A Luminar nightclub in Ipswich has received praise from police and its local MP for a scheme focused on ensuring female customers get home safely.
The “Girls United” scheme at Liquid & Envy on New Cardinal Street is designed to give female customers the tools they need to stay safe on a night out.
The venue has installed free mobile phone charging points in permanently manned cloakrooms and approved taxi firm numbers are clearly displayed at reception.
Employees have been trained to look out for vulnerable young women, offer support and question anyone leaving the venue alone. In addition, two fully qualified female door staff are now on hand every Friday and Saturday night.
The scheme is supported by posters and flyers within the nightclub, reminding female customers to stay safe.
Lynn Ambrose, manager at The Ferns, which is Suffolk’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, said: “This is an excellent initiative and we hope Girls United will be adopted by other late night venues in the county. Rape and serious sexual assault is a subject most avoid addressing so it is refreshing to see Liquid & Envy launching such an initiative that acknowledges we all have a part to play in keeping potential victims safe.
“While sexual violence can affect people from all backgrounds, it is young women aged 17 - 24 who, figures show, are at most risk in Suffolk. Equally young men aged 17-24 are the highest offender group.”
Ben Gummer, MP for Ipswich, said: “I applaud Liquid & Envy for taking steps to help young women stay safe when enjoying a night out. I want Ipswich to have a thriving night life, but I also want to make a night life that is fun and safe for everyone to enjoy.”