We spent several weeks researching the organisations that we believed had an interest in this area. We gathered contact data for both organisations and individuals and put together a contact list. Some of the people we approached decided they did not wish to be involved, so we have deleted them from the database and some were unable to join our initial meeting (held on 4 May) but asked to be retained on the list and to be kept informed of developments on the initiative.
We are also carrying out a ‘mapping’ exercise to understand what local services are available to support women and girls, what educational resources and programmes are in place and to identify any gaps that need our attention.
At the initial meeting, held by Zoom, some 16 interested individuals took part, some of them representing organisations, authorities and service providers and others attending as interested individuals. Once introductions were made, aims for the initiative had been outlined and the police data had been presented, we ran three breakout sessions, seeking to put participants into different groups each time.
In the ‘Discover’ session we sought to identify what is already in place to make Salisbury safer for women, what works well and what we can build on. In the next breakout session ‘Dream’, we imagined it is 2025 and Salisbury is a much safer place for women and discussed what it looks like, what has changed, what is working really well. Finally in the ‘Design’ session, groups were divided into Services, Information and Education. They were asked to consider the conversations that had already taken place and begin to form an action plan in relation to their topic, dividing into short, medium and long term actions.
Following the meeting, the action plan is being progressed, moving ahead with some of the short term ‘quick win’ actions and those who participated are being approached to help deliver the action plan. We hope that the next meeting of the group will be able to be held face to face, if public health restrictions permit.
As well as mapping local services, we have been researching campaigns like ‘Everyone’s Invited’, #CrimenotCompliment, White Ribbon and the recent publication of the VictimFocus report on Violence Against Women in the UK.
If you are interested in being involved in the initiative, or would like to suggest anyone we should approach, please do contact us.