Safecity is a platform that crowdsources personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces. This data, which maybe anonymous, gets aggregated as hot spots on a map indicating trends at a local level. The idea is to make this data useful for individuals, local communities and local administration to identify factors that cause behaviour that leads to violence and for work on strategies for solutions.
Safecity aims to make cities safer by encouraging equal access to public spaces for everyone especially women, through the use of crowdsourced data and technology.
Our main objective is to:
- Create awareness on sexual harassment and abuse and get women and other disadvantaged communities to break their silence and report their personal experiences.
- Collate this information to showcase location based trends.
- Make this information available and useful for individuals, local communities and local administration to solve the problem at the local level.
HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED
Safecity consists of several ways that women/girls can connect with each other on the issue.
a) Crowdmap - People can share their stories anonymously by providing details of what happened, where and when the incident took place.
b) Social media - We have a robust presence on social media - Facebook 43000 followers and Twitter 22000 followers.
c) Formal relationships with Police in Mumbai, Delhi and Goa who receive a data file every month on location based trends.
d) Using evidence based data we run campaigns in different neighbourhoods in Mumbai and Delhi with partner NGOs and drive accountability from institutional service providers.
e) Workshops for different age groups and demographics to educate on the issue, legislation, human rights and redressal processes.
- Crowdsourced data - We are creating a new data set that currently does not exist.
- Simple to use technology - includes webapp, missed dial facility and Twitter handle @SafecityIndia for reporting
- Community engagement - where we invite citizens to be part of the decision making process for solutions and they can demand accountability from their institutional service providers.
- We are the largest crowd map on this topic in the world. We have over 8200 personal reports from over 50 cities in India, Nepal, Kenya and Cameroon.
- We have conducted workshops for 5000 people this year alone on awareness of sexual violence, the laws, their legal rights and redressal procedures. A 1000 children have attended our child sexual abuse awareness workshops.
- We have partnered with various NGOs in Delhi and Mumbai and have run local campaigns in 5 neighbourhoods in Delhi and 2 in Mumbai improving the lives of 2500 families.
- We have a formal relationship with the police in Mumbai, Delhi and Goa and send them monthly trend reports.
- We have tied up with the National Social Service Department of Mumbai University where 10 students from 10 colleges are assigned to our programme. They participate in workshops and community engagement activities to raise awareness of sexual violence and get grades in return. We also have a campus ambassador programme involving 50 youth.
- Getting people to adopt the platform and use it.
- Breaking the silence is the key issue.
- Help in marketing and spreading awareness.
-Getting funding to help us scale up.
We could not only be an online platform. We needed to have an on the ground component.
Many women do not understand and recognise the different types of sexual violence and are completely ignorant of their legal rights. We had to conduct awareness workshops for them.
Involving men and boys in the solutions is crucial to the campaign's success.
Working to strengthen government and institutional systems works.
Collaboration is key to making an impact.
A lot can be done harnessing volunteer support, skills and effort thus reducing the need for large budgets.
Social media plays a very important role to create awareness and advocacy and harness youth engagement.