Small changes can make women, girls and everyone feel safer
People often do not realise they are making women, girls or others feel unsafe or scared. You can help make women and girls feel safer in public spaces by making small changes
- do not walk directly behind a woman or girl if she is walking alone, cross the road
- make a phone call, this can make people on their own feel safer if they know you are doing something else
- if you are on or waiting for public transport, do not sit too close to someone sitting alone
- call out your friends (discreetly) if they are making inappropriate comments about women
- she may not wish to chat, you might just think you are being friendly, but she might feel uncomfortable or threatened
- if someone is out exercising or walking their dog, try and keep your distance
- leave women alone if they don’t want to talk.
The Women’s Safety in Public Places Community Improvement Partnership, which is a partnership between the City of Edinburgh Council and Police Scotland, asked Edinburgh residents to tell them what makes them feel safe or unsafe in public spaces in Edinburgh. Most respondents reported feeling very safe or fairly safe in their own neighbourhood overall, but the majority reported feeling at least little unsafe to very unsafe in their neighbourhood after dark.
Based on the responses we are doing several things to help improve feelings of safety in Edinburgh including:
- reviewing and adjusting lighting levels in areas of Edinburgh where respondents to the Women's Safety in Public Places consultation told us they feel unsafe
- running a campaign addressing behaviours and attitudes towards women in public spaces and encouraging actions that could help women and girls feel safer
- making sure Women’s Safety and Equally Safe Principles are included in all Council business planning and decision-making processes
- anonymously sharing feedback from the Women’s Safety in Public Places consultations with colleagues responsible for community regeneration projects throughout the city
- exploring working together with community groups and initiatives focusing on working with young people and on community revival.
About the campaign - #RespectHerSpace
This campaign is brought to you by the Women’s Safety in Public Places Community Improvement Partnership (WSPP CIP) in Edinburgh. The WSPP CIP is a partnership between the City of Edinburgh Council, Police Scotland, The Equally Safe Edinburgh Committee, Street Assist and the Equality and Rights Network.
The #RespectHerSpace campaign was made possible through contributions from the City of Edinburgh Council, Police Scotland, NHS Lothian, The University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Napier University.