News – Oldham – Hard-hitting posters about keeping women and girls safe appear at Metrolink tram stops

Greater Manchester students have designed hard-hitting posters on women’s safety which are being displayed on the city-region’s public transport network.

A poster designed by an Oldham College student can now be seen at five Metrolink tram stops.

It challenges inappropriate behaviour towards women and girls and urges people to report any incidents they see to the police.

It is all part of ongoing efforts to tackle street harassment and keep women and girls safe across Greater Manchester.

What is the poster that has been designed and where is it being displayed?

The poster has been designed by student Sinmi Alli-Balogun and features a pointing hand with the words ‘No Is No’.

It challenges inappropriate behaviour, which can include cat calling, staring and looks, or getting too close, and how these behaviours make women and girls feel unsafe when out and about.

The campaign also encourages people to report sexual harassment and anti-social behaviour via Greater Manchester Police’s Livechat function.

The poster can be seen at five tram stops in the Oldham area – Freehold, Westwood, Oldham King Street, Oldham Central and Oldham Mumps.

It will be around on the transport network for passengers to see until the end of March.

A total of 23 students submitted designs to the poster campaign which were judged by a panel made up of representatives from Oldham College, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Oldham Safeguarding Children Partnership.

Why is it on display?

The campaign is part of Greater Manchester’s Safer Streets initiative, a £500,000 investment in a series of schemes aimed at helping women and girls feel safer when out and about in the city-region.

A QR code on Sinmi’s poster takes people to the website to find out more about the project.

The public can also share their experiences of using public spaces in Greater Manchester and have their say on how to improve safety in those areas.

The Safer Streets programme, which is being delivered in partnership by the GMCA, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Oldham Council, will see a number of interventions launched and tested on the tram network and at key stops to respond to the issues raised by women and girls.

If proved successful, the schemes could be rolled at more widely, including beyond transport.

This work is part of the city-region’s long-term strategy to end gender-based violence.

What has been said about the poster and the campaign against street harassment?

Deputy mayor for policing, crime, criminal justice and fire, Bev Hughes, said: “It’s important not only that women and girls are safe when on and around our public transport system, but that they feel safe and confident too.

“This campaign, led by Oldham College students, highlights behaviours that make women and girls feel uncomfortable, frightened and threatened and calls on men and boys to change their behaviour and call it out when they see it from others.

“I want to thank the students for leading on this campaign, which complements the wider work we’re doing to challenge the attitudes and behaviours amongst men and boys that enable gender-based violence.”

Dr Shaid Mushtaq, councillor for the Alexandra ward in Oldham, said: “As a governor for Oldham College, I was delighted that our graphic design students were able to be so heavily involved in this project.

“I believe this poster will have a positive impact on the safety of women and girls using Oldham’s tram stops, providing guidance to those experiencing inappropriate behaviours and harassment.

“Collaboration is ongoing between the Safer Streets partners, enabling us to build upon the work that has already taken place to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour on the public transport network.”

Kate Green, TfGM’s TravelSafe partnership manager, said: “Everyone should be able to safely use and enjoy public transport, but there are some who act in an intimidating and threatening manner towards others, particularly women and girls.

“TravelSafe officers take an enforcement, engagement and education-led approach to reduce crime and antisocial-behaviour, while also making sure that people feel confident while using the public transport network.

“The Safer Streets programme will enable us to strengthen this work and focus on the safety of women and girls.”

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