Bath MP Coordinates Cross-Party Call on PM to Act on Women's Safety in Public Spaces

A group of cross-party MPs led by Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, has written to the Prime Minister to express their concerns about the safety of women and girls in public spaces.

By Office of Wera Hobhouse, Mar 15, 2021 10:03

A group of cross-party MPs led by Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, has written to the Prime Minister to express their concerns about the safety of women and girls in public spaces.

In recent days, there has been an outpouring on social media from women and girls sharing their own experiences.

The letter states:

"As a group of public representatives, we have heard countless stories over the past week about sexual harassment, violence against women and girls, and assault in public spaces. For many of us, these stories are sadly not surprising, having experienced similar situations throughout our lives."

It concludes:

"As Prime Minister, we are calling on you to start a national conversation asking everyone – not only women – to think about what they can do to make our public spaces safer. For too long, the conversation has been confined to women's behaviour. It is time to change that narrative. We will only end public sexual harassment by calling it out in all its forms. 

"Millions of women and girls, across the UK, are living with a constant state of fear and anxiety when in public. It is time for change."

The full letter and list of signatories are below:

 

15th March 2020 

 

Dear Prime Minister, 

We are writing to you to express our deep concerns about the threat that women experience in public spaces. As a group of public representatives, we have heard countless stories over the past week about sexual harassment, violence against women and girls, and assault in public spaces. For many of us, these stories are sadly not surprising, having experienced similar situations throughout our lives. 

Research from UN Women, released earlier this week, shows that 97% of women aged 18-24 have been sexually harassed, whilst 80% of women of all ages said they had experienced sexual harassment in public. Furthermore, a YouGov survey suggests that 96% of women do not report incidents to the authorities. 45% said it would not change anything. 

As this research so powerfully illustrates, although not all men are perpetrators, almost all women are survivors of this type of incident. 

As Prime Minister, we are calling on you to start a national conversation asking everyone – not only women – to think about what they can do to make our public spaces safer. For too long, the conversation has been confined to women's behaviour. It is time to change that narrative. We will only end public sexual harassment by calling it out in all its forms. 

Millions of women and girls, across the UK, are living with a constant state of fear and anxiety when in public. It is time for change. 

Yours sincerely, 

 

Member of Parliament for Bath 

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Women and Equalities 

 

Tonia Antoniazzi MP 

Paula Barker MP 

Steven Bonnar MP 

Ian Byrne MP 

Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP 

Wendy Chamberlain MP 

Daisy Cooper MP 

Rt Hon Sir Ed Davey MP 

Geraint Davies MP 

Allan Dorans MP 

Tim Farron MP 

Dr Stephen Farry MP 

Marion Fellows MP 

Andrew Gwynne MP 

Claire Hanna MP 

Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge MP 

Rachel Hopkins MP 

Christine Jardine MP 

Kim Johnson MP 

Barbara Keeley MP 

Ben Lake MP 

Clive Lewis MP 

Rebecca Long-Bailey MP 

Siobhain McDonagh MP 

Navendu Mishra MP 

Gavin Newlands MP 

Layla Moran MP 

Brendan O’Hara MP 

Sarah Olney MP 

Kate Osborne MP 

Ian Paisley MP 

Liz Saville-Roberts MP 

Virendra Sharma MP 

Tommy Sheppard MP 

Jamie Stone MP 

Claudia Webbe MP 

Dr Philippa Whitford MP 

Mick Whitley MP 


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