Blackpool Council Leader declares: It Stops Here
Posted on Thursday 18th March 2021
Blackpool Council Leader declares: “It Stops Here”
The Leader of Blackpool Council has issued a powerful endorsement of the “It Stops Here” movement to help create a safer environment for women.
On the back of the growing public outrage following the disappearance and murder of Sarah Everard in London, Cllr Lynn Williams has vowed to do everything possible to create a zero tolerance attitude in Blackpool towards the abuse of women and girls.
Cllr Williams has issued a declaration that states that it is “unacceptable” that in 2021 women should be living in fear of harassment and verbal and physical attacks.
She adds: “As a community, we call time on abuse. We will work with women, with the Police, with health, with businesses and our vibrant community groups to create not just safe spaces, but a safe Blackpool that is intolerant of abuse and an environment that is safe for all.”
The declaration in full
It stops here. We stand with women and girls and ending abuse in the home and in the streets. Blackpool can and will be a safe place for women, children and families, residents and visitors alike.
We do not accept that women and girls need to take steps to protect themselves at home or in the streets from abuse. They are not responsible for the harassment, verbal and physical attacks they suffer, it is not how they dress, where they walk, being out after dark, walking in certain areas. It is not the role of women to manage the anger and frustration of their partners or ex partners and reduce the impact of that anger on their safety at home. It is not the role of children to protect themselves from domestic abuse in their home, abuse in the streets or in their schools. Our whole community will work together to stand with women and children to develop the systematic change and support required to make them safe. It stops here.
Too many women and families in Blackpool are the victims of physical, verbal, financial and emotional abuse. Too many women do not engage in community activities or feel safe walking from their workplace to their cars or taking public transport. Too many women feel trapped in abusive relationships for life because of financial, caring and emotional ties that the system of support does not help them to break. Too many women have grown so used to abusive relationships that they do not even recognise themselves as a victim. It is not all men that pose a risk to women, but we hear time and again that it is almost all women who, through their lives, have suffered abuse in one form or another. It stops here.
Too much of the focus of the way we try to help women and children stay safe day in day out is about how they can and should change their behaviour to reduce the risk of becoming a victim, and not enough on the people who perpetrate this violence and abuse and perpetuate a sense of fear and mistrust. In 2021 it is scandalous that anyone should be catcalled walking on our streets; that women and girls should be fearful of travelling alone on public transport for fear of the behaviour of others. That women should be worried about watching their drink on a night out for fear of being drugged. That women should be advised to stay in groups to avoid predatory attackers. It stops here.
As a community, we call time on abuse. We will work with women, with the Police, with health, with businesses and our vibrant community groups to create not just safe spaces, but a safe Blackpool that is intolerant of abuse and an environment that is safe for all. It stops here.
The words ‘It Stops Here’ will run through the illumination arches tomorrow and over the weekend.
Posted on Thursday 18th March 2021