Tower Hamlets council launches it’s Violence Against Women & Girls Plan today. We welcome the inclusion of prostitution in this strategy, but we’re concerned to ensure that the general commitments around service provision meet the needs of women involved in prostitution, and that their commitment to hold perpetrators accountable is not only focused on domestic violence, but includes measures to hold accountable those who force or coerce women to be involved in prostitution and those who pay for sex.
You can help us hold the council accountable by sending this template letter, either in the post or by email. Please only send this letter if you live or work in Tower Hamlets, and if you can, add something personal about your own experience as a resident. Personal touches always make letters more effective.
Thanks to the 45 residents and Tower Hamlets professionals who attended our public meeting last week. We were pleased to have the opportunity to discuss this important local issue together and especially encouraged to hear that Tower Hamlets council are committing to tackling prostitution as a form of violence against women and girls.
We’ll have a more detailed blog post up shortly, but in the meantime, here’s our Storify of the event.
We’re a group of residents and workers from Tower Hamlets concerned about recent targeting of women involved in street-based prostitution by local police. The police have told us that they’re acting on residents’ complaints, so we want to show them – and women involved in prostitution – that most residents don’t want these women criminalised.
We want services and support for women involved in prostitution in the borough, and we call on the police and the council to stop this victimisation. Instead, we ask them to focus on those who buy sex (kerb-crawlers), those who perpetrate violence against women and those who exploit them (abusive partners and drug dealers).
If you live or work in Tower Hamlets, please get involved. You can sign our petition and follow us on facebook and twitter.