Barnet Council launches pilot scheme offering refuges for women and girls

The ‘Safe Haven’ scheme involves businesses providing temporary refuge, reports Grace Howarth, Local Democracy Reporter

Barnet Council has launched a pilot scheme in North Finchley to help protect women and girls when they feel unsafe. 

The ‘Safe Haven’ scheme involves businesses around the borough providing temporary refuge to people who need help when out and about in the evening.

The council website stated the scheme was “primarily aimed at women and girls to access support if feeling intimidated, threatened, harassed or unwell”. 

The venues involved in the scheme are My Caffe at 731 High Road, The Elephant Inn at 283 Ballards Lane, and The Bohemia at 762-764 High Road. 

Services are free and “offer a confidential, personal, and safe space”. 

Businesses will help a person call someone such as a parent, friend or the police and “may provide helpful information” such as where the nearest bus stop was, which bus to take home and confidence to continue the journey safely. 

A blue sticker with the words ‘Safe Haven’ encircled will be in the windows of venues to indicate the business is a part of the scheme. 

Explaining the motivation behind the scheme a council spokesperson said: “Barnet is one of the safest boroughs in London – and we want to keep it that way. We want to ensure that Barnet remains a safe place for residents to live and work.

“Our vision is for Barnet to be a borough where everyone can live free of all forms of violence against women and girls.”

For more information on the Safe Haven scheme:
 Safe Havens | Barnet Council

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