Agencies are looking to rid the forest city of sexual violence, especially in public spaces.
Last year, London became the third city in Canada to join the UN Women’s Safe Cities initiative, right behind Edmonton and Winnipeg. However, not too much has happened since that decision last September, and now London agencies are heading to city council.
Anova – formerly Women’s Community House and Sexual Assault Centre of London – is asking city politicians for $15,700 to implement a mapping system where Londoners are able to pinpoint areas of the city where they feel particularly safe or unsafe.
Dr. AnnaLise Trudell is the Manager of Education at Anova. She says the mapping system will be in the form of an app and website, one that is already used in Australia called CrowdSpot.
“You enter some basic information, and then you just drop a pin where you want to tell us about your experience. It could be that you felt unsafe, or it could be that you felt noticeably welcome and included, and then you can provide some more details if you want.”
Technology can play a vital role in terms of determining what action to take. The CrowdSpot website would provide residents a clear illustration of problem areas, as well as positive areas.
“Very clear patterns emerge really quickly. We have to take some action to deal with sexual violence in London. We’re not actually sure where sexual violence is happening in London, and therefore we’re not exactly sure how to take action.”
With the information that the map provides, she says they will be able to effectively determine the various courses for action.
“It could mean training our bouncers to know how to intervene or implementing more street lighting in certain parts of the city, we need to target where those actions have to happen and so lets do that with actual data.”
If city politicians approve, it would be another step towards making London feel safe for everyone.