Improvements to women's safety in Hackney as part of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

One of the borough's new LED street lights (credit Gary Manhine)

Partners, staff, and community members are coming together in Hackney to campaign to end violence against women and girls as part of the UN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (25 November to 10 December). 

An in-person launch event is taking place on Monday 27 November with a gathering on the Hackney Town Hall steps between 10 am and 10:30 am. The following 16 days of action will see a programme of events, workshops and activities highlighting the services available to support those experiencing domestic violence. 

This year’s campaign theme is “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls”. As part of the campaign, the Council is shining a light on improvements that have been made in the last year based on residents’ feedback. 

This includes better CCTV coverage and improved street lighting, which is now in place at six locations across Hackney, following feedback from local people during a ground-breaking consultation on women's safety two years ago. 

Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, Hackney Downs, London Fields, Mare Street and Well Street now have enhanced CCTV coverage, increasing the Council’s capacity to deter, detect and respond to anti-social behaviour. 

Tree pruning has taken place in four key areas - London Fields, Hackney Downs, Dalston, and Stoke Newington - where this was an identified need and the Council commissioned six Environmental Visual Audits (EVAs) of the areas identified as ‘hotspots’.

The changes follow the 'Eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls consultation' where hundreds of residents pinpointed areas on a map where they did not feel very safe, helping the Council to take action. 

Based on 634 online survey responses, and working with the Met Police and other stakeholders, the Council has funded enhanced CCTV coverage, improved street lighting and reduced any blockages to light, as part of its work to improve women's safety. 

Over the past year, the Council has expanded its Domestic Abuse Intervention Service, and: 

Over the past year, the service has helped 1,300 clients, with 97% of clients who give feedback saying they are happy with the service and would recommend the Domestic Abuse Intervention Service to a friend or family member who needed help. 

The Council works in partnership with Hackney’s Safer Neighbourhood Board and the White Ribbon campaign, as an accredited organisation, to address the issue of gender based violence. 

The Council’s Hackney Nights scheme, which supports venues to be better equipped to deal with issues around the sale of alcohol, has also:

  • Trained over 2,000 frontline staff in pubs, bars and clubs to support victims of sexual harassment and deal with issues such as drink spiking and misogyny
  • Launched a new accreditation scheme which ensures venues adopt safer policies and join the Women’s Night Safety Charter 
  • Launched a public awareness #DontCrossTheLine campaign against misogyny and harassment
Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas OBE, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Regulatory Services

Everyone has the right not to be hurt or affected by gender-based violence.

That's why we've carried out work to make sure women feel safer on six key high streets and it's why we support the UN's 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based violence campaign.

Over the next two weeks, we're hosting a range of events, workshops and activities with partners, staff, and community members, to highlight and share learnings from our sector-leading services. Check out our social media to find out more about what we're doing.

Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas OBE, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Regulatory Services

Find out more about Hackney’s approach to tackling violence against women and girls and response to domestic abuse. 

Are you experiencing abuse? 

In an emergency always call the police on 999, or report a non-emergency incident to the police on 101. 

If you or a loved one are experiencing domestic abuse, call the Council on: 020 8356 4458 to access support, or visit: hackney.gov.uk/domestic-abuse-support for information on the Council’s Domestic Abuse Intervention Service and other agencies that can help. 

If the incident was on public transport you can contact the British Transport police by calling or texting 61016.

You can also report anti-social behaviour in parks and on the streets to the Council’s team by emailing asbteam@hackney.gov.uk  or calling 020 8356 3310.

Are you hurting someone? 

If you are hurting someone, and want help stopping abusive behaviour you can call Respect on: 0808 8024040 or visit: respectphoneline.org.uk  

The Council also operates a programme for those who perpetrate domestic abuse to help stop abusive behaviour. 020 8356 4458 to access support, or visit: hackney.gov.uk/domestic-abuse-support