We know that it should not just be on women and girls to keep themselves safe from crime and harassment so we have included advice below on how males can improve women's safety.
If you would like information to better understand how to assess and potentially reduce risks to your personal safety, please visit the Suzy Lamplugh Trust website, a personal safety charity in the UK. They provide detailed personal safety advice, including when in public, at home, at work and online.
Advice for male allies to improve women's safety
Some of this advice might seem obvious, but there are some simple things we can all do to help others feel safer when they're out in public.
Give women and girls space on the street, or on a train or bus
For example, if you’re walking behind or towards someone, consider crossing to the other side of the street and leaving a wide enough distance so it is obvious you are not trying to get close to them. Women are often on constant alert in public spaces, so this can help them feel safer.
Avoid touching women even when there is no inappropriate intention behind it
For example, touching a woman’s lower back or waist while walking past her in a crowded place, can feel like an invasion of personal space, so avoid doing this.
Offer to escort your female friends and family to places
Sadly women and girls are less likely to be targeted and harassed if they are with a male friend or relative, so you can offer to walk them home for example if they are walking alone.
Know how to respond if you see someone being harassed in public
Stand Up is a great 5-minute online training which shows you five different options to intervene if you see someone being harassed without putting yourself at risk.
Don’t flirt with a woman who isn’t showing any interest
Signs of not being interested are answering your questions briefly or bluntly, avoiding eye contact, excusing herself from a conversation and not initiating any contact. It is important to take no for an answer and not push.
Keep comments to yourself and don’t stare
What you might think of as harmless or flattery can be insulting, upsetting or even frightening to someone else. Keep any comments or opinions to yourself and avoid staring at individuals.
Do not approach a woman in a group
This can be intimidating and make the individual feel uncomfortable or anxious.
As well as the above points which aim to improve women and girls’ feelings of safety in public, there is more that can be done in your personal life as well.
You can be a positive role model for younger men and boys to help break the cycle of male violence toward women. This can include calling out sexist comments and ‘banter’ within your friendships groups and family settings to change the culture. You can also be an agent for change by joining the HeForShe solidarity movement to achieve gender equality. Find more information on the HeForShe website.
The Government website also has information on ways you can help through their Enough campaign.