Safer Streets – Tackling VAWG in Falmouth, Truro and Penzance

23 October 2022

Have you been made to feel uncomfortable on a night out in Cornwall? If so, we’d like to hear from YOU!

Safer Cornwall are working with Falmouth University students on public engagement campaigns to encourage behaviour change and prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG).

Funding from the Government’s Safer Streets Fund enabled us to work in partnership with Falmouth University on a project with creative advertising students earlier this year.

We set a brief for a campaign to promote behaviour change, encourage active bystander interventions and end male violence against women and girls (VAWG) – including sexual abuse, harassment, stalking and online harm.  Students were encouraged to think creatively about these issues and how to tackle the root causes of VAWG.

One campaign concept was designed by BA Creative Advertising student, Justyna Skowronska. Her project focuses on the positive impact a bystander intervention can make. To bring this to life, we are asking young people in Cornwall to share their experiences of sexual harassment on a night out and receiving help from an active bystander or being the person who steps in and safely intervenes.

The campaign featuring these real-life stories will go live in November to coincide with 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence (25 November – 10 December). Outdoor advertising will run throughout Falmouth and we have also secured additional funding to extend this campaign to Truro and Penzance. The campaign will also be on social media and our website.

Falmouth and Penryn are home to around 11,000 students including many young women aged 16-24, more than any other area in Cornwall. The area also has a third more non-domestic VAWG crimes than the Cornwall average.

“Young women should not feel threatened or intimidated when they go out at night. The campaign we are working on with Justyna moves the focus firmly away from victims of sexual harassment, abuse and assault. The burden shouldn’t fall on women to keep themselves safe, especially when going out at night.

“It has been great to get insight from students at Falmouth on how to raise awareness that tackling male violence against women and girls is everyone’s business. I have been really impressed with the research and development that went into resulting campaigns.”Louise Knight, Implementation Lead – Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence, Cornwall Council

BA (Hons) and MA Creative Advertising Students at Falmouth University study behaviour change for good and this project was set in support of this. The university have also recently set up a creative behavioural change agency, Be Good, to showcase work in this area.

“This issue is something our students feel strongly about and students used behavioural science theories in the development of their concepts.

“It is exciting to see Justyna’s work come to life throughout Cornwall and we hope to see it make a lasting impact.”

Lucy Cokes, Senior Lecturer, Falmouth University

“Ending violence against women and girls is everyone’s business.”  

“This campaign will help us all to not only recognise what is going on but feel able to do something about it. This work will create a lasting legacy and help increase women and girls’ feelings of safety in our public spaces.”Carol Mould, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for neighbourhoods.

If you have experienced any form of sexual abuse, assault or harassment such as unwanted attention, groping, drink spiking or misogyny and you’ve been helped out with an intervention from a friend or bystander, please share your story with us at

We would also like to hear from you if you have been the friend / active bystander who’s made a difference by safely stepping in.  

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