Study reveals locations where London women feel unsafe

Woman walking on a trail. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / lzf

The results of a report from Safe Cities London depicts where women feel they are likely to be subjected to gender based violence.

Safe Cities is a worldwide United Nations Women initiative that brings awareness to the issue of violence against women and members of the LGBTQ2+ community and empowers them to create safer communities by learning strategies for preventing and responding to violence.

A report released by the City of London and Anova explores the results of the Safe Cities study which took place in 2018. Those who participated were asked to use an online mapping tool pinpoint locations in London where they felt safe or unsafe.

“[This work] is essential,” said an Atlohsa Okaadenige member. “Particularly for those who have been through sexual abuse, to have access to safe spaces in their communities because to us, the world as a whole, is not experienced as safe. We have to live with the knowledge that we are at risk of violence because of our gender. We are taught from a young age that we need to be hyper vigilant and know how to protect ourselves.”

The study gathered testimonies from women on their experiences living in London. that will meet the specific needs of the community.

According to the stats, respondents were more likely to identify a pinned location as unsafe rather than safe, with 86 per cent of locations being identified as unsafe. The data also showed that in instances of violence, the offender was commonly a stranger and in 97 per cent of the reported incidents, respondents described the perceived gender of the of the perpetrator as male.

Public places most commonly identified as spaces where those surveyed experienced or witnessed violence was in residential areas, public transit, local businesses, downtown, entertainment spaces, school campuses, workplaces, and online.

Map of London where women feel safe or unsafe. (Image supplied by Safe Cities London.)

Map of London where women feel safe or unsafe. (Image supplied by Safe Cities London.)

The results of the report will be used to make decisions regarding strategies for the prevention and response on violence against women and girls in public that will meet the specific needs of the community.

“1 in 3 Londoners who are women will experience sexual violence. This statistic has not changed in decades. We need coordinated, bold, decisive action today so that London can become a safe city where women, girls, nonbinary, trans, and survivors access public spaces and participate in public life without fear or experience of sexual violence,” the action plan read.

More details related to the implementation of the plan will be available once the Safe Cities Action Plan has been developed. The report says leadership and financial support will be needed from the city, community agencies, and private sector partners.

Additional information on the specific strategies and and anticipated outcomes can be found here.