Safecity Monthly Updates – April 2021

Safecity aims at making our cities safer for every citizen. It is rigorously working towards the fulfillment of this cause by empowerment through data. By reporting and sharing our stories, we can help and make others situationally aware of the neighborhoods they visit. The data collected at the Safecity reporting platform also ensures help for our local governing and authoritative bodies in regulating violent crimes in our cities in both public and private spaces


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Covid Relief Campaigns

India COVID-19 Relief: Help Dhanbad With O2 Concentrators

The people of Dhanbad, the second-most populated city in the Indian state of Jharkhand, are in desperate need of your support today. With one of the lowest doctor-patient ratios as per the WHO guidelines, Jharkhand is also one of the worst-hit Indian states in pandemic.

Given the need of the hour, the Alumni of Dhanbad along with Red Dot Foundation (Safecity) are driving this campaign, working across private, government and non-profit sectors to ensure no city like Dhanbad is too remote to be left behind in the fight to alleviate a global pandemic like COVID-19. We need to urgently raise USD 150,000 to procure 100 Oxygen Concentrators and supplement local ongoing relief programs impacting an estimated 4000+ lives.

To learn more click here.

Donate Now

Support Medical Aid And Other Relief For COVID19 Survivors

Red Dot Foundation (Safecity) along with Krantii (ex-Army personnel) have created a volunteer group that is working with survivors of COVID19 across India in the following areas:

  • Providing telemedical advice through a group of vetted medical doctors. People suffering from COVID are panicking and this telemedical advice helps them plan their course of action – stay home or move to a hospital.
  • Vetting beds, medicines and oxygen availability for immediate use. We are receiving SOS calls from all over the country and our team is guiding them based on vetted real-time information. This is being done through a call center operation.
  • Immediate needs on a case-to-case basis. For example payment for ambulance rides, hospital bills and oxygen cylinders.

We appreciate your support in this hour of crisis. All of us are in this together and we will collectively get through this together.

Donate Now

Anti Street Harassment Campaign

International Anti Harassment Week is held every year in April and this year Red Dot Foundation (Safecity) was the co-host of the movement along with Stop Street Harassment and Catcalls of NYC. In addition to amplifying the ASH week, we hosted several different events.

Tweetchats

Every day there were tweetchats during Anti Street Harassment Week from April 11 to 17, 2021, flagging interesting questions to highlight the nature of street harassment, helping unpack the context in which it happens and making visible the way it impacts different people – children, youth, women, trans community and sex workers. People from different parts of the world and walks of life participated in the tweetchats. The average social media engagement was 40 tweets per Tweetchats.

Some of the feedback and insights on dealing with the various issues are as follows:

Indecent Exposure – Understanding the nature of Street Harassment

Curated by Shruti Sharada
Indecent exposure remains one of the least discussed forms of street harassment as it was considered ‘normal behaviour’. Sex is usually an uncomfortable topic for open discussion.

However startling reports on Safecity show shame on the survivors’ part instead of the perpetrators. But many who reported believed that socio cultural norms makes exposing oneself to another is not ‘harassment’. One way to tackle this issue would be to conduct awareness campaigns about the laws for harassment. Harassment in any form is unacceptable and should be subject to punishment. A support system should be put in place to counsel the victim on the mental and emotional repercussions caused. This would give survivors confidence to speak up and the perpetrator will know that there are consequences to deal with.

Psychological impact of Street Harassment on women and marginalized genders

Curated by Sushmita Das

Street harassment has a long term impact on the lives of women and marginalized genders affecting their health which leads to anxiety, fear, shunning certain surroundings and daily familiar routes. Many opt out of venturing outside, dress to suit the environment and adjust their schedules. The need of the hour is to educate everyone how to deal in such situations and help survivors regain confidence to navigate public spaces.

Bystander intervention and violence against women in public spaces

Curated by Breakthrough India

How does one react when one sees a woman being harassed on the streets and what role could the government play to make people be proactive to intervene in street harassment?

Solutions that popped up included – Stop it individually or get people around to help. Engage in a healthy conversation to make her feel safe and admonish the perpetrator sternly. Some shared their experience of intervening and coming to the rescue of the victims. There was a general thought that people are reluctant to intervene or take action in public for various reasons. To make people more comfortable and change their attitude of ‘it’s not my problem’, creating more space for sharing to highlight the issue could be encouraged to intervene in violence against women in public spaces. The government on their part should not drag victims through a painful and lengthy process for justice. It could enact strong policies on violence against women. It could make gender sensitivity and education on VAW, GBV prevention part of the curriculum and invest in resources to provide quick and effective relief. A survey conducted by L’Oreal in 15 countries shows that 4 women out of 5 in India experienced street harassment as a victim at least once in their lifetime.

Street harassment on Children

Curated by Railway Children India

Children face various forms of harassment from being bullied, abused and exploited. Many children are victims and it persists because we allow it to happen trivializing something like eve-teasing. Children need to be educated about street harassment and taught to defend themselves. A classic example of security personnel in public buses and metro rail in Delhi could be one such solution to increase mobility of girls and women. Anti-street harassment training/education could be made part of schools’ curricula. There are many organisations working on keeping children safe.

Women in sex trade & sexual harassment

Curated by ATC Prerana

Women who are sex workers are not spared harassment in public places. They are shunned and are vulnerable to attacks. They are often arrested under the provision of the Bombay Police Act Section 110 as ‘public nuisance’ or ‘obscene conduct’. Sensitization of authorities like the police and judiciary will help to view them from a lens of empathy, awareness in the community and education could help the challenges these women face.

Street harassment & transgender community

Curated by The Chinky Homo Project

Transgender persons are subjected to catcalling and verbal abuse and are at high risk of physical assault. They attract attention because they do not conform to the norm and do not fit into our perceived notion of a person. Empathy and understanding of the issue can bring bystanders to intervene and diffuse a situation. Education at all levels on gender sensitivity would be a great start to eliminate transphobia in public places, society and home. It is everyone’s responsibility to make the streets safer.

‘No one is safe until everyone is safe’

Confidence is Beautiful

Confidence is Beautiful was another campaign which engaged several organisations and individuals. We had about 100 people send in their quotes. 22 of them were men which is very encouraging that we are opening the space for conversation and action amongst men and boys.

Making Cities and Streets Safer

A panel discussion on Making Cities and Streets Safer was curated by Elsa D’Silva with 5 speakers Kanta Singh, Hon Esther M. Passaris, Holly Kearl, Jane Anyango, Alice Tetaz on 15th April. The discussion centred on sexual harassment on the streets. Holly Kearl enlightened everyone on how the ‘Anti Harassment Week’ movement began. Alice Tetaz presented an international survey on sexual harassment in public places in 2021 conducted in 15 countries with participation of 15,000 people by L’Oreal. It showed 47% as sexual harassment as the main issue followed by domestic violence as 44%. However it was felt the statistics in India do not hold good as people are reluctant or afraid to report the crimes against them. Alice said that people were not forthcoming in their response when she conducted face to face interviews. She also noted that 80% faced sexual harassment in the US.

Kanta Singh shared her experiences in the different cities of India that she lived in.

Jane Anyanyo talked of how girls in Kenya’s slums break their silence about parental and sexual abuse, thanks to “talking boxes” placed in schools where they can share their secrets whilst Elsa D’Silva discussed how girls and women in India can annonymously report on the Safecity app.

Karmini talked about her experience of engaging hundreds of men and boys in the sexual harassment training program in colleges in Delhi.

Esther Passaris expressed a wish for Kenya to be included in the survey by L’Oreal in the future. She felt the need for an increase in awareness of the problem and a moral obligation on everyone’s part to restoring humanity. You can check the recording of the session here.

Saving anyone anywhere is saving yourself

Bold is Beautiful – Youth take action against street harassment

The panel discussion Bold is Beautiful – Youth take action against street harassment on 17th April was moderated by Supreet Singh and held in partnership with MAVA. 5 youth champions Arpan Bayan, Rajeev Kushwah, Rohit Thapa, Lochana Adivarekar and Shams Aalam shared their personal experiences and suggested ways to solve the problem. The panel discussions were followed by small group session led by the youth which further deep dived into crowdsourcing solutions. A stimulating and encouraging initiative, it ended with one of the panelists reading his poignant poem with a powerful message. You can check the recording of the session here.

Safecity Safety Champion Campaign – April 2021

The Safety Champion Campaign is an initiative with Internshala and India Trust to empower young leaders while giving them first-hand experience of communication and organisational skills. This campaign aims to engage youth in facilitating safe spaces. The youth who were from all over India were trained to be peer educators on identifying sexual harassment and responding to it. They in turn encouraged their friends to report incidents of sexual harassment on the Safecity platform.

Safecity started this campaign in March and we got more than 3,000 applications on Internshala. Out of these applications, more than 1,500 candidates attended the training sessions on the campaign. So far 214 youth have successfully completed this short internship and received the certificate.

Candidates showed huge enthusiasm and interest in this campaign. Many youngsters who completed this campaign shared with us that this campaign was an eye opener for them as they got to know so much about the safety aspects of their area, sexual harassment and how much it is prevalent.

Campus Ambassador Program

The Campus Ambassador Program is an initiative by Safecity to create safe campuses and communities by engaging youth from colleges. This program aims to empower young leaders while giving them a first-hand experience of leadership, communication and organizational skills.

Around forty five youth from all over India are working with us under this program. They have created teams in their areas and colleges, and are spreading awareness about safety issues in their communities. They are collecting reports from people about various crimes on our platform. We continue to brief and guide them about this program and have facilitated two capacity building sessions this month.

If you would like to be a Campus Ambassador, please apply here.

SafeCircle

SafeCircle is an initiative towards empowering our survivors of violence through constant encouragement and providing them with a platform to share their experiences. Over the last ten months, SafeCircle has helped over 25+ survivors of violence and harassment regularly to build resilience, find help, report and speak up against acts of violence and abuse. Our safe haven also enables the survivors to engage with the survivor community and learn various ways to deal with violence.

We have started the SafeCircle Facilitators Training Certification Course and have trained 15 people in the first batch.

If you would like to support SafeCircle please visit here.

Intern Talks

“I’m Neha Gupta; it’s been eight years of my marriage and mother to a beautiful daughter. After completing my MBA in finance, I got married and didn’t get the opportunity to pursue my dream job. Destiny had some other plans for me. I started a small business from home. My first business idea wasn’t profitable, but I learned the art of putting myself out there with a sense of self-worth at that age. That pillar has been instrumental in building my current status. “The tipping point came right after my 30th birthday. Something happened that impacted profoundly and led me to redefine life. After two layoffs in two years, I got a gentle nudge from the universe that I needed to create my destiny and financial security. While staying home as a full-time mom, I started looking for opportunities to use my skills to make money. After the initial hurdles and harassment, the learning curve was so great I came very close to failure. Instead of giving up, I started to develop a deep sense of passion for motivating and educating myself to reach greater heights. It became a challenge for me, but that’s when I got the opportunity to work for Red Dot Foundation – Safecity. I wanted to help those women who are facing the same problem as I have gone through. Working at Safecity comes with great responsibility and requires commitment and develops a sense of dedication and willingness to go on even when things look bleak. You get the feeling of gratification as you are working for the betterment of society.”

Key points to understand through data

Was the incident reported to the police?

Classification of incidents by time of the day in Mumbai:

Classification of incidents by time of the day in Delhi:

Classification by category of abuse for Mumbai:

Classification by category of abuse for Delhi:

Classification of incidents by time of the day in Mumbai:

Safecity Reporting Platform

Safecity aims at making our cities safer for every citizen. It is rigorously working towards the fulfillment of this cause by empowerment through data. By reporting and sharing your story, one can help and make others aware through this platform. The data collected at the Safecity reporting platform also ensures help for our local governing and authoritative bodies in regulating violent crimes in our cities, in both public and private spaces.

Report an incident on Safecity Platform

Download Safecity App on iOS Devices

Download Safecity App on Android Devices

You can list your individual action here with a picture and quote.

That’s all for this month. Keep watching this space and we’ll keep you updated on all our work every month!  

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