Oldham leading the way on combatting street harassment
Date published: 09 November 2020
Liberal Democrat councillor Sam Al-Hamdani
Oldham Borough Council has become the first Council in the country to sign up to support the Our Streets Now campaign.
The campaign aims to combat public sexual harassment by making it a specific crime, and to introduce education in schools to combat the problem.
Two thirds of girls in the UK have been sexually harassed in the street, but only 14% of them have been taught about public sexual harassment at school.
Surveys have shown that nearly half of them would not report it to their school because they did not know how to, or feared that they would not be taken seriously.
It was a Liberal Democrat motion which commits the Council to writing to the home secretary and local MPs asking them to back the campaigns to to provide local schools with more information on public sexual harassment, so that they can have an informed discussion with children on it in PSHE classes.
Maya Tutton, co-founder of Our Streets Now, said: “Our Streets Now are delighted that Oldham Borough Council have passed a motion against public sexual harassment.
"Women and girls deserve to feel safe, and be safe, in public space.
"The motion is a positive step in this direction and we hope it will lead to tangible actions being taken to tackle this issue, whether by working with local transport providers or teaching about public sexual harassment in nearby schools.”
Liberal Democrat councillor Sam Al-Hamdani, who wrote the motion and brought it to council, said: "I’ve been a supporter of Our Streets Now for some time, and I realised that I was in a position to make a difference.
"I brought this forward because it’s important that people in positions of authority start these conversations, to help people know that this is should not be a taboo subject, and that they can reach out for help and be supported.
“I’m now working with Our Streets Now to try and turn this into a national strategy for their campaign, and get councils up and down the country to sign up to it.
“If one person feels safer, feels more confident to go out and not scared of being harassed, then this is obviously the right thing to do.
"And if we can be successful, and get more education in schools, and a law passed, then this can be a major step forward in changing our culture and making young women and girls – indeed anyone who has suffered from public sexual harassment – feel safer, and free to be themselves.”
Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.
Most Viewed News Stories
- 1Two Oldham men charged in connection with teenager’s murder
- 2Plans Submitted to Transform Maple Mill into a New Affordable Housing Development
- 317 tons of rubbish fly-tipped on road in Oldham
- 4Victory for objectors after Mossley housing plans rejected
- 5Former school site could be developed with 150 new homes