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New project launched to tackle violence against women and girls

A new project has been launched to help tackle violence against women and girls in Winchester.

The Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy will introduce new measures to help make Winchester’s streets safer for women and girls, including training for door staff, outreach in schools, and better awareness around reporting issues of violence.

The strategy, led by the Winchester Community Safety Partnership, will focus particularly on improving safety in public places and for those on nights out.

Several organisations will help deliver the project, including The University of Winchester, The University of Southampton, Pubwatch, the Schools’ Partnership, Hampshire Constabulary, Winchester City Council Licensing teams, and Winchester BID.

The strategy’s measures include giving support to those working in the nighttime economy to help them identify, manage and report incidents of violence against women and girls, and encouraging venues to take part in the Ask for Angela scheme, which gives vulnerable people a route to safety by approaching venue staff and ‘asking for Angela’.

Another key aim of the strategy is to work with schools, colleges and universities to help young people develop healthy relationships and challenge unacceptable behaviour.

Cabinet Member for Community and Engagement Cllr Kathleen Becker and Chair of the Winchester Community Safety Partnership said:

“The Community Safety Partnership works as a collective to tackle crime and disorder across the district, raise awareness of support services, and educate people around key issues.”

“I’m pleased to announce this new strategy, which introduces steps that will help to reduce violence against women and girls, increase access to sanctuary and support, and provide education related to unhealthy relationships and unacceptable behaviour”

Winchester District Inspector Matt Kirby said:

“We welcome this new strategy and the opportunity to build upon the work done with partners to make Winchester safe.

“We know that every day, women and girls will experience incidents in the Night Time Economy or in public places, and many of those incidents will go unreported.

“This strategy sets out clear steps that we and our partners can take to give people the confidence to report incidents, to better identify risk and to take action.”

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