Bristol City Council urged employers to prioritise women’s safety at night by signing up to the city’s first Women’s Safety Charter.
The charter consists of a set of seven commitments and is designed to provide practical steps employers can take to improve the safety of women who work in the night-time economy.
Modelled on a similar commitment from the Mayor of London, the charter has been developed by Bristol Nights, working alongside Bristol City Council, Bristol’s Violence Against Women and Girls specialists, night-time venues and Avon and Somerset Police.
Over 30% of all Bristol jobs operate between the hours of 6pm and 6am across health and social care, leisure, hospitality and cultural sectors. In addition to those who work in the night-time economy, the charter asks organisations large and small to take steps to protect women who visit the city at night.
A national survey conducted in 2021 showed that 97 percent of the people surveyed had been harassed or had known someone who has been. A recent Bristol survey found that one in six venues said they have experienced harassment at their venue, with most venues choosing to use a zero-tolerance policy.
‘Too many women in our night-time economy have been subject to harassment or some form of threat. When a recent survey tells us that over nine in ten women have experienced harassment of some form at night, it’s clear that we need to act now,’ said Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees.
‘To act, we must do so collectively as public authorities and private businesses. Each of us has a responsibility to ensure that our environments promote safety, that we provide training and support to tackle harassment and establish clear routes for issues to be reported and challenged. I urge employers, large and small, to join us as we fight back against perpetrators and stand up for the safety of women at night.’
Carly Heath, Bristol’s night-time economy advisor, commented: ‘When we talk about safety of women after dark, all too often the responsibility falls on women’s actions. We all have a role and a responsibility in securing the safety of women at night. The problem of harassment in the night-time economy is too widespread for any single organisation or individual to tackle alone. We must take a joined-up approach across venues, public agencies, charities, and support services to challenge perpetrators, provide safer environments and protect women at night.
‘This charter sets out practical steps we can all take to improve safety conditions and provides a focal point for our efforts. In addition to the charter, we are also delivering training aimed at equipping venues and others with the knowledge and skills to tackle harassment. This training will help ensure that we’re introducing a robust and consistent approach across the sector aimed specifically at improving the safety of women at night.’