15 June 2024

Community conference for those who want to make a “positive change” to women’s safety

A community conference addressing concerns regarding the safety of women and girls in Salisbury will take place on Thursday 18th November.

Salisbury Soroptimists and Safer and Supportive Salisbury will host the conference at The Chapel, which is open to all with a desire to make a positive change.

The audience will hear from a panel of speakers already working in relevant roles in the city and also take inspiration from hearing what is working well elsewhere in the country.

The keynote speaker will be Dame Vera Baird QC, Victims Commissioner, who will talk on the theme of ‘Shifting Attitudes’. Local CCTV manager Rich Goodman and Street Pastors leader Brian Percey will talk about what is in place in Salisbury to make our streets safer. The founder of White Ribbon, Chris Green, will talk about his vision which calls on all men to make the White Ribbon promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.

It will be a participative event, with attendance welcomed from anyone who wants to play a part in Salisbury feel as safe as possible for all, but particularly for women and girls.

All attendees will choose to join one of the following workshops which will look at what we can do in Salisbury to:

  • Change attitudes towards women and girls – how can we start to change attitudes so that our community becomes safer?
  • Provide better support for women and girls in moments of crisis – exploring how to get existing services working together optimally and how to fill any gaps in services
  • Make sure good nights out don’t turn nasty! – improving safety for those enjoying the night-time economy in the city

During facilitated workshops, attendees will gather ideas, create action plans and present their progress back to the wider group.

One of the organisers Liz Batten commented, “Following the tragic murder of Sarah Everard and other subsequent high profile incidents, Salisbury Soroptimists decided to see if there was an appetite for a local focus on the safety of women and girls.

“We ran a virtual event involving some 30 interested local people in early May and discovered there is. At our event at the Chapel, we will be learning about what is already in place to help make women and girls feel safe in our city, as well as to hear from visiting experts from other parts of the country about initiatives that are happening elsewhere.

“We want everyone who attends to participate so they will all be part of a facilitated workshop group. From those groups, we will develop an action plan which we hope will deliver our aim for the day – helping women and girls to feel safe in Salisbury”.

The event lasts from 10am to 3.30pm, lunch and refreshments will be provided, but donations on the day towards costs would be appreciated.

The event has been organised jointly by Salisbury Soroptimist Club and Safer and Supportive Salisbury. It has the support of many local organisations including Pubwatch, Street Pastors, CCTV team, Salisbury City Council, Wiltshire & Swindon Community Foundation and others.

Further information and registration: feelingsafeinsalisbury.eventbrite.co.uk or contact sarumsoropts@gmail.com

Written by
Beth Doherty
View all articles
Written by Beth Doherty