Safety officers are urging Worksop businesses to take up free workshops for their male employees to help men take positive action against sexual harassment and abuse against women.
The Stand By Her training sessions have been co-developed by social enterprise Communities Inc and Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid to encourage men to challenge or intervene when they see unacceptable behaviour towards women.
The training workshops - thought to be the first of their kind in the country - are being delivered in Worksop by Bassetlaw District Council as part of the Home Office’s Safer Streets 3 project which aims to reduce violence against women and girls.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry secured £550k from a £23.5million national pot to deliver safety improvements in Worksop South and is working with a multiagency team including Bassetlaw District Council and Nottinghamshire Police to reduce women’s vulnerability and risk of crime.
Businesses are being asked to sign up their employees to Stand By Her as part of their commitment to addressing misogyny and tackling the harmful attitudes that underpin violence.
Commissioner Henry said: “We want men to become women’s greatest allies by rejecting unacceptable behaviour when they witness it. Stand By Her will give men the tools and knowledge to intervene safely to support women and potentially prevent crime.
“We need to do more to change the harmful attitudes and behaviour that drive violence. Instead of putting responsibility on women to keep safe, we want men themselves to instigate change by sending out a strong message that violence or sexual harassment against women is never acceptable.”
Cllr Jo White, Deputy Leader at Bassetlaw District Council said: “As a young woman, I quickly learnt of the dangers of walking down a dark road and how to deal with the ritual humiliation of cat calls from passing drivers and building sites.
“I then had to teach my daughters the tactics of staying safe whilst they were dealing with identical situations. It’s disgraceful that women do not feel safe on our streets, and it is men who can help make that change. Stand by Her looks at how men can support women across a range of different situations and how they can play a key role in improving women’s safety and wellbeing and I welcome this very important initiative.”
Erin Devitt, Business Development Coordinator for Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid Ltd, said: “Stand By Her is a programme which embraces our communities’ desire to support each other, by providing space, tools and techniques to support them to be part of the solution every day.”
The training workshops are designed to increase awareness of misogyny and educate men on how to disrupt it. They are also tailored to help men provide support to women and change attitudes by reinforcing the message that misogyny is unacceptable.
Through the training, participants will explore the origins of stereotypes, analyse the impact on women and explore what men can do to change how women are perceived and treated in society.
The course will include real-life scenarios to help employees practice their skills and businesses will receive certification for their efforts.
To sign up for a workshop and offer your commitment to making women safer contact Erin Devitt, Business Development Coordinator, Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid Ltd, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on Thursday 17th February 2022