Safety of women and girls in Brighton & Hove

We’re carrying out a survey investigating how safe all women and girls feel in Brighton & Hove.

We’d like to find out about any experiences of violence against women and girls in the city and views on the support received. 

Your responses will inform the development of a new Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy for the city, looking at how all services work together to make Brighton & Hove safe for everyone.

This follows the launch of the new national ‘Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy’ in July last year, which includes a strong emphasis on safety in public spaces.

The VAWG strategy will also sit beside the new Sussex-wide domestic abuse accommodation & support strategy, setting out how we improve the support available to survivors of domestic abuse and their children in refuges and other safe accommodation.

The domestic abuse accommodation & support strategy is being finalised following the completion of the consultation in December, and will be discussed at this week's Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture committee on 13 January 2022.

Violence against women and girls

The term ‘Violence Against Women and Girls’ covers a range of serious violent crime types that disproportionately affect all females. These include:

  • domestic abuse
  • sexual violence including rape
  • sexual exploitation
  • sexual harassment
  • stalking
  • ‘honour-based’ violence (HBV)
  • forced marriage
  • faith based abuse
  • female genital mutilation (FGM) or cutting
  • forced prostitution and human trafficking
  • violence against all women and girls in public spaces
  • online violence

The survey is focussed on the experiences of anyone over the age of 16.

We’re interested in direct or indirect experiences of VAWG, as victims of or bystanders to these crimes. We’d also like to hear about your experience of seeking support and suggestions on improving safety in the city. 

We’d like to hear the views of anyone who lives, studies or works in Brighton & Hove, including all men and boys, on any experiences of these violent crimes.

The survey is open until Sunday 20 February.

All information will be strictly confidential and kept for statistical and research purposes only. If you’d prefer not to respond to a particular question, you’ll be able to move onto the next one. No responses will be traced back to any individuals.

Tackling violence against women and girls

Councillor Steph Powell, co-chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture committee said: “It’s vital that we develop the best possible response to violence against women and girls in the city.

“We understand that VAWG is an issue which can affect anyone in any community. We understand that survivors experience of VAWG intersects with their specific protected characteristics. 

“This survey is an important step in how we assess the city’s response to violence against women and girls. 

“In April, we’re setting up our new Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence and Violence Against Women and Girls Unit. This team will coordinate the city’s partnership approach to VAWG and response to the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.  

“Our priority is to place survivors at the heart of what we do. We’re keen to provide the best possible response to anyone affected by VAWG to help them live their lives safely, reduce the impact on children, ensure these crimes are not hidden and hold perpetrators to account.  

“We want to hear your views around what the local partnership should be doing to tackle VAWG both in private and public spaces. 

“We need to draw on your knowledge and experience of VAWG to inform the development of our new VAWG Strategy. 

“We’re keen to hear your views and experiences to make sure services are working together to make Brighton & Hove safe for everyone.”

Getting help

If you’ve been affected by a violent crime, report it to Sussex Police.

Our help with domestic abuse page also has advice on where to get support for anyone who’s been affected by sexual abuse or violence.

You can also call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on freephone 0808 2000 247.

If you are in immediate danger, always call 999. 

If you need to, you can use the ‘silent solution’ - an automated service meaning that if you ring 999 and the operator hears no response, you will be directed to press ‘55’ if you need help.

The conversation will then continue in a way that allows the caller to communicate by using yes/no to answer questions

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