Published Friday, 30th July 2021
Sutton Council Leader, Councillor Ruth Dombey's column for Sutton Scene, Friday 30 July 2021.
The impact of the horrific murder of Sarah Everard prompted many women and girls to come forward and tell their own personal experiences of street harassment and intimidation while they were going about their everyday lives. And here in Sutton it is no different.
I have been shocked to discover how many women have felt threatened by comments and behaviour that have made them worry about their safety. So often in the past the response has been to find ways for women to protect themselves more effectively, rather than facing up to the real issue - namely that certain behaviour is unacceptable and needs to change.
That's why Sutton Council has decided to join the White Ribbon Campaign, along with many other councils and organisations like the Met Police and the London Fire Brigade. We want to encourage everyone, men and women alike, to individually and collectively take action and change behaviour. We want to call out abusive and sexist behaviour and champion a culture of equality and respect.
We know we can't do this on our own and that it will take time. But if we work together to raise awareness, educate and learn, then we believe that we can bring about change so that no woman, no young girl, feels harassed and intimidated on our streets.
If you work for an organisation that would like to join the worldwide White Ribbon Campaign movement, or would simply like to learn more about the movement's work, then there is more information on the White Ribbon Campaign website.