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Everyone has a right to feel safe and respected

To my friends, family and the people I know and those I have not yet met, tomorrow we are launching a fundraising campaign to create a safer Brighton & Hove for everyone.

I am very nervous. But here I am. This is way bigger than me and my insecurities.

It’s about every person’s right to feel safe and respected.

Because we all have a right to live our lives free from violence.

We should all be able to walk in public places without receiving unwanted comments or gestures.

Street harassment in Brighton & Hove is increasing, like in other cities.

Many of us have experienced street harassment and many experience it on a daily basis.

Who has not experienced at least one of the following:

• Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic slurs, insulting or demeaning comments

• Comments, requests, and demands

• Comments on physical appearance,

• Flashing

• Following or stalking

• Groping

• Intentionally invading personal space or blocking the way

• Persistent requests for your name, number, or other information

• Public masturbation or touching

Street harassment has been left unchecked for many decades. Now it has morphed into physically aggressive harassment. It is an epidemic and will infect every city and town in Britain.

So when do we say enough?

How many gay couples need to be beaten up? how many girls and women need to have their drinks spiked? How many people need to be raped, violated, drugged, murdered before something is done?

As Across Rainbows, we recently launched a campaign called Back Off. Back Up. where venues are designated as safe spots. It’s going well.

Many venues have signed up.

But we need to do more.

We need to have the Rainbow BackUp Street Support Team adjacent to the Back Off. Back Up campaign.

The Rainbow BackUp Street Support Team will be on the streets of Brighton and Hove onThursday, Friday and Saturday nights helping people who become vulnerable after a night out. Whether they need someone to talk to, to a get home safely, or a safe place to sober up – they’re there to help.

We tried to get grants from the Government, but nothing is available until mid-2022. But we can’t wait that long.

The shit is happening now.

So we decided to ask the wider community to donate to our fundraiser so we can establish and run the Rainbow BackUp Street Support Team in the next few weeks.

So if our fundraiser hits your feed, please do take a look.

It’s ok if you cannot donate, we understand times are hard, but we would really appreciate it if you would share it.

We all have a responsibility to create a safe environment.

We can all be a part of the solution.

Thank you so much,

Always with love and gratitude.

Luciana and the Across Rainbow Team


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