Mobile phone app partners with South London authorities to tackle misogyny, harassment and gender-based violence against women and girls in the city.

Safe and the City helps users plot a route home or location of their choice using map data on the area they need to travel through to get from A to B.

A new feature that will see the company working with authorities in Sutton, Croydon and Bromley, now allows users to report any harassment or violence they may have experienced or witnessed.

Opt-in reporting fields will appear in these three boroughs of South London while using the app to give passers-by and directly affected women an anonymous way to share more details about the incident.

The hope is that by using the power of crowdsourced data, the app can help authorities make real improvements for everyone at a time when public concern over the current prevalence of the problem is growing. increase, especially in south London after Sabina’s death. Nessa and Sarah Everard.

“The information will help better understand what is happening in these communities, to whom it is happening, and to contextualize how we can get better interventions and prevent it from happening again,” said Jillian Kowalchuk, Founder and CEO of Safe and the City. said the Sutton Guardian.

“We haven’t moved fast enough on this issue, and we haven’t used the capabilities of technology to help people accelerate equality-related change and end violence against women. , to violence, ”she added. “We focus on anonymous reports, with users always having a choice as to how much they want to share. It is essential to protect the privacy of anyone who reports. We want to use all the information we get to work with the schools, to work with the local authorities and to figure out what can be done. And we can see with crowdsourcing data whether interventions are effective. ”

To this end, Jillian and her team seem convinced that wider use of the app can contribute to what must be a multi-faceted approach to improving the safety of women and girls involving education, local governments and national, law enforcement and cultural attitudes.

The timing of what will be an initial 12-month pilot project in Croydon, Sutton and Bromley is prescient. A UN Women UK survey showed that 97 percent of young women had experienced sexual harassment, of which around 80 percent occurred in public spaces.

Yet, as Jillian pointed out, it’s not just about women and girls. To truly improve the situation and tackle the pervasive nature of violence and harassment against women and girls, men and boys must also be involved:

“We need people to fully invest themselves alongside us to fight this problem. Not only because the vast majority of violence against women is perpetrated by a man, but also because there is also a problem of male violence against men. When we address issues of people who are more vulnerable we will be able to address that issue. We find it a positive ripple effect for men to discuss with women why, for example, someone who makes a vulgar comment is really threatening. It’s about really trying to understand that perspective, because it’s likely that they felt unsafe at some point and that’s something we need to work on collectively. ”

Safe and the City are now teaming up with advice from Croydon, Bromley and Sutton.

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