Tackling sexual harassment

Article dated Monday Dec 18, 2017 at 10:36 AM

A campaign designed to tackle the sexual harassment of female students on the streets of Great Horton has begun.

The purpose of the Free Our Streets project is to increase the reporting of incidents, offer support to victims and to try and change the behaviour of perpetrators by confronting them with the impact of the harm they are causing.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that many victims do not report incidents because they don’t expect anything to be done about it.

The campaign will be carried out by Bradford Council and the organisation Restorative Solutions and will be aimed at encouraging victims to report any incidents of sexual harassment.  A restorative approach is being used to support victims and educate perpetrators about the impact their behaviour has on those affected.

It will see Bradford Council, Restorative Solutions, West Yorkshire Police, Bradford College, the University of Bradford and Bradford Hate Crime Alliance working together on a range of initiatives to tackle the problem.

Cllr Abdul Jabar, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, said: "Sexual harassment is totally unacceptable and a crime.

"The actions of a few ignorant young men, not only hurts the victims but also reflects badly on the community as a whole and the reputation of the city, the University and Bradford College.

"The huge majority of people living in the area treat our students with the respect and welcome they deserve and we want to work with them to stamp out this intolerable behaviour."

Andy Welsh, CEO of Bradford College, said: "The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. We encourage students and staff to report any issues of harassment and advise them on how to do that.

"We have a hard-working security team and a college-based police officer who all work tremendously hard to help students and staff feel safe and secure on campus. We have a positive relationship with the Council, police, university and other local bodies and will continue to work together to create a positive environment for all."

Nikki Pierce, Academic Registrar (Director of Student and Academic Services) at the University of Bradford, said: "The safety and security of our students is of paramount importance and we are very pleased that so many organisations have come together to organise this campaign. We will be working extremely hard with our partners to ensure its success and to give confidence to our students to come forward and report any incidents."

Inspector Kevin Taylor, Partnerships' Inspector at Bradford District Police, said: "People in Bradford should be free to go about their business without being subjected to sexual harassment.

"We are happy to support the Free Our Streets project and hope this multi-agency approach will make victims feel more confident to report these matters and make perpetrators think twice about engaging in such unacceptable behaviour."

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