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SURVEY: Safety of women and vulnerable people in Warwickshire

I’m launching a campaign to combat male violence and improve the safety of women and vulnerable people in Warwickshire. Firstly, please fill out my survey (anonymously or not) to let me know what you feel particularly worried about in Warwickshire, and what measures regional authorities can take to bring about real change. I will then decide, based on your preferences, which measures I can campaign for.

One thing is certain, it is increasingly apparent to all – and should have been a long time ago – that male violence towards women, girls and vulnerable people (members of the LGBT+ community etc) is endemic across the UK.

The tragic cases of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman reminded us all of the threat that women can face in the street. But women and vulnerable people also face violence at home with figures revealing the Government’s failure to prosecute for domestic abuse and rape. And after a spate of homophobic attacks in nearby Birmingham and across the country, it is not just women who suffer at the hands of male violence.

Nevertheless, a woman is killed by a man every few days in the UK, statistics show. And many also face the evolving threat of date-rape drugging and spiking – which has taken on a new form with reports of spiking by injection in Leamington and other student towns and cities.

Enough is enough.

We must promote positive education and a change in culture. Particularly one that focuses on identifying and addressing the patriarchal and misogynistic mentalities which give rise to male violence. Unfortunately, Warwickshire’s authorities are failing in their responsibility to protect women, girls and vulnerable people and encourage a much-needed culture shift.

Our campaign could be an educational one aimed at girls and boys to teach about conduct, consent, and male violence. It could be to restore the specially trained Domestic Abuse Support Officers cut by Warwickshire Police earlier this year – or the county’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (Rasso) unit scrapped in 2013. It could also be switching Warwickshire’s streetlights back on at night – something called on by more than 5,000 petitioners across the county, only to be ignored by Warwickshire County Council.

And Warwickshire Police must also play its part. Warwickshire has the lowest rates of rape conviction in England and Wales. It is a positive step that the Government’s Safer Street Fund will invest in education in schools but more needs to be done to educate young men and women at an early age about abuse physical, emotional, sexual or psychological abuse.

If you want to contact me to recount a specific story of yours or you need any support, please email me on matt.western.mp@parliament.uk.

Of course, there is a special emphasis for those in Warwick and Leamington to come forward but I’m happy to hear from anyone across the county. But please be advised that my team and I won’t be able to respond to every single submission, and some will have to be prioritised.

If you need support, please get in touch with any of the following charities: SafelineWomen’s Aid, Refuge, Coventry Haven, Helping Hands in Leamington or the Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre.

You can fill out the survey below anonymously or not. We can guarantee your data will be protected and is only accessible via our server.

What are you most worried about as a woman, girl or vulnerable person in Warwickshire? (required)
[With '1' the thing you are most worried about and '7' the least, please rank in order of preference using the drop down tabs. You should finish with a clear list ranging from 1 to 7 - with no duplicates.]

Domestic abuse (physical, psychological)
Violence in the street (physical violence, harassment, catcalling etc.)
Abuse of power (workplace, police, teacher abuse etc)
Sexual violence (rape, sexual assault)
Financial abuse and exploitation
Drink spiking or date-rape drugs
Online abuse (sending unwanted naked photos, body shaming etc)

Which is the best way to improve safety for women and vulnerable people in Warwickshire? (required)
[With '1' as the best way and '9' as the worst, please rank in order of preference using the drop down tabs.]

Switching streetlights on at night
Restoring Warwickshire Police’s specially trained Domestic Abuse Officers
Boosting rape conviction rates (currently the lowest in the country)
Educational campaign in schools about conduct, consent and male violence
Treat violence against women and misogyny as a hate crime
Restore victim support services
Increase nightlife venue security
More police on the streets
Tighter social media controls

Which of the following do you do on a regular basis when walking or travelling alone in Warwickshire? (required)
Select any that apply

Carry keys or something similar in your hands
Send your live locations to friends (eg WhatsApp) to track
Call a friend or family member as your travel
Cross over the road if a single male is on the same pavement as you
Pay for an Uber/taxi home/between venues rather than walking, even if it’s a short walk or distance

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