Oldham College learners are leading on a hard-hitting poster campaign which aims to challenge harassment in and around Greater Manchester’s public transport network.
A poster designed by student Sinmi Alli-Balogun features on five Oldham tram stops: Freehold, Westwood, Oldham King Street, Oldham Central and Oldham Mumps. The poster challenges inappropriate behaviour such as cat calling, staring, or getting too close, and how these behaviours make women and girls feel vulnerable. The campaign also encourages people to report sexual harassment and anti-social behaviour via GMP’s Livechat function.
The campaign is part of Greater Manchester’s Safer Streets initiative, a half a million-pound investment in a series of schemes aimed at helping women and girls feel safer when out and about in Greater Manchester.
23 students submitted designs which were judged by a panel made up of representatives from Oldham College, TfGM and the Oldham Safeguarding Children Partnership.
The winning poster features a pointing hand with the words ‘No Is No’. Sinmi’s design will feature on the tram network as part of the campaign from 21 February to the end of March. Student Mahima Hoque was also highly commended by the judging panel.
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, Oldham, added: “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.”
The safer streets programme is part of the city-region’s long-term strategy to end gender-based violence and ensure that Greater Manchester can be one of the best places in the world to grow up, get on and grow old. Learn more about the Safer Streets project.