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Women’s safety and the work we can do

Women’s safety and the work we can do

Story 29/10/2021

Lyn Garner, chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation

 The killings of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa have brought the topic of women’s safety to the front of our minds. 

Safety is at the heart of everything we do at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Everyone should be able to enjoy the park to the full and feel comfortable doing so.

The Park was the first in the UK to achieve Secured by Design accreditation and our latest survey showed 91 per cent of visitors said they felt very safe here.

We are proud of those numbers but there is always more to be done. So, we have launched a public consultation on the safety of women and girls who visit the Park and the wider Mayoral Development Corporation area.

The safety of women was once more at the top of the news agenda following the death of Sabina in Kidbrooke and the sentencing of Sarah’s murderer as well as the murders of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry last year.

Those incidents are a shocking reminder that women’s safety is still a serious issue and needs to be faced head-on. Statistics I've seen on this are worrying; one woman is killed by a man every three days and 54 per cent of girls aged just 12-14 years have experienced sexual harassment in public.

The proportions rise much higher for girls with an ethnic minority background and for disabled women.

We need government action but this is also a societal issue. For me, this is about how we educate our children to treat others with respect, whether boys or girls, and I think it is vital that men in particular rise to the call for action.

This means being proactive and it reminds me of the discussions we have had about anti-racism. Calling out and offering constructive feedback when we see and hear poor behaviour is essential.

Organisations must be prepared to listen to feedback and that is exactly what we will do with the public consultation.

Indeed, it will feed into how we plan, design and build new neighbourhoods on the park.

We want as much feedback as possible so anyone wishing to make a comment can do so saferspaceslldcmap.commonplace.is/ until Monday, December 6.