Stopping street harassment

Public spaces, parklands and public transport will undergo a women’s safety overhaul as part of a $30 million anti-street harassment initiative to be co-designed with women and girls in the 2022-23 NSW Budget.

Treasurer Matt Kean said recent surveys show 90 per cent of young women don’t feel safe in public spaces after dark.

“I have heard too many stories of women taking the long way home to avoid dark streets, or calling a friend while walking in case something goes wrong,” Mr Kean said.

“Safety shouldn’t depend on who you are or where you are.”

The NSW Government will launch an anti-street harassment campaign and pilot solutions such as lighting, CCTV and foot traffic upgrades at Parramatta Park and The Rocks, with more locations to be announced in coming months.

Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport Rob Stokes said it was important to start with Parramatta Park because of its tragic history.

“We will work with women and girls to design safer cities for everyone, designing solutions across our public spaces, parklands, precincts and public transport system,” Mr Stokes said.

“The measures we’ll implement range from better lighting to boosting foot traffic, with the aim of improving the way we build and design infrastructure across the board.”

Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said the program was important to improve safety and reduce harassment on our streets.

“This program seeks to address both the symptoms, as well as the cause of why so many women feel unsafe in our cities, especially after dark,” Mrs Ward said.

“This is why funding will also go towards education campaigns that seek to shift community attitudes, and reaffirm that harassment and assault on our streets is not acceptable.”

The program will include up to 10 pilot projects across the State, with the development of a policy tool-kit to assist Local and State Government in the design of future public space and infrastructure projects.

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