What is the Bristol Zero Tolerance initiative?
The Bristol Zero Tolerance initiative is a project working to ensure Bristol becomes a city with a Zero Tolerance approach to gender-based violence, abuse, harassment and exploitation. It is coordinated by the charity Bristol Women’s Voice, and was initiated by the Bristol Women’s Commission.
The vision of the initiative is to create a city free from abuse and harassment, where everyone understands how to identify gender-based violence as well as the mechanisms to report it. Some of our activity over the past year includes:
- Working with employers and organisations to identify and support those facing domestic violence and abuse
- Helping employers to create safer spaces where gender-based violence is understood and help can be sought
- Raising awareness of gender-based violence, helping people to intervene when witnessing unacceptable behaviours and seek appropriate support
- Working with organisations, such as the police and venues that open in the evening, to enable them to tackle violence and abuse in public spaces
- Acting as a voice for gender-based violence services in the city
What has the Bristol Zero Tolerance initiative achieved?
Made Bristol’s streets safer
The Bristol Zero Tolerance initiative achieved a huge victory in October 2017 when Avon and Somerset Police became the third force in the country to officially recognise cat-calling, wolf-whistling and abusive remarks in the street as gender-based hate crimes.
This shift in legislation has had a massive impact on women’s lives sending a strong message that Bristol is a city where sexual harassment will not be tolerated. We are continuing this work with a local action plan and feeding in to local strategies to ensure women’s safety is addressed and prioritised.
Encouraged Bristol’s institutions to sign the Bristol Zero Tolerance Pledge
The Bristol Zero Tolerance initiative has partnered with over 100 organisations including the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, Bristol City Council, PwC, First Bus, United Communities, Watershed and many, many more.
All of our partners have signed our pledge and committed to supporting Bristol Women’s Voice in tackling this issue. We have provided bespoke training for partners, and ensured they commit to:
- raising awareness of gender-based violence within their organisations
- reviewing their policies and procedures
- considering initiatives to improve staff safety and
- creating safe spaces.
Helped women to feel safer
Our Sister Courage workshops on street safety have been developed with a self-defence trainer to help local women learn about situational awareness and practical self-defence and to reclaim control and feel more confident in situations where harm may become present in public spaces.
This is alongside our active bystander work on changing attitudes and behaviours and helping others to challenge harassment and step in safely to support women experiencing it.
Raised awareness with the general public
The project has been widely featured in the national and local press, including The Bristol Post and BBC Radio Bristol, and we have shared our campaigns though social media to encourage discussion and debate locally, nationally and internationally.
How will my donation help?
We understand that not all of our supporters can afford to give large donations so anything that you can give is gratefully received.
£10 could provide toolkits for people who experience or witness street harassment. This helps them to understand how to report it, and intervene safely.
£25 can enable our staff to work with an employer to develop an action plan to prevent harassment and abuse in the workplace. Partners are asked to take action in at least one of the following areas:
- Awareness raising
- Review of policies and procedures
- Initiatives e.g. improve staff safety
- Creation of safe spaces
£40 could make our Sister Courage training available to women across the city, including community groups and young women in schools so they feel better equipped to deal with harassment safely.
£55 could facilitate outreach to venues in the city to address sexual assault and harassment in the night time economy.
£95 can provide a high quality training workshop for a workplace in Bristol. Staff are taught how to identify harassment and abuse, how to prevent it and how to manage it.
How does Chuffed crowdfunding work?
Crowdfunding is a way to raise money online for a not-for-profit, charity or community project. We chose Chuffed as our crowdfunding platform because they don’t charge us anything to use their platform with no sign up or monthly fees, and we can keep all the money we raise even if we don’t reach our target. They also have a specific women and girls category for their campaigns which hopefully means that more people will find out about and support our work if they are interested in women’s rights.
People who decide to donate to our campaign will pay a payment processing fee of 11p + 0.80% to Stripe, the company used to make secure online payments, if they are using a credit or debit card. They will pay a little more if they are paying by Amex, international credit cards or PayPal.
Donations can also be accepted via Apple Pay, Android Pay, Google Pay and Microsoft Pay and Gift Aid declarations are collected for Bristol Women’s Voice as a charity.
Donors will also be asked for an optional donation to Chuffed to support the platform which they can choose to pay or not.
I’m trying to make a donation online, but I’m having technical difficulties
We’re sorry you’re having issues, please contact us on 0117 916 6555 and we will try to support you in making your donation online. Please note however, that our office is run on a part time basis so we may not respond immediately.
We are also able to accept cheques made out to Bristol Women’s Voice. These should be posted to our office address Brunswick Court, Brunswick Square, Bristol, BS2 8PE.
Can I support the campaign with a larger donation, or suggest other funding possibilities?
We would love to discuss this with you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chuffed crowdfunding platform also gives you the option to set up regular giving to support Bristol Zero Tolerance with a monthly or yearly donation.
What if I can’t afford to give a donation?
We completely understand that some people won’t be able to support us by giving a donation. If you feel strongly about this issue, we would just ask that you share the details of the appeal with your friends and family.
You could also find a fun way to raise some money yourself or with others using our Bristol Zero Tolerance Fundraising Guide.
There are also many other ways you can be involved in the Bristol Zero Tolerance initiative detailed here.
What if Bristol Women’s Voice doesn’t receive enough money to continue the initiative?
We will continue the project for as long as possible with the funding available to us. But our hope is to continue to fight until Bristol is a city free from gender-based violence, abuse, harassment and exploitation.