Safe nights out: Workers’ perspectives on tackling violence against women and girls

Research report


Makinde, M., Cant, S., McCusker, S., Chatterjee, A., Schutte, L., Barbin, A. and Matthews, K. 2023. Safe nights out: Workers’ perspectives on tackling violence against women and girls. Canterbury: Canterbury Christ Church University.
AuthorsMakinde, M., Cant, S., McCusker, S., Chatterjee, A., Schutte, L., Barbin, A. and Matthews, K.
TypeResearch report
Abstract

Existing research focused on workers within the night-timeeconomy (NTE) is limited. In this unique study, research was conducted with workers from a wide range of professions and occupations. The study garnered important insights into NTE workers’ understanding and experience of violence against women and girls (VAWG).

Workers observed a strong relationship between alcohol consumption and VAWG and were knowledgeable about spiking, perceiving this practice to be growing. Strong protocols were in place to support women when spiking was alleged. The understanding of VAWG was, in contrast, broad but inconsistent. NTE workers provide myriad ways to support and protect women who are out at night. However, responses to potential incidents of VAWG are shaped by intuition, rather than being rooted in formal knowledge and institutional protocols. The decision to intervene is usually based on NTE workers’ levels of experience, confidence, and subjective perception of risk – described as ‘going with your gut’.

There were, however, some good examples of where formal training had been provided and found to be useful. Specifically,there was evidence that many of the initiatives established as part of the Safer Streets project were making a difference. Respondents valued the training that they had received (such as zero-tolerance), and they recognised the important role that Street Pastors provide. Nevertheless, several training gaps were identified. Specifically, workers reported that they wanted to be better equipped to identify potential perpetrators of crime and would welcome advice on how to enhance personal and customer safety. NTE workers would also benefit from knowing more about the location and
value of safe havens.

The study showed that while many venues offer support to customers, there is some inconsistency in the way that safety measures are advertised and enacted.

KeywordsViolence; Violence against women and girls; VAWG; Night Time Economy ; NTE; Safer Streets; Sexual Harassment ; Spiking; Sexual Violence; Policing ; City Centres; Canterbury
Year2023
PublisherCanterbury Christ Church University
Place of publicationCanterbury:
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File Access Level
Open
Publication process dates
Deposited29 Nov 2023
FunderHome Office
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/9674q/safe-nights-out-workers-perspectives-on-tackling-violence-against-women-and-girls

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