Survey on women’s experiences of inter-personal violence – An Internal Report for Lambeth Safer Cities

January 1, 1996


Crime Audit by Lambeth Safer Cities found that women aged 17-29 form the highest number of victims of violence and crime against the person in the Borough. This and other related findings prompted a concern to extend the local knowledge base on women’s safety with regard to the extent, type and location of assaults and the demographic profile of female victims. The resultant small-scale survey study conducted by CWASU is located within a much broader national and international framework which uses research in order to discover the extent and consequences of violence in women’s lives. In the internal report on this study information is provided on:

  • the demographic profile of survey respondents;
  • respondents’ views and experiences in relation to their own personal safety;
  • respondents’ experiences of attacks against their person;
  • respondents’ reports of assaults during the twelve month period prior to the survey and during the period May 1989 to May 1994.

Main Findings:

  1. The survey responses confirm that fears for their personal safety affect the majority of women – only 8% of women stated that they never felt unsafe during the day and only 1% never felt unsafe at night.
  2. 26% of women admit to carrying some item, including weapons, to increase their sense of safety.
  3. The survey confirmed that many women’s ‘fear of crime’ is rooted in the reality of experience and that this should inform policy directed at fear reduction.
  4. 46% of women reported an incident that occurred in Lambeth in the previous 12 months or the previous 5 years, with harassments, threats and robberies accounting for 60% of these incidents.
  5. Young women under sixteen only reported assaults by strangers, and whilst this remains the highest category for all age groups, reports involving known assailants were more common among 16-30 year olds in comparison to all other age groups.
  6. 7% of women reported incidents of sexual assault and Black and ethnic minority women were twice as likely to report this type of incident, and were also more likely to be assaulted by strangers.
  7. White women were more likely to report stranger attacks, while Black and ethnic minority women were more likely to report attacks by known assailants.
  8. 52% of women stated that they would attend a self-defence class locally, if available.

Internal Report: Attacks on Women: Women and Safety Survey

Grant Holder: CWASU

Sponsor: Lambeth Safer Cities

  • Project Team:
    Linda Regan, Liz Kelly, Sheila Burton