Leicestershire Police is supporting a global campaign to challenge men’s attitudes and behaviours towards women which launches today (Thursday 25 November).
White Ribbon Day, and the 16 days of action that follow, sets out to raise awareness of violent and controlling behaviour and asks that people make a pledge to “never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.”
Leicestershire Police is encouraging people to use the ‘StreetSafe’ tool. StreetSafe is a pilot service for members of the public to anonymously tell the police about public places where they have felt or feel unsafe, because of environmental issues, e.g. street lighting, abandoned buildings or vandalism and/or because of people’s behaviour e.g. someone is being verbally abusive or acting inappropriately. Making the report creates data that forces analyse to identify and act upon areas that are cause for concern.
Launching today is the force's Safer Routes initiative which aims to improves women’s feelings of safety when returning home from town in the West and Central Leicester Neighbourhood Policing Areas. It will see dedicated double crew foot patrols on the main pedestrian routes into and out of the city centre.
Sergeant Shauna Ashton provides more information in this video:
The force's Chief Officer overseeing domestic abuse, Assistant Chief Constable Julia Debenham, said: “We are very pleased to support White Ribbon day and to raise awareness about this very serious issue.
“Domestic abuse and violence is unacceptable irrespective of the circumstances that surround it. The impact of domestic violence is devastating and as a force, Leicestershire Police remain dedicated to tackling violence against women and girls.
“Please report it to us if you are the victim or suspect it might be happening to someone you know. It’s also important that people know about the vast amounts of support available and where to access it which White Ribbon Day is really successful at doing.”
As mentioned, White Ribbon Day focusses on letting people know about the range of resources and support available to people who are victims of domestic violence and / or those who feel unsafe either at home or when out in a social setting.
The ‘Ask for Ani’ scheme has been running since January 2021. Victims can go into 2,300 Boots pharmacies and more than 250 independent chemists and ‘ask for Ani’ – the ANI acronym stands for ‘Action Needed Immediately.’ They are then taken to a private room by a trained member of the pharmacy team to enable them to contact the police or relevant support services in private and in safety.
‘Ask for Angela’ is another similar initiative which has been running since 2016 and is used in bars and social venues. ‘Angela’ is a codeword for anyone who feels unsafe or if they are in danger. They can speak to bar staff and ‘Ask for Angela’, the staff then discretely help them by calling them a taxi or helping them find a safe space to wait for their friends.
There are also lots of other places online to get help and advice;