Safecity: Combatting Sexual Violence Through Technology

Safecity, …. is a not for profit organization that provides a platform for people to share their personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces. This data, which may be 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 for social and systemic change for safer cities. We launched on 26 Dec 2012 and since then have collected over 4000 stories from over 50 cities in India and Nepal.

How can Safecity help?
Safecity is a crowd map that converts these individual stories into data that is then plotted on a map. It is then easier to see trends at the location level (e.g. a street). The focus is taken away from the individual victim and instead we can focus on solving the problem at the local neighborhood level.

The Objectives:
• Create awareness on street harassment and abuse and get people, especially women, victims of hate and LGBTQ crimes 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 through urban planning aimed at addressing infrastructural deficits
• Establish successful models of community engagement using crowd sourced data to solve civic and local issues.
• Reach out to women who do not have equal access to technology through our Missed dial facility for them to report any cases of abuse and harassment.

We wish to take this data forward to lobby for systemic change in terms of urban planning and infrastructure, reforms in our law that are premised on gender equity, and social changes to loosen the shackles that do not allow us otherwise to live the way we want to, with the freedom we want to, and with the rights that are fundamental to all of us, and it will just build our momentum further by having as many passionate, concerned and diverse genders on board.

We are trying to build a movement by collecting these reports through campaigns, workshops and awareness programs with schools, colleges, local communities and partners with shared vision. Crime against women has been rampant and largely remains unreported even till date. That silence needs to gain a voice and the time is now. We are determined to highlight this serious social issue and we believe we are taking a step towards changing the way our society thinks and reacts and are hopeful that so are you. In time we hope it will lead to a safe and non-violent environment for all.

Safecity uses technology to document sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces in the following way. People can report incidents of sexual abuse and street harassment, that they have experienced or witnessed. They can share solutions that can help avoid such situations and decide for themselves what works best for them, their geographic location or circumstances.

By allowing people to pin such incidents on a crowd-sourced map, we aim to let them highlight the “hotspots” of such activities. This accentuates the emerging trend in a particular area, enabling the citizens to acknowledge the problem, take personal precautions and devise a solution at the neighbourhood level.

Safecity believes in uniting millions of voices that can become a catalyst for change.

You can read the FAQs section for more information on how the data is used for public good. (More)”