Safecity Monthly Updates – August 2022

Safecity is committed to creating safer communities for everyone. Our goal is to empower citizens by helping them understand the potential risks they could face in different neighbourhoods. We can do this by sharing our experiences or others anonymously and make these stories available for all. The platform serves law enforcement agencies with information on sexual harassment and other crimes occurring in public and private spaces. The platform’s data helps keep public spaces safe by enabling authorities to keep track of incidents and prevent sexual harassment in the future.

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Stand Up Against Street Harassment

Red Dot Foundation has partnered with L’Oreal Paris India and Right To Be in its efforts to raise awareness regarding street harassment in public spaces and train local communities on how to take appropriate action.

2,000 people have received bystander intervention training from us. These one-hour training sessions prepare participants to fend off harassment on the street and serve as both active and helpful bystanders.

Through participation and practice, participants learn simple 5Ds-based intervention techniques that they may employ to protect both their own and the victim’s safety if a crisis develops.

 

Queer Hifazat Fellowship

We worked together on our initiative, “Queer Hifazat – The Changemaker Fellowship,” with The QKnit Foundation. The initiative intends to develop a network of LGBTQIA+ people in India and safe spaces for the community. The goal of this project is to provide the community with a place where they can feel secure sharing their experiences and seeking support from others, exchanging ideas, and being heard without being judged.

The year-long fellowship programme began with the training of changemakers. Now that they have had the training, the fellows have begun talking to stakeholders and community members about LGBTQIA+ rights. They have trained 1,539 people from various parts of the country like Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. Many of them covered about 200-300 people during these sessions while also collecting the reports concerning sexual harassment and gender-based violence on the Safecity app.

 

My Body, My Rights

Red Dot Foundation is a part of the SAGE – Brave Movement. RDF has launched an advocacy campaign for educational institutions and non-profit organisations to highlight the risks of child sexual abuse and stress the importance of protecting children from the risk of abuse in both, the physical world and the digital environment. The advocacy campaign will feature roundtables and a youth programme, in addition to the change.org petition.

1) Roundtables:

We are organising 10 roundtable conversations engaging youth, community-based organizations, NGOs, and educational institutions to understand children’s current challenges regarding safety and security and share possible solutions. The outcome of these discussions will be to produce a white paper listing the demands of bodily rights of children, youth, and people that we can later present to the local and national government to ensure safer school and college campuses.  

On 18th August 2022, we began our first roundtable with mental health professionals from Bengaluru. We had 17 participants in attendance from the following organisations: Samvidh Psych Services, KHPT, Agami, NIMHANS, PES UNIVERSITY,  and Swabhava. We also had young students who expressed their concerns about the issues of safe campuses for children. 

The following are some key points that were highlighted by the participants during the roundtable:

  1. Destigmatizing CSA and educating children about gender and sexuality at an early age.
  2. Creating a safe ecosystem that will protect the child before we make it mandatory to report.
  3. Investing in psycho-social care, both as a preventive and a continuum.
  4. The need for a mental health professional capable of addressing any developmental challenges the child may be experiencing.
  5. Reflecting on how our actions might affect a child, and altering our behaviour accordingly; creating awareness with parents.

Here is some feedback received from our participants:

It was a well organised conversation, with a wide coverage of topics and strong deliverables.

 – Dr. Akila Sadasivan, Director and CEO, Samvidh Psych Services

The discussion highlighted the need to train parents to communicate openly with their children about gender, sexuality, and physical boundaries. More sessions like these are required to create awareness.” 

– Priyanka Nambiar, PhD Candidate, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences 

If you are interested, please sign up here.

2) Youth Advocates for CSA prevention:

If you are a young person between the ages of 18-30 years and wish to lead a campaign for bodily rights in your community, please sign up here.

3) #BeBrave Petition

Please join us as survivors and our allies to demand prevention, to protect current and future generations; healing for survivors and their families; and justice for survivors, holding perpetrators and the complicit to account. You can sign the petition here – Be Brave Petition

 

Adventures for the Mind – Mentorship Programme

The Adventures for the Mind Mentorship Program, held from March – August 2022, provided an opportunity to emphasise the value of women in leadership and to accelerate the impact of these leaders through mentoring.

The mentees were young girls from the NGOs – Prerana, SNEHA, and Save the Children. Most of them were students with varied aspirations like learning to communicate in English, completing their education, or opening a small business. The mentors were selected from a range of corporate and civil society organizations. 

On February 21st, a goal-setting session was held in Hindi for the mentees, during which the importance of objectives and the distinction between short-term and long-term goals were discussed. They were instructed to carefully consider their goals, polish them, and write down their main, short and long-term goals on a goal sheet. Based on the mentor’s areas of experience and interests, these aims helped us choose the right mentor to guide the girls.

The program began with an interactive ice breaker session on “Challenging the Gender Bias” that was conducted by Chetna Mehrotra from Rangbhoomi Applied Theatre.  The mentors and mentees then had an opportunity to meet each other in breakout rooms.

Following the launch event, each mentee’s contact information was shared with their mentor and vice versa. The commitment of mentoring was six one-hour sessions over a five-month period at a time that was mutually convenient for both parties.

Many mentees were from rural areas with poor network connectivity. When video or voice calls failed, the mentors used creative mentoring methods, such as sending each other voice notes or short video clips. For their mentoring sessions, each mentor and mentee were encouraged to meet virtually.

Women’s mentorship has many advantages. It builds relationships, fosters gender equality, strengthens the atmosphere for women’s success, and opens doors for further personal development as one can explore innovative leadership techniques.

Here is what some of the mentors had to say:

“She is such a lovely girl, and I’m so thankful to you (RDF), for giving me an opportunity to mentor such a  driven girl.”

– Payal Bhuptani about her mentee Pragati.

“The Mentoring Program is a good way for aspiring girls to connect with women who are successful in their fields. The girls get a lot of practical knowledge on how to further their careers and how to tackle obstacles along the way.”

– Mitchelle D’Souza from SNEHA NGO, where some of the mentees came from.

 

Decolonising Development in South Asia –  Book Launch

Our Founder, ElsaMarie Dsilva, and her friends at the Aspen Institute New Voices Fellowship have written essays on Decolonising Development in South Asia. 

Join us for the e-book launch on 22nd September, 2022 at 7:30pm Dhaka/7:00pm IST/ 06:30pm Pakistan/ 09:30am EST.

Please register here.

 

SafeCircle

SafeCircle is a safe listening circle for survivors of violence and trauma to find support facilitated by our CEO Supreet K Singh. During COVID-19 we have witnessed increasing numbers of cases of intimate partner/ domestic violence and online harassment. Through these listening circles, survivors will find a community of support, share strategies to address and prevent the violence and offer solidarity to peers. Since May 2020 we have been providing psychosocial support to over 25 survivors.
Read on to learn more about SafeCircle here.

If you would like to attend a SafeCircle please visit here. Sessions are held every fourth Friday of the month from 3 pm – 5 pm IST.

 

Intern Talks – Tavishee Banerjee

 

“Working alongside Red Dot Foundation as a communications intern in 2022 was an extremely eye-opening and valuable experience. I worked on various projects over the course of three months and edited videos for Safecity. Not only did I learn about the important and impactful service work that Safecity does, but I was very fortunate to apply my creative and technological skills in a way that has helped Safecity propel its mission and values. I am extremely grateful to work with such a strong organisation, alongside the kindest and most compassionate people.”

 

Key points to understand through data – August

Click here to see the Safecity Data Dashboards.

 

Safecity Reporting Platform

Safecity is a platform as a service product that empowers communities, police and city government to prevent violence in public and private spaces. Our technology stack collects and analyses crowdsourced, anonymous reports of violent crime, identifying patterns and key insights. This data enables citizens, researchers and policymakers to create safer spaces by:

  • Increasing awareness, transparency and public accountability
  • Improving policy and tactical precision with data-led insights
  • Optimising budgets to more effectively allocate resources

Get in touch if you want to be a Safecity partner.

Report an incident on Safecity Platform

Download Safecity App on iOS Devices

Download Safecity App on Android Devices

 

Upcoming Projects and Events

  • 13 September 2022 – 6 pm IST/ 8.30 am EST – Global Data Challenge kicks off.
  • 14 to 17 September 2022 – GDL Mumbai Lab – Impact of Urban Design on Inclusive Cities: Intersections and Crossroads in Mumbai.
  • 21 September 2022 – Book Launch ‘SHE IS – Women in STEAM.’
  • 28 & 29 September 2022 – 10 am IST to 5 pm IST – Urban Thinkers Campus, Mumbai – Feminist Cities for a Sustainable Future. Register here.
  • Safecity Twitter Chats & Spaces Calendar

 

Ongoing Projects

  • Queer Hifazat Project
  • Queer for Others Campaign – Being implemented by RDF in partnership with Swechha, supported by the U.S. Embassy India
  • Community Health Workers Trainings with HDFC Bank – Parivartan
  • Community Health Workers Trainings with City of Stuttgart
  • Mentoring on Personal Leadership with Young Girls and Women with Adventures of the Mind
  • Stand Up Against Street Harassment with L’Oreal Paris India and Right To Be
  • Responsible Tourism Programme
  • My Body, My Rights
  • Youth Innovation Challenge 2022

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