Sydney now has an online map showing girls and women being harassed in real-time

Nicola Simpson walks Auckland. Source: Screenshot

  • Online tool allows women and girls to anonymously highlight harassment
  • More than 92 per cent uncomfortable taking public transport alone at night
  • Map also has option to drop ‘good’ pins on areas where they feel safe

Women and girls have a new online tool aimed at helping them avoid areas in Sydney where they might feel unsafe or threatened.

It’s called the “Free to Be” map and it was launched today to cover Sydney, New Delhi, Kampala, Lima, and Madrid.

The tool allows users to drop a pin anonymously on areas where they have experienced harassment or threats, or just don’t feel safe. It’s already filling up:

Image: freetobe.org

The detail on the “bad” pins can range from cat-calling and uncomfortable stares to outright violence:

Image: freetobe.org
Image: freetobe.org

Some pins simply warn people away from areas which make them feel unsafe:

Image: freetobe.org

But there is also the option to drop “good” pins on areas in which they feel safe, due to factors such as police presence, good lighting and constant activity:

Image: freetobe.org

A survey conducted by NGO Plan International, which helped develop the tool, found 90 per cent of 15-to-25 year old women “sometimes or always” felt unsafe in Sydney at night.

92 per cent felt uncomfortable taking public transport alone at night, and nearly half had experienced street harassment.

“At the moment there’s no mechanism for reporting any kind of harassment that doesn’t seem like the most severe, most extreme sort of that,” Plan’s head of advocacy, Hayley Cull, told the ABC.

“That’s what’s making it invisible.”

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