London needs to be a safe, happy and empowering city for all women and girls. But we know that’s not always a reality.
We want to hear where and why you feel safe but also where and why you don’t feel safe.
Anonymously tag places where you feel safe or less safe, where you’re maybe just more aware or feel uneasy, where you look over your shoulder, where you sometimes avoid going or feel excluded, where you’ve experienced catcalling, groping or any form of sexual violence.
The people who make decisions about our city will see your stories and your ideas for change and they are committed to taking action to make London a Safe City.
Safe Cities is a worldwide United Nations Women program that draws attention to the sexual violence that women and girls experience in public spaces; whether that be in the workplace, at school, at a restaurant or bar, while using public transportation or recreation, or in a park. ANOVA and the Mayor’s Office embarked on undertaking a Safe Cities Initiative in early 2017, gaining unanimous endorsement from London City Council in late 2017. London is the third Canadian city to become part of the UN Safe Cities initiative- Winnipeg and Edmonton being the other two.
Having undertaken this designation, London is committed to the United Nations to the following phases:
- Undertake a scoping study of the incidence (where, what, who, when) of sexual violence and harassment in public spaces in London.
- Use the data that emerges from the scoping study to determine locally relevant actions to prevent and better respond to sexual violence and harassment in public spaces in London.
The following actions will be undertaken in order to reach the previously described phases:
- Development of a mapping tool as a way to map peak times and locations for sexual harassment and sexual aggression.
- Undertaking of 3 – 4 focus groups in collaboration with community groups and agencies, targeting sub populations who experience higher levels of sexual violence or who may be under-represented in mapping tool data.
In March 2018, City Council allotted $30,700 for the scoping study to take place June to December 2018. While the collection of data may continue after December 2018, Anova and our partners will be reporting back to Council in January 2019 to recommend next steps for the final 3 years of the initiative. Data on who, when, what, and how will be collected using CrowdSpot, a mapping website where Londoners can indicate where they feel safe and where they feel less safe in London.
This approach to scoping the issue was intentionally chosen in consultation with our research partners at the Centre for Additions and Mental Health, as we know that the highest incidence rate for sexual violence is for women aged 15-24, the vast majority of whom are highly engaged on social media and through tech. The approach to the scoping study will be broad in terms of what someone would consider as making them feel less or more safe—the occurrence of a targeted act of sexual violence or the feeling of being less welcomed and less safe for a variety of other reasons. Providing data on one’s identity while pin dropping will be optional. The website developer has indicated there are processes in place to ensure against abuse of the system (e.g. one IP address pinning numerous of pins in one day on one location).