Anna Freud Centre statement on the safety of women and girls
16th March 2021 | By: Tim Linehan
The Anna Freud Centre has issued the following statement in response to recent events.
Women and girls have always spoken out about the intimidation and violence they experience. However, many have also felt that their voices have not been heard, or the issues facing them have been minimised. Whatever progress has been made in this country and elsewhere has been too slow, insufficient and come too late for many.
We know from experience and research that the behaviour of some men is violent and degrading and can even result in the murder of women and girls.
We also know that the responses of our institutions are too slow and too piecemeal to make the difference that we want to see in our society and beyond.
Public spaces that should be open to all are, in truth, limited to those who feel safe. These spaces often exclude women and girls and restrict their freedom of movement and participation.
The Anna Freud Centre wants to challenge this state of affairs and encourages all to empower and amplify the voices of women and girls. To do this we will work closely with our allies in education through sharing resources on our Mentally Healthy Schools site, and through promoting a culture which encourages staff and students to speak out and challenge unacceptable behaviour.
It is time that we listened to the testimony of women and girls, and educated boys and men, so that together we put into action the measures we need to become a more equal, fairer and safer society and challenge behaviours and attitudes that are unacceptable. This work should – and often does – start at home, in our schools and in our workplaces, where values of respect and equality can be nurtured.
Help and support
The Anna Freud Centre promotes the work of organisations who work with schools to promote positive behaviours and safe spaces on our Mentally Healthy Schools site.
There are a list of 24/7 helplines on our Urgent Help page.
UCL, our partners in our Postgraduate Studies Programmes has some useful advice about staying safe.
For our students, there is more general advice from the city of London.