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Interventions to reduce violence against women and girls (VAWG) in public spaces

Evidence briefing about reducing VAWG in public spaces.

Interventions to reduce violence against women and girls (VAWG) in public spaces

This briefing provides details of evidence-based strategies, tactics and general approaches that have the potential to reduce violence against women and girls (VAWG) in public spaces. It does not include approaches specifically targeted at reducing domestic abuse.

While many of the interventions listed are not focused on preventing VAWG specifically, developing strategies that focus on reducing the risk or prevalence of violence generally is likely to bring with it a decrease in VAWG.

Interventions and approaches are grouped into four types, which are:

  • policing strategies
  • designing out crime interventions
  • interventions that tackle violence in the night-time economy
  • education interventions

Many of these interventions require the police to influence or work in partnership with other agencies to deliver. Finally, a number of Tilley Awards projects are included that demonstrate the potential impact of police-led local problem-solving initiatives.

The evidence included in this briefing has been identified through a non-systematic search of the literature, taking existing systematic reviews from reliable sources as a base where possible. It is not intended to review all of the available research evidence, nor to present a formal assessment of its quality. However, in order to provide some indication of the strength of the evidence related to the included strategies and initiatives, we have coded them in the following way.

  • Strong – a systematic review or multiple high-quality experimental studies. Where the crime reduction outcomes identified do not specifically relate to violence against women and girls, this is specified.
  • Moderate – multiple experimental studies, where one has a control.
  • Limited – qualitative evidence only, such as interviews or case studies.
  • No evidence – the initiative has been evaluated but no evidence of positive outcomes has been found.
  • Untested – the initiative has not been evaluated.

The briefing also includes relevant examples of practice in forces that fit the existing ‘what works’ evidence, although we are not aware of all of them having been independently evaluated. Where this is the case, they are described as ‘untested’.

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