The campaign helping to tackle violence against women and girls in Liverpool

  • Video report by Granada Reports correspondent Ann O'Connor

A new campaign is being rolled out across Merseyside to help young people feel safer.

Following a successful first phase of the Safer Streets campaign last year, it's now being expanded to increase efforts to tackle violence against women and girls, and improve women’s feelings of safety across the region.

The current campaign, 'send me a selfie', is teaching primary school children about being safe online.

Rachel Mutch from the Ariel Trust, said: "Anyone who’s got a teenager knows, it’s attractive, they want to push the boundaries, they want to take a risk.

"If you tell them no, it is more exciting because you’re telling them no, not to do something and that’s what teenagers love to do.

"But at a younger age, if we can get into primary schools, we can show them there’s a different way."

Data shows 54% of women feel unsafe using public transport at night in Merseyside. Credit: PA Images

The campaign is also focusing on the transport network as a survey by the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner showed this is where women and girls felt particularly at risk.

The data showed 54% of women felt unsafe using public transport at night in Merseyside, and nearly 42% had concerns about using it in the day.

Emily Spurrell, the Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "Education is really key to it. The send me a selfie workshop, working in partnership with the Ariel trust is all about how we can empower young people. 

"Teach them the words and language to use, so they can learn boundaries about what consent means and hopefully just empower them to challenge some of the attitudes that we see played out in wider society."

In a second successful bid, Safer Streets was awarded £576,000 in funding from the Home Office and will now be able to be taken across Merseyside. 

Philippa Agate, Headteacher of St. Cecilia's, said: "Children are children, they haven’t really changed, but times have changed.

"It’s quite a scary world out there from time to time and we need to give children the tools, and the skills to be able to refuse and resist all kinds of harmful behaviours."

The campaign was officially launched on 27 February and is targeted at potential perpetrators, highlighting there is no excuse for behaviours such as catcalling, unwanted sexual comments, groping and uninvited touching.

Joanne Anderson has given her support to the scheme. Credit: PA Images

Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, said: "This is an important project which will make a huge difference to the safety of women and girls in our city.

"It is an integral part of my recently launched VAWG strategy, which committed to working with partners to tackle these issues and deliver a new normal of respect and safety for women."

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