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7th Jul, 2022

Safety summit aims to stamp out male violence in Warwickshire

Editorial Correspondent 24th Jan, 2022 Updated: 25th Jan, 2022

A SUMMIT aims to incite action against male violence across Warwickshire.

MP Matt Western has called on Warwickshire residents to join his summit on women’s safety and male violence.

It will be a virtual event held on Tuesday February 1, at 7.30pm.

Panellists include representatives from the Coventry Rape and Sexual Assault Centre and Warwick-based domestic violence charity Safeline.

It will also feature ambassadors from higher education lobby the 1752 Group and the University of Warwick ‘It Happens Here’ student campaign, among others.

Mr Western says the event will focus on the data collected from his survey of women and vulnerable people.

The survey showed nearly 70 per cent of respondents hold keys in their hands to use in self-defence when walking home in the county.

He says he intends to push for an educational campaign in Warwickshire schools and for the county council to switch streetlights back on at night.

He added: “In response to my survey, people shared personal accounts of harassment, abuse and sexual assault and spoke of the fear they experience when travelling alone in our county.

“It is clear people want change and demand immediate action to combat male violence across Warwick and Leamington and the wider region.

“An educational campaign in schools was voted by responders to my survey as the preferred method to make this happen.

“As I said previously, I hope to be guided by the experts but also by residents, the people who responded to my survey and anyone who has ideas for how I can help make a difference for women and vulnerable people in the county.”

Concern for women and vulnerable people’s street safety built up following several high profile incidents around the country.

They included Sarah Everard, kidnapped in the street and murdered last year, as well as victims Sabina Nessa, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman.

A petition was started by Stratford resident Chloe Fojtik to re-instate all-night street lighting across Warwickshire. It was signed by nearly 4,000 residents and, according to the student, she received many harrowing stories from women of their experiences on the streets at night.

Warwickshire County Council responded it would carry out an analysis until August in its consideration of street safety including its street lighting policy.

And late last year, a spate of reports of women being spiked with injections in clubs across social media, sparked an investigation by police.

Email matt.western.mp@parliament.uk for contribution details and click here to sign up to the event.

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