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More conversations are needed on women’s safety and consent, say leading cabinet members

Three leading cabinet members are encouraging conversations around consent, healthy relationships and women’s safety – as research shows that 71% of all women have experienced some form of sexual harassment in a public place.

But nearly half (45%) of women say they would not report sexual harassment because they believe nothing would change.

The Progressive Alliance is also calling on Thames Valley Police to launch a campaign, encouraging conversations about sexual entitlement.

Councillor Jane Carr, Lib Dem Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member with responsibility for Reducing Inequalities and Criminal Justice, said: “Attitudes towards women are improving but there is still a long way to go.

“Catcalling, sending unsolicited sexual photos, and unwelcoming sexual advances are forms of sexual harassment that have almost become normalised. We are calling on Thames Valley Police to do something about this, just like Police Scotland have done with their Don’t Be That Guy campaign.”

Police Scotland’s campaign aims to reduce sexual crimes by asking men to change their behaviour, and attitude, towards women.

Councillor Lauren Townsend, Labour Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member with responsibility for Community Safety, added: “Women should not have to live in fear; we shouldn’t have to fake a phone call when walking home in the dark, or spend our commute peering over our shoulders.

“The Progressive Alliance is committed to making our streets safer for all. Our Community Safety Partnership, Safer MK, is dedicated to reducing crime and fear of crime. We encourage conversations around the ways we can make our community a kinder and safer place. This conversation also needs to happen among relationships and friendships; if you spot your friend making a crude remark, then call it out.”

This call comes as statistics show that one in three women are likely to experience domestic abuse or violence in their lifetime.

Councillor Emily Darlington, Labour Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member with responsibility for Safeguarding Adults, concluded: “Nearly 13,000 domestic abuse cases were dropped by police forces across the country because they reached their ‘time limit’ at six months, and just 1.6% of rape allegations result in someone being charged. Victims are being let down by police and we are calling for something to be done.”


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