Council backs national campaigns to challenge abuse of women and girls
RUGBY Borough Council has backed the national Enough campaign to call time on the abuse of women and girls.
And the council has also rolled out the 'Ask for Angela' campaign at pubs, bars and restaurants in the town centre to offer reassurance to revellers during the Christmas party season.
The campaigns follow a survey conducted by the council last year in which women and girls were asked to share experiences of harassment and unwanted attention.
The Safer Streets survey also asked how safe women and girls feel, and identify specific parts of the borough which raised concerns over personal safety.
More than 700 women and girls responded to the survey, which revealed three-fifths had experienced unwanted attention or harassment in a public place in the preceding 12 months.
Many respondents gave detailed accounts of unwanted attention and sexual advances, and revealed locations where safety was a concern - prompting the council to join forces with Rugby First to target patrols of community wardens and town centre rangers at specific locations.
Following the survey, the council has now joined the Government's national Enough campaign, which encourages everyone to play a part in challenging abusive behaviour - be it emotional, physical, sexual or financial.
Council officers and community wardens set up a stall at Sunday's (20 November) Christmas lights switch-on to promote the campaign, while more information has been published on the council's website: www.rugby.gov.uk/enough
To support the Enough campaign, the council has joined forces with licensed premises to launch Ask for Angela, which aims to help people feel safe on a night out in the town centre.
The campaign was launched six years ago by Lincolnshire County Council and was named after Angela Crompton, who suffered abuse at the hands of her husband before he killed her in 2012.
In the event of feeling vulnerable, threatened or unsafe, anyone visiting a licensed premises which supports the campaign can simply approach a member of staff at the venue and ask for 'Angela'.
A trained member of staff can then offer help - whether reuniting with friends, calling for a taxi or alerting venue security or police.
All town venues which have backed Ask for Angela display posters promoting the campaign, while the council has supplied glass and bottle devices to participating venues which customers can use to prevent drinks from being spiked.
For more information or to sign up your premises for the campaign, visit www.rugby.gov.uk/angela
Cllr Derek Poole, deputy leader of Rugby Borough Council and portfolio holder for regulation and safety, said both the Enough and Ask for Angela campaigns aimed to make visitors to the town centre feel safer while raising awareness of the role everyone can play in reducing harassment and abuse.
"After so many women and girls came forward to share experiences of unwanted attention and harassment, we were determined to take a lead on this issue and work with our partners to be a force for positive change," Cllr Poole said.
"The Government's Enough campaign makes it clear we can all be a part of that change, whether it's challenging what many men still brand 'banter' but women and girls consider threatening and unwanted attention, or educating yourself so you can spot the signs of someone in distress and know where and how to find help and support.
"The Ask for Angela campaign was born out of a tragic case of domestic violence and has now been adopted across the world, with the password 'Angela' now helping thousands of people get help when feeling unsafe or vulnerable on a night out," Cllr Poole added.
"We're delighted so many town centre pubs, bars and restaurants have already signed up to support the campaign and we're currently exploring ways we can expand Ask for Angela in the borough and work with partners and the community to make it clear Rugby has had 'Enough' of the abuse of women and girls."