Charlotte Gage, Partnerships Project Officer at Bristol Zero Tolerance explains the actions they are taking to make Bristol a city with a Zero Tolerance to gender-based violence.
On International Women’s Day in March 2015, a group of people from across Bristol met to pledge to make Bristol a Zero Tolerance City.
This group included the Mayor; both Vice-Chancellors of the universities; Directors of major Bristol businesses; Avon and Somerset Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner; and Bristol News and Media.
By signing the Bristol Zero Tolerance pledge they all committed to working towards making Bristol a city with a Zero Tolerance to gender-based violence, abuse, harassment and exploitation. Bristol is the first city in England to take on this challenge following in the footsteps of cities such as Boston and Glasgow, and hopefully it will inspire others to implement similar initiatives across the UK.
What is Bristol Zero Tolerance?
Bristol Zero Tolerance brings together existing action on gender-based violence across the city and encourages and supports organisations to sign up and take action on this important issue. There is a lot happening in Bristol already, for example the This is Not an Excuse campaign with the Council and police, and campaigns on consent and safety in bars and clubs, run by the universities. There are also many specialist voluntary sector services in Bristol providing support and advice around gender-based violence issues and this is a chance to highlight their excellent work.
Since last March there has been a city-wide bus stop campaign, street stencils during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, and discussions on what a Zero Tolerance City could look like. Various other organisations have also signed up to the pledge and begun developing their action plans for how they can make the biggest difference internally and with their customers or service users. This could be ensuring that policies contain appropriate measures to support people who are experiencing gender-based violence, awareness raising about gender-based violence and what support is available, and training for staff. This and other support will be offered to organisations who sign up to Bristol Zero Tolerance to enable them to implement their action plan in the short to long term.
What can you do?
Many voluntary sector organisations will already be doing a lot to support their staff and service users and getting involved in the Bristol Zero Tolerance initiative is an opportunity to highlight this great work and develop it further.
International Women’s Day is coming up again on March 8th and one action you could take is to sign your organisation up to Bristol Zero Tolerance. In order to eradicate gender-based violence, we need to have a shared understanding, approach and commitment. Spread the word about the initiative and encourage other organisations to sign up and take action.
How to get in touch:
Contact Charlotte Gage, Partnerships Project Officer
Phone: 0117 916 6555