Women’s safety has come into sharp view once again with the tragic violent murder of Sarah Everard. It has focussed attention on our societies attitudes towards violence against women. The police’s recent actions in Clapham Common received rounded condemnation and further highlighted the problems women face from institutionalised attitudes.
Whilst we applaud some of these campaigns, we also need to be vigilant ourselves and not be complacent about the sad realities of the dangers women face. We work in an industry where 86% of its workforce are female. Most work alone in the community, sometimes in very lonely locations. The question for us is how do we ensure our women are empowered to make healthy choices for their safety. But also how do we provide appropriate resources to mitigate risk.
Ensuring Women’s Safety
Some of the resources provided to reduce the risk to our women and men, underpin our commitment to women’s safety. These include ‘Awareness and Good Practice Training’ for everyone. Monitoring, supervision and communication procedures that protect our lone workers. Common-sense practices in our policy and procedures, such as:-
Parking in lighted areas and as close to the service users home as possible.
Keeping car doors locked when traveling.
Locking the property doors on arrival.
Communicating any suspious behaviour to the Live Team
Logging in and out of calls and keeping to scheduled visits.
Our live team and technology developments allow us real-time communications, sat-nav facilities, GPS tracking and call monitoring systems. Our Live Team operators are aware of the dangers their colleagues face. They have an emergency phone number and procedure for suspicions and worries. Added to this the live team will only leave when everyone is safely home from a shift.
Ultimately, in rare circumstances, the support offered to service users may need two people if risk is assesed as too high.
A New Initiative
We will soon be encouraging all our frontline staff to enable safety features on their phone. Some may have already done these simple steps, but others may not be aware of them. Techradar.com have put together an easy follow guide to help people set up their devices or enhance the standard features already in use. It would be a good idea not just to set up but to become familiar with how they work.
Looking to the Future
We all have a long way to go in our quest for women’s safety. We still live in a society of inequality between men and women. Misogyny and violence continue to be commonplace and we applaud groups such as Nottingham Citizens and the Women’s Centre in Nottingham for their work with Nottinghamshire Police in becoming the first area to recognise crimes against women as Hate Crimes, and yesterday this action was extended to the whole country. You can read their story here:
At Premier Community we want to commit ourselves to a women’s right to live in safety, equally to men, however, that will take focus and commitment for the long run. If you would like to join the conversation we would love to hear your opinions, especially if they are ideas for safety. You can do this by emailing me at email@example.com.
Incidents are thankfully very low, and there is a great comradeship between our staff. We use the term hero’s a lot these days, and I hope we never lose perspective of why. But that means more than ever we need to be looking after each other. It’s a great career choice, and if its something you might be interested in, why not get in touch.