Violence against women and girls

Over 70% of UK women have experienced sexual harassment in public places. According to police recorded crime statistics, there were 93 recorded offences against women and girls in public places in Portsmouth in 2020, with the most committed against women under 24 years old*.

It’s time to stand together against harassment and sexual violence to make Portsmouth a safer and stronger city for everyone. As such, Portsmouth’s Health and Wellbeing Board is currently developing a strategy to stop Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).

This page is focused on tackling violence against women and girls and providing support for those affected by these issues. We know these behaviours disproportionately affect women and girls; according to police recorded crime statistics, 80% of reported sexual offences in Portsmouth have a female victim*. But help and support are available to anyone who experiences sexual violence or hate-based abuse.

You can also find out more about how we can all help tackle damaging attitudes and violence against women and girls, whether that’s calling out a friend’s joke about abuse, stepping in safely if you see something worrying, or offering support.

*Public health intelligence statistics

Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse Survey

As a part of the information gathering stage of the VAWG strategy, a sexual violence and domestic abuse survey was created and shared, to seek feedback from those who live, work, study, and visit the city. This includes those with lived experience as well as those with direct contact with the community, such as people working in the nighttime economy, transport, education, and healthcare.

This survey has now closed, and the results will be analysed to understand the level of need in the city, in turn informing the VAWG strategy.

Help and support

You’re not alone if you’ve experienced violence or harassment:

In an emergency always call 999 for help.

If you are safe, but need to report a crime such as harassment, physical violence, or sexual violence, call the police on 101 or visit hampshire.police.uk.

  • If you are experiencing domestic abuse and need support, please get in touch with the Stop Domestic Abuse service, our domestic abuse team, for advice and support on 023 9206 5494 or by email.
  • Women’s AidSafe LivesRefugeand the Safer Portsmouth website also offer online information to help support victims of domestic abuse.
  • Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling (PARCS)offers local support to anyone affected by sexual violence.
  • Use StreetSafe, the pilot service, to anonymously tell the police about public places where you have felt or feel unsafe.
  • Yellow Dooroffers a wide range of specialist therapeutic, support, and prevention services to anyone at risk from or affected by domestic abuse, sexual violence, abuse, or other forms of interpersonal harm. For general enquiries call 023 8063 6312 or email info@yellowdoor.org.uk. The helpline is open every Wednesday between 4-7pm 023 8063 6313.
  • PositiveMinds is a support service in Portsmouth that can help if you’re suffering from low mood or anxiety or are feeling helpless or overwhelmed. Call 023 9282 4795.
  • The We Stand Together network of businesses and venues across Portsmouth is being created to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for anyone who has experienced sexual violence and where any form of gender-based harassment or violence will not be tolerated.