Bristol Zero Tolerance acts as an overarching initiative set up by Bristol’s Women’s Commission linking different strategies and bodies together and raising awareness about the related work happening in Bristol to tackle gender-based violence, abuse, harassment and exploitation.
Bristol was the first City in the UK to sign the Charter for Equality for Men and Women in local life and has a duty to ensure engagement from all of the institutions and organisations in its territory, in order to promote the achievement of real equality in practice. The Council are required to report on progress every two years and Bristol Zero Tolerance demonstrates good progress towards Article 22 – Gender-Based Violence.
Bristol already has a good reputation for its work on domestic and sexual abuse, particularly in regard to involvement of the health sector. This initiative feeds into the Health and Wellbeing Strategy, as domestic violence is one of the ten priorities, and also reflects Public Health outcomes.
In a survey in June 2014, Bristol Women’s Commission partner agencies clearly demonstrated that the majority of organisations would welcome help and advice in developing policies and procedures for staff and clients/students who disclose domestic and sexual violence either as victims or perpetrators and they require the development of training programmes to put their policies into practice.
On International Women’s Day 2015 Bristol Women’s Commission launched the Zero Tolerance initiative for Bristol to become a city with a zero tolerance approach to gender-based violence, abuse, harassment and exploitation.
The Bristol Zero Tolerance initiative was set up by the Women’s Commission and it sits under the Bristol Domestic and Sexual Abuse Strategy Group and feeds into the work of this body. The Strategy Group oversees the Safer Bristol Strategy and work undertaken across Bristol, and acts as the Domestic Homicide Review Advisory Group. It also ensures that the action plans of the sub-groups on domestic violence and abuse, rape and sexual abuse, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, sex work, and modern slavery are implemented. Bristol Zero Tolerance leads on the work on harassment in the city. Bristol Women’s Commission also have a Safety Task Group who directly support the work of Bristol Zero Tolerance.