Running for change

Emily Whitton
By Emily Whitton,
updated on Jun 23, 2022

Running for change

With the ASICS London 10k due to take place on 10th July, UN Women UK, Stylist Strong Women, and LimeLight Sports Club have partnered to campaign for safety, change, and freedom in London

UN Women UK’s 'Safe Spaces Now' initiative aims to redesign public spaces and people’s behaviours to free them from sexual harassment. Supporters of the campaign will take to the streets of Westminister to raise the funds needed to deliver the educational programmes to inspire change.

Already, solutions are being put in place across public transport, festivals, educational facilities and online platforms to teach the changes needed to prevent harassment, but are yet to tackle the issue faced by women who fear exercising outdoors.

Stylist Strong Women have been inundated with feedback from their readers about experiencing street harassment when out running alone. Collectively, with LimeLight Sports Club and UN Women UK, they are striving to make it safer for women to exercise in public. The goal is to move the conversation from ‘what women can do to stay safe’ to how we can bring about behavioural change as a society.

UN Women UK is aiming to train 10,000 people this year across schools, universities and local communities to prevent sexual harassment in public spaces, tackling the problem from the root cause and improving society’s understanding of consent and gender-based violence. LimeLight Sports Club will be donating £5 from the sale of each ASICS London 10k ticket to the Safe Spaces Now cause. Runners taking part will also be able to fundraise.

“I am so inspired by the passion and power of the thousands of people in the Safe Spaces Now community who are making this change possible. It will bring people together to reclaim the streets they deserve to feel safe in and gain the attention of decision-makers who, together, have the power to influence” - Claire Barnett, Executive Director of UN Women UK.

For more than 10 years, UN Women has worked in some of the most dangerous cities to reduce and prevent violence against women and girls, on a mission to make public spaces inclusive for everyone.

Sexual harassment relates to unwanted behaviours that encompass sexual touching, abusive language about someone’s gender, sharing explicit images without consent, sexual assault and rape. According to research, seven in 10 women in the UK have been sexually harassed and only 3% of 18-24-year-olds said they haven’t been sexually harassed.

The Mayor of London signed up and pledged to change these statistics through the ‘Women’s Night Safety Charter’ which has seen businesses committing to doing more. However, UN Women UK saw an urgent need to scale these commitments and offer guidance and monitoring to create successful long-term solutions. Taking part in the ASICS London 10k aims to increase awareness even further and make this possible.

ASICS London 10k
9:30am Sunday 10th July 2022
105 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7NJ

Hashtags: #ASICSLDN10K #safespacesnow
Social handles: @thelondon10k @unwomenuk @strongwomenuk

If you have been affected by or have been a victim of sexual harassment or abuse and are struggling, speaking with a counsellor or therapist can be really helpful.

To connect with a counsellor, visit Counselling Directory.

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