RUGBY Borough Council (RBC) has marked White Ribbon Day by making parks and open spaces safer with new solar lighting.
The council has given its support to the United Nations Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women today (November 25) – with a recent survey revealing six in ten women and girls in Rugby have experienced unwanted attention or harassment in the last year.
And solar lighting is today being installed in Caldecott Park and in Rokeby Open Space to help increase safe use of parks and open spaces.
RBC’s deputy leader and safety spokesman Coun Derek Poole said: “Violence and harassment of women and girls is not inevitable and can be eliminated if men change their behaviour.
“This day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women we will be issuing some of the United Nations messages on these themes, and especially on making sure that men and boys know that they are accountable for their actions against women and girls.
“Regrettably, we know that there will always be some men and boys who will not get the message, so we also need to believe survivors and make our streets places where women and girls feel safer.
“We hope that this new solar lighting will help them to feel safer and give women and girls more choice about where they go and when.”
A survey carried out in Spring 2021 found that 61 per cent of respondents had experienced unwanted attention or harassment in a public place in Rugby, such as a street, park or footpath. Three quarters of respondents were on their own at the time. Incidents took place at all times of the day and night.
The new solar lights, which have ‘bat hats’ to protect bats from the harmful effects of lighting, are due to be installed in more locations as part of the council’s Park Connector Network of footpaths and cycleways.