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Harassmap

| Harassmap
Harassmap
Status/stage of development: Registration in progress
HarassMap is a volunteer-based initiative with the mission of ending the social acceptability of sexual harassment in Egypt. HarassMap’s methods include face-to-face community outreach, online and mobile reporting and a referral system for victims of sexual harassment.

HarassMap is a pioneering volunteer-based initiative founded in late 2010 with the mission of ending the social acceptability of sexual harassment and assault in Egypt. We work to achieve our mission by urging bystanders to stand up to sexual harassment or assault before or when they see it happen. This way, by taking a collective stand against sexual harassment and assault, we as a society can create social and legal consequences that discourage harassment and seriously reduce it. 

 

We use an integrated approach that combines an online and mobile reporting system, research, communications campaigns, and a huge on-the-ground community mobilization effort across Egypt where our volunteers support bystanders to enforce a zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment/assault in their areas - shops, cafés and vehicles, or university faculties, as part of our Safe Schools and Universities program.

MAP:

 

HarassMap crowdsources reports of sexual harassment and assault by SMS (6069) or online (website, Facebook, Twitter), and map them on our online map. We respond to each report with information on how to access free legal services, psychological counseling, self-defense classes, etc. We analyze the reports and identify trends that reveal the truth about sexual harassment so that we can challenge the myths that make people hesitate to acknowledge the problem and stand up to it. We then use the reports to prove to people that sexual harassment actually happens in their neighborhoods and to motivate them to stand up to it. 

 

COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION:

 

Our volunteers all over Egypt receive training through HarassMap Academy and then go into their own neighborhoods to convince people in the streets to stand up to sexual harassment. Using evidence from our reports and communications campaigns, the volunteers respond to the excuses people make for harassers, and support them in enforcing a zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment/assault in their areas - shops, cafés and vehicles, or university faculties, as part of our Safe Schools and Universities program. 

 

SAFE SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES:

 

Our Safe Schools and Universities project works with students, university administration, teachers, professors and other staff to ensure that  universities are places where sexual harassment is not tolerated and where cases of sexual harassment are appropriately dealt with. We provide a draft anti-sexual harassment policy that universities and schools can adopt, and Cairo University has already adopted it to be implemented from fall semester 2014. The project team trains team captains at selected schools and university faculties in Greater Cairo to prepare them to conduct awareness activities and lobbying at their institutions to prevent and effectively respond to sexual harassment occurring within the institution.

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS: 

 

We use our reports, research, and experiences from our community mobilization work to create clever communications campaigns to challenge perceptions that create a culture that accepts sexual harassment and assault. 

Examples of our campaigns:

• “Beyetharash leh?” (‘Debunking myths’) to challenge common misconceptions and myths about sexual harassment.

• “Mesh Sakta” (‘Don’t be silent’) to encourage women to take a series of actions to stand up to sexual harassment that happens to her or someone else. 

 

RESEARCH:

 

We analyse our reports and undertake various research projects in order to understand current social perceptions and public responses to sexual harassment. In June 2014 we also released our two-year research study - “Towards a Safer City - Sexual Harassment in Greater Cairo: The Effectiveness of Crowdsourced Data.” 

 

Our team is volunteer-based and works with the objective of ending the social acceptability of sexual harassment in Egypt. We do this through face-to-face community outreach, online and mobile reporting and a referral system for victims of sexual harassment.