On Tuesday 7 December, during the Portsmouth City Council Full Council meeting, the Portsmouth Labour Group successfully passed their motion unanimously about tackling male violence against women and girls.
The motion, proposed by Cllr Kirsty Mellor and seconded by Cllr Charlotte Gerada, called on the council to:
- Conduct a “Safety Audit”, allowing residents to share their views about how public lighting and CCTV could be improved;
- Ensure licensed late night venues undertake conditional staff training for dealing with complaints of sexual harassment;
- Ensure elected representatives complete training sessions on handling disclosures of domestic abuse;
- Engage in cross-party work to raise awareness of domestic abuse;
- Raise a positive profile of women and girls in Portsmouth by installing street art to celebrate them;
- Write to the Hampshire & IOW Police and Crime Commissioner and the Secretary of State for Justice, to demand more punitive sentencing for male perpetrators of violence.
Cllr Kirsty Mellor, Labour’s Spokesperson for Community Safety said: “We’re so pleased that Portsmouth’s city councillors worked together to pass this crucial motion. While we know the council is doing good work on tackling violence against women and girls, unfortunately, gendered violence is more prevelant than ever.
“Our city needs a coordinated response to end male violence for good, including increasing training for workers who are on the frontline or in public life.”
Cllr Charlotte Gerada, Labour Councillor for Central Southsea said: “Sexual harrassment and assault is something most women experience in their lifetimes and the issue isn’t improving. We desperately need more action to make the public sphere safer, as well as tackling the culture of misogyny that enables male violence.
“So many women and girls have approached us about appalling encounters with men in our city and this motion will go some way to making our city safer for all.”