1 in 3 women around the world face some kind of sexual harassment or abuse in their lifetime. The data on abuse and harassment is never consistent and every agency agrees that it is an under reported problem. As many as 80% of the victims, choose not to report to the police due to various reasons and therefore there is little or no official records of sexual harassment. Technically if there are not enough reports or statistics, how can we go about understanding this problem and solving the same?
Safecity encourages women to break their silence and report either anonymously or with their identity. This data 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 solve the problem at the local level.
Safecity has collated over 3000 personal stories from over 50 cities in India making us the largest crowdmap on the topic of sexual harassment and abuse. Talking about the issue itself is a taboo so providing a platform for women to report and going by the number of reports collected is a huge feat.
We have conducted workshops for over 600 youth to make them aware of sexual harassment and for 240 children on child sexual abuse.
We have conducted a pilot in one of the suburbs in Mumbai where crowdsourced data was used to get the local police to change their beat patrol timings and the local MLA released funds for installation of surveillance cameras at key junctions.
The Goa police have asked for a direct link from our website to an email address under their control if the location for the report is selected as “Goa”.
Statistics are not available freely about sexual harassment and abuse. This is because of the under reporting, under communication and lack of official statistics.
Highlighting the need to report as the lack of statistics makes this problem invisible. It has to be brought into the mainstream view and we can only do it with data even if it is crowdsourced, unverified and anonymous.
Creating awareness and making people aware of the platform. Reaching as many people as we can for them to report this data is very important and also quite difficult. It should be top of mind recall and people should report every situation as soon as possible.
Getting people involved in the issue. Making the site interactive and getting people engaged is a huge task. e.g. their route to work, around their home/office or in the area of their child’s school/college, would they still remain apathetic?
We have had women tell us that they now have a platform to share their experiences. We have some reports from over 20 years ago where the women describe the incident in great detail.
We have seen instances where people have offered help to those reporting in the “comments” section. E.g. in Bangalore we had someone offer to walk with the person through an unsafe area and in another case offer advice on how to deal with stalking on the phone.
We have conducted a pilot in one of the suburbs in Mumbai where crowdsourced data was used to get the local police to change their beat patrol timings and the local MLA released funds for installation of surveillance cameras at key junctions. Crowdsourced data does work.
We have over 50 volunteers working on various aspects of Safecity.