Chrissie Lowery, owner of the Craftology shop in Stroud, has launched an initiative to safeguard women following recent rapes and attacks.
The Safe Space Scheme is a community of businesses and individuals that provide a safe space for women if they are being followed of feel under threat. Participating businesses will display a Safe Space logo in the window.
“A few weeks ago, I set up a new scheme for Stroud and the surrounding areas to help women and girls to have a safe space following the recent rapes and attacks in Stroud,” explained Chrissie.
“After the first rape in the cemetery I followed a thread on the Stroud Sisterhood group and made connections with other women that felt the same way. We did not want to live in fear and we wanted to help make a change. Following the second rape I posted in the group asking what we could do, I wanted to put together some safety packs and someone suggested putting stickers in people’s homes too.
“We decided to ask businesses to be part of the scheme and I started making connections with Stroud Town Council and the police, who have been very supportive and helpful. We have built a website and with the help of the Police we will be building our database of safe spaces throughout the district.
“Stroud Town Council has helped fund the scheme and by next week we will have some safety packs to give out to people to help them feel safe. The packs consist of a personal attack alarm, a torch, a whistle, a glass breaker and a door jammer. We have opened a Facebook group, and also a WhatsApp group, to share information and to build a community that can help make window stickers and put packs together.
“Our group members will also be painting the tunnel on the path in Dudbridge (once permission is granted) and we have also been working on fixing the lights and getting the area tidied up and cut back. Stroud District Council has helped make this happen.
Chrissie is looking for sponsors so Safe Space can be sustained in the future: “We have around 80 safety packs that will be handed out by the police outside my shop, Craftology on Saturday 27th August in Union Street, just off the High Street.
“The police will be able to give advice and support as well as the safety packs. We will need to purchase more safety packs and we intend to bring the scheme into schools to raise awareness, this will need funds and if anyone is interested in helping please contact me either by visiting me in my shop or via the website – safespacescheme.org.”