Southwark needs to do more for Women’s Safety

Writing in response to Southwark Council’s consultation on Women’s Safety, the Southwark Liberal Democrats this week challenged the council for not taking enough action faster on women’s safety and domestic violence in the borough.  This is despite cross-party calls and initiatives over the past 3+ years aimed at encouraging the council to do more, sooner.

Southwark Liberal Democrat Cllr Maria Linforth-Hall, spokesperson for Adult Social Care and Domestic Violence said:

Liberal Democrat colleagues, Cllr Evelyn Akoto of Labour and myself have been working cross-party tirelessly on these issues – but the council needs to do more itself as the responsible body.

It is just under 12 months ago that I responded to the Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy developed in 2019 and consulted on in 2020. We also already have an established Women’s Safety Charter. Also back in 2019, my colleagues raised a motion on ‘Safe Meeting Spaces’. Since then, councillors have raised motions on ‘Making Southwark a Borough of Sanctuary’,  ‘Misogyny as a hate crime’, ‘Ending male violence against Women and Girls, not to mention all the other work we have been doing with the voluntary sector on the issue.

The fact is women still don’t feel safe in Southwark and violence continues such as the horrific attack in Peckham on Sasha Johnson, the Black Lives Matter activist.  There are many actions the council itself should be taking as a matter of urgency but aren’t – and I have set out examples in my response.  They just aren’t doing enough fast enough and women are suffering as a result.  It’s a duty of care issue and it’s time for significant council leadership and action not more words and reports.”

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