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A poster displayed at a bus shelter pictured with students and Ashfield District Council reps

Students help to highlight violence against women and girls

College students are helping raise awareness of violence against women and girls across Ashfield.

Learners at Vision West Nottinghamshire College have designed and produced artwork highlighting national statistics which show half of all women and girls have experienced verbal abuse, while more than one in three have suffered sexual or physical abuse.

The artwork, which also includes details on how it can be reported, is being displayed on digital signs across Ashfield.

It is part of Ashfield District Council’s (ADC) efforts to create a safer environment for women and girls in the area and encourage more reporting on inappropriate behaviour.

The move comes as ADC is also planning to introduce fines for people who verbally abuse or harass women and girls in the street, as part of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) later this year.

To support the safety of women and girls and wider communities across Ashfield, the Council has doubled its public spaces CCTV cameras over the past two years to 59 – these are deployed across the District and have ‘kitted out’ local businesses in Hucknall, Sutton and Kirkby with radios, CCTV and sensor lighting.

The Council is also working in partnership with domestic abuse services to deliver healthy relationships programmes in primary schools.

Theresa Hodgkinson, chief executive of ADC, said:

“Addressing violence against women and girls is a priority for the Ashfield Community Safety Partnership. Harassment, physical, sexual and verbal abuse should not and cannot be tolerated. I’m thrilled we’ve had such fabulous support from students at Vision West Notts – I was hugely impressed with the work they did.
“We will continue working to create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone, especially women and girls. Raising awareness is crucial because, in addition to the proactive efforts we are making, we need behaviours and attitudes to change if we’re really to make a difference.”

Vision West Nottinghamshire College, Design and Media Lead, Tony Hall said:

“The students were delighted to be approached by Ashfield District Council and being involved in designing posters for the District. The designs created hardly required any changes and the two posters chosen were excellent. It was a hard decision by the panel to make as all four designs were brilliant.”

College student Amy Taylor said:

“I found this project really creative and informative; I was able to develop my skills in designing something that will support women and girls across Ashfield. I discovered a range of new software and communication skills when developing the posters which helped to create powerful designs to support the campaign.
‘I’m really pleased my work will be featured in the community and this will help protect women and girls.”