Safecity Monthly Updates – November 2020
Safecity is growing exponentially and we’re constantly working hard to translate our vision to reality. Because we don’t want you to miss out on our work, we’ve decided to put together a monthly column to tell you about what we’ve been up to.
You can sign up for our newsletter here.
Safecity Reporting Platform
Safecity is an initiative of the Red Dot Foundation Global based in Washington DC, U.S.A, and its sister concern Red Dot Foundation based in Mumbai, India where the dataset is the world’s largest, with about 25 participating cities/countries/organizations.
It is a platform that powers communities, police, and city government to prevent violence in public and private spaces with the technology stack that collects and analyses crowdsourced, anonymous reports of violent crime, identifying patterns and key insights. With this data, citizens, researchers, and policymakers are enabled to create safer spaces by boosting awareness, transparency & public accountability, and improving policy and tactical precision with data-led insights. It also helps them in optimising budgets to more effectively allocate resources. By sharing the experiences and submitting a report anonymously, one can help in making the city safer since it’ll help in identifying identity patterns, creating safe spaces and quality of life for all in the community. Moreover, it’ll help in gaining insight into opaque issues like family and domestic violence and reinforce community connection & engagement through crowdsourcing.
Click on the link provided to report an incident: safecity.in
To download the app in iOS, click here
We are grateful to our partners at The Data Duck and Vital Voices for their invaluable support.
If you love our work, please contribute to making cities and communities safer. Check 5 ways you can donate to the cause.
Indian donors can click here.
Safecity is the winner of the 2020 Foursquare for Good Award
During this year, around 40 non-profit organizations submitted proposals, covering ways to make the world a better place through the power of location technology which included helping first-responders by ameliorating location accuracy and helping those facing homelessness find safe support services in their communities.
The mission of Foursquare for Good is to make the real world a better, smarter, safer, and more inclusive place through the power of location technology by partnering with developers, academics, non-profits, and data scientists. Safecity’s proposal this year stood out from the rest for its commitment and aim to make the world a safer and ultimately better place. We’re thrilled to share that the Red Dot Foundation’s SafeCity initiative has been named the 2020 winner of the Foursquare for Good program.
Read the full article here to see what the judges had to say and know more.
Be A SuperShero campaign
In every country around the world, women and girls face multiple barriers and gender-based discrimination which may be rooted in cultural mindsets or stereotypes. These anomalies are entrenched deep into our society and exist in almost every sphere. The young minds are subject to biased policing based on gender that is ingrained into their minds and perpetuated for future generations. Children learn to conform to gender norms and stereotypes from their family and friends, the media and institutions including schools and religious bodies.
On the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child in October, Red Dot Foundation organised a campaign named “Be A SuperShero” in partnership with the Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai as an initiation to break this chain of gender stereotypes and recognize the radical young girls & their fight against the gender barriers. The motive of the campaign was to reach out to all the young girls who are shattering the rigidly constructed gender stereotypes and finding their own voice.
The response was overwhelming and inspiring. The campaign ended on 3rd November 2020 with 20 top SuperSheroes whose submissions stood out amongst the rest. For the top 20 winners, we organized a Felicitation session with Anna Lekvall (Consul General of the Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai) and a story-writing session with Supreet K Singh (Filmmaker & Director, Red Dot Foundation). It was truly heartening to witness the bold ideas and constructive change in the mindsets of the coming generations who have the courage and will to bring an impact.
In the words of Sheila Murray Bethel “One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.”
As a safe space for survivors of violence and harassment, SafeCircle, over a period of six months has supported more than 25 survivors regularly. It has helped them share experiences, strategies, build a supportive community and a safe space along with an avenue to learn various ways to deal with the violence that they have experienced in order to boost their confidence and reach out for help.
If you would like to support SafeCircle please visit here.
The article in the October newsletter talked about the evolution of “Be A Cyber Saathi™” awareness program, with a brief description of the main purpose of the program. In this month’s newsletter, we would like to share some of the analysis & comments from the workshops that were done in the month of November. The audience for the sessions done in November covered a large number of students (young adults), faculty & parents from Bangalore, Chennai & Mumbai. Most of them echoed the same message ‘when we were asked to register for the session we were expecting it to be the usual boring stuff but when the session began, it was not only informative but the interactive technique using online tools such as Mentimeter and zoom features such as breakout rooms, polls, etc. to discuss & share ideas, made the session interesting. In fact, the time allotted for the session was not enough, as the topics discussed, stimulated many queries from the students & faculty which kept the session buzzing.’
Mentioned below are some of the feedback received from the students:
“I learned some information about Cyber Crimes and how to protect myself on the Cyber domain”.
“The session was very helpful, descriptive & informative. I got to know many things relevant to crime especially what we need to know about Social Media”.
“Great inputs from the session. I was happy to learn something. Was hooked on to the session from the start”.
“Got to know about the different aspects of Cyber Bullying”.
“Cinema’s influence on crimes & the difference between Sex & Gender”.
“Truly worthwhile session”.
Please do get in touch with us (here) if your institution is interested in having a session done for your students & faculty.
Stay Safe Online: Know the Threats; Know your Rights
The event titled ” Stay Safe Online: Know the Threats; Know your Rights,” held on November 27th was a highly interactive informational session and was organized by Nappinai NS of Cyber Saathi and ElsaMarie D’Silva of the Red Dot Foundation.
It began with some fascinating opening remarks by Dr. Andrew Fleming, British Deputy High Commissioner to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. After his remarks, all the participants were given a case study discussing cyber privacy and safety. In the lively breakout rooms with facilitators, participants analysed different perspectives within this case study after which they presented them to the larger group. Following that, Nappinai addressed the various concerns in the case study as well as explaining some of the remedies available. Overall, through a guided discussion as well as expert remarks, participants left feeling more confident of their rights in the virtual space.
November’s Knowledge Cafe sessions were quite insightful with the first webinar named “Understanding the Sexual Harassment Policies in the Virtual environment” with Nappinai N.S. (Advocate, Supreme Court) and Elsa Marie DSilva (Founder, Red Dot Foundation), held on 3rd November. The session held in partnership with the US Consulate General of Mumbai, focussed on how Covid 19 left a wide impact on people’s lifestyles and shifted the workplace, schools, colleges, etc. to an online mode of operation. In this session, sexual harassment policies in the virtual environment and various aspects of sexual harassment were discussed through case studies & examples.
Check out the video here.
On November 10th, Jyoti Goyal from Red Dot Foundation facilitated a session on the prevention of Child Sexual Abuse where she discussed the POCSO Act. She helped people understand the definition of a child under the law, identify the different forms of child sexual abuse, and the myths, and facts surrounding it. As community members and adults it is important to recognise and identify potential signs of abuse in a victim as well as potential warning signs in the perpetrator. During the 16 days of activism, these sessions are held to help people understand why children do not report and also equip oneself with ways to help a child given the numbers are extremely high.
On 19th November Roshan Kokane and Harish Iyer, discussed the topic, “It happens with Boys too – Child Sexual Abuse” and shared their experience and learning from their journey as male child sexual abuse survivors. Roshan and Harish talked about what they went through and how difficult it was being a boy. They shared their strategies for coping with their feelings & their healing journeys. They explained it was difficult to share their experiences with their families who may not have been equipped to respond appropriately as they were learning too.
This conversation continued on 24th November when Harish Iyer (Indian equal rights activist) sparked a dialogue on “Child Sexual Abuse and Sexuality”. He shared his struggle about understanding and acknowledging his sexuality and how the child sexual abuse he faced impacted him. People blame the change in a person’s sexuality as a result of the sexual abuse they encounter in childhood but sexuality is natural, part of one’s self and in which you might feel comfortable. However, he observed how many children face difficulty in understanding and accepting their sexuality and go through a lot of trauma when they are forced to accept what they are not.
Bal Suraksha Rise Up
During the pandemic lockdown, our sessions in the Satara District on child sexual abuse prevention had to be moved online. However, not all teachers, students, and parents have access to smartphones/ computers or internet connectivity. We adapted to the situation in order to suit their needs by using phone calls, conference calls, Whatsapp, and Google hangouts.
During these sessions, we have reached out to over 227 beneficiaries including 9 teachers and 48 ‘Know Your Right Educators’. The highlight was the counseling session conducted on 18th October where 250 teachers from Satara joined along with a block education officer.
These sessions are quite conducive and beneficial for the parents as well as teachers as it helps to boost and increase their knowledge and skills to identify, prevent, address and respond to child sexual abuse along with creating a strong community spirit. The Know Your Right Educators and teachers have expressed their delight with the sessions. The girls participated in the Be A Supershero campaign and one of them even won!
Sunday Reflections is a chat show hosted by ElsaMarie D’Silva every Sunday at 5 pm IST, with leaders from various fields who share how they are coping, their passions, and what they are looking forward to once this crisis is behind us. In November, guests were Dr. Poonam DSouza, a General Physician and a Business Leader, and Patralekha Chatterjee, an award-winning journalist, an author on development issues. You can check all episodes here.
Safecity’s Emerging Leader – C. Aisha
“I am an undergrad student, an engineer in the making, trying to find my way through life. I love to explore and work with new ideas and aim to try and be a better version of myself with each passing day. Besides my academic pursuit, I am conscious of the need for social awareness and social justice.
Being a woman, I’ve always been aware of the atrocities they face and have always wanted to contribute towards the betterment of the condition of the women of our society. I have actively wanted to be a part of bringing social equity and justice for all.
Safecity has facilitated me to work towards a cause I am passionate about and its dynamic and collaborative work environment makes working in a team a lot more efficient, fun & interesting. The work and the opportunities at Safecity have helped me to discover many vast subjects about the society I was under-informed about and have had the opportunity to have a dialogue concerning issues and work towards curbing the disparity.”
Our Global Newsletter
Do subscribe to the Red Dot Foundation Global newsletter if you would like specific news featuring our work across the globe.
Click here to read. Do subscribe if interested.
That’s all for this month. Keep watching this space and we’ll keep you updated on all our work and exciting activities every month!
What’s in store for Safecity in December?
- Check out the Safecity Reporting platform!
- TedXVersovaWomen event with a line up of 12 amazing women speakers on 5th December, from 2 pm- 7 pm IST. Register here!
- Online discussion about GENDER TECH FOR CIVIC ISSUES organized by Gender Alliance & Red Dot Foundation – 9th December, 6 pm IST. Register here.
- “Bearing Witness” where survivors of gender-based violence share their personal testimonials of trafficking, acid attack, and forces sex work on the 12th of Dec 2020 at 9:30 am CET/ 2 pm IST/ 7:30 pm AEDT. Register here.
- Knowledge Cafe; every Tuesday! Sign up here.
- Join us in SafeCircle, a Safe-Space for Survivors of Violence every Friday at 3 pm IST
- Every Friday at 9 pm IST/ 10.30 am ET join us on Twitter @pinthecreep