”

The GMCA’s Gender Based Abuse Strategy has been “deliberately brought forward” following the case of Sarah Everard – whose tragic death has sparked a national ‘Reclaim These Streets’ movement to tackle misogyny and violence in Britain.

Proposals of the decade-long plan include introducing an emergency contact system for passengers on public transport (to alert the police discreetly); Public Space Protection Orders; and a public campaign on what is sometimes called ‘low level’ harm such as wolf-whistling, catcalling and stalking.

The strategy also pledges that anyone who suffers misogynistic abuse will be “offered the same protections as those afforded to all hate crime victims.”

Earlier this week the Government made a similar promise – saying it would “on an experimental basis” ask police to record crimes of violence motivated by a person’s sex or gender.

Statistics show that one in four women in the UK will experience some form of sexual assault or domestic abuse in their lifetime.

In Greater Manchester, 36% of all violent crime reported to the police entails domestic abuse.

Mayor Andy Burnham said that such cases had gone on “far too long”.

“Firstly, we need to work together with a range of agencies to improve the services we provide to victims, and secondly we need to challenge attitudes and behaviours,” he stated.

“It’s why I intend to bring forward a high-profile campaign asking men and boys to think about their behaviour and how it makes women and girls feel so we become a better and safer place to live and work.”

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Bev Hughes declared that “enough is enough”.

“I hear the harrowing stories every day and the toll it takes on women physically and mentally,” she stated.

“It’s pervasive in our everyday life, from walking down a street and being called names because of how you are dressed, or being followed, or being threatened or being attacked.

“I’m proud of the Gender Based Abuse Strategy proposals we’ve published today and I want to thank the many people who have helped us already to get to this point. However, there may be other issues we should include so I’d want everyone in Greater Manchester to help us get it right.”

Featured image: World Economic Forum / Flickr

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