Who we are and what we do
HarassMap is an independent volunteer-based initiative with the mission of ending the social acceptability of sexual harassment. We work to achieve this by engaging all of society to re-establish consequences for harassers by encouraging all people to be watchful against harassment and take action by speaking up against harassers.
Sexual harassment in Egypt has reached a crisis level. But it was not so long ago when Egyptians were proud of the safety and dignity of our neighborhoods. Everyone remembers stories of bystanders standing up to harassers, and even chasing them and shaving their heads as a mark of shame. HarassMap believes that as a community, we can restore our tradition of public safety for women and change the current environment of tolerance for harassers and their behavior.
By providing a way for victims to speak out and access services, documenting harassment and by mobilizing our communities to no longer tolerate harassers, HarassMap is working street by street to end sexual harassment and restore our dignity and pride.
HarassMap is based on the idea that online and mobile technology can help support offline face-to-face community work to mobilize the public against sexual harassment. Some of the activities that HarassMap works on include:
Reporting Harassment – HarassMap gives a voice to those who would otherwise hesitate to speak. Victims and witnesses report what happened and where, either with an SMS to 6069, on harassmap.org, to #harassmap or through facebook.
Referral to Services – We respond to each report with instructions on how to access free services for victims, by connecting them with organizations that help them with: how to make a police report, legal aid, psychological help, self defense classes, etc.
Mapping Reports – On harassmap.org reports are verified then mapped. Each report appears as a red dot and shows the report text when clicked. This provides clear evidence for those who deny harassment exists and helps fight stereotypes about where, to whom and to what extent harassment happens.
Community Outreach – Using reports from the map, 500+ HarassMap volunteers go out once per month to their own neighborhoods all over Egypt to ask shop owners, police, doormen and others with a presence in the street to be active and watchful guardians against harassers in their community. We also create “Safe Areas” in shops and vehicles, which we will start marking on the map as well from January 2013
So far, HarassMap only has reports of sexual harassment incidents mapped on the Map
We'd like to expand our reporting options far more over the coming year, and encourage more reporting because we found out they're very helpful in several ways:
a) they're used as research data for us to understand the problem better,
b) they have proven incredibly useful in our community outreach efforts - people we talk to are much more convinced that there is an issue once they see tangible evidence in the form of eye witness reports, of sexual harassment incidents happening in their own neighbourhoods, and
c) they're really useful in raising awareness for the issue through social media etc
The problem is, nothing is really "done" with the reports, so the people harassed have the question of "so, what next?" - what they receive as an automated response is info on free services for victims like psychological counseling, legal aid, how to file a police report, etc. but what would encourage people to report more than once if they're received this info the first time?
Project - Safe Zones Program
Safe zones are basically physical spaces like shops, malls, taxis etc where people running these would promise 0 tolerance to sexual harassment in their areas. They would have an internal corporate policy and code of conduct announced, there would be an escalation process that's communicated in case sexual harassment happens in their areas (will differ slightly from one place to another) and all staff will have to go through a training on sexual harassment, what it is, different types of sexual harassment, escalation process, facts about sexual harassment in egypt etc. the point is that safe zones are not necessarily zones where no sexual harassment will ever take place, coz this is not in anyone's control. They're zones where sexual harassment is not tolerated; if sexual harassment takes place in these areas, the issue is escalated and dealt with, in a public, transparent way. The zones will be marked by very specific "safe zones" stickers on entrance, and posters within the areas that detail the types of sexual harassment, the escalation process if it happens to them in the area, and our reporting options.
For the launch of this campaign, what we'll do is choose a role model from each sector in society, like 1 corporate (a telecom with all of its retail network), a mall, a restaurant chain, a cafe chain, a small group of taxi drivers, 1 kiosque, etc. on a specific day, we will announce these safe zones. backed by a big PR and social media campaign. these zones will be positioned as the role models that everyone should aspire to become like.
The whole point is that people need to now make a public, tangible statement on sexual harassment NOT being socially acceptable, within the areas they have control over. this is meant to snowball, where others would need to apply through us and would as a requirement need to a) put up the stickers and posters, b) go through the training, c) agree to a specific escalation policy d) sign some sort of contract with the promise in order to be marked an official safe zone.
To give these community members further incentive to join, we're hoping that they can be marked on our map as safe zones, including the name and details of the outlet (as sort of advertising and exposure to them)
If we can get more people to report and we mark both the harassment incidents and the safe zones on the map, we can really now position this as a nation-wide movement to put an end to sexual harassment and its social acceptability, where we would sort of have a "race" between numbers of harassment incidents vs number of safe zones (or rate of increase, something like that)
Within the posters in these safe zones we will encourage people to report sexual harassment incidents that happens within these safe zones, so we would be using crowdsourcing to monitor these zones.
Another advantage to marking the safe zones on the map is that there would be one official source that tells people which areas as official safe zones. this is because we expect people to potentially duplicate the stickers and just stick them on their shops etc without going through the training etc and without some sort of monitoring mechanism.
Qe would then really as a major focus drive traffic to the website and in particular to the map, build engagement with it, encourage people to frequently visit the page to gauge the "progress" on addressing the issue of sexual harassment in egypt.
We would also take the map and periodically publish it in offline national papers, to engage people offline as well. Say once a week, with progress, and reports.
We're trying to engage EVERYONE - not just victims of harassments, but also bystanders who are the ones who can make change by alienating harassers and standing up to them. We want everyone to be following the progress of the Safe Zones program and to feel encouraged and even socially pressured to including their area as a safe zone. Ultimately, people should be suspicious of those who don't mark their areas as safe zones.
What we want from an app
The primary purpose of this app should be to report harassment and safe zones
- To facilitate and increase reporting of harassment incidents, by both victims of harassment and witnesses to harassment, with geo-tagging so that all someone needs to is enter what happened with an accompanying picture or video if available.
- To build intrigue and drive engagement with the map, which has both harassment reports, and safe areas marked on them.
- To create an easy comparison between number of harassment reports vs number of safe zones that emerged within a given period, to drive engagement with the “progress” we’re making on tackling the issue of sexual harassment.
- To position safe zones as aspirational
- To create an easy listing of safe areas and safe vehicles, by area and sector
- To create an easy way to apply to become a safe zone
A secondary goal of this apps is better engage citizens
- To facilitate timely communication of important messages by HarassMap to app users through push notifications
- Volunteer application
- Contact us
- Link to full website
This app will compliment a website being developed for HarassMap by technical partner PeaceGeeks, which is being built in Drupal, using the Omega theme.
Keywords best describe your business/product
o Egyptian (we are doing this because we want to be part of building a better Egypt)
o Inclusive (our volunteers come from everywhere in Egypt, we encourage ideas and participation from everyone, we collaborate with other groups enthusiastically, and we aim to appeal to all people in society)
o Positive (we go beyond awareness and beyond pointing to the problem and we work on positive solutions)
What do you want this project to say about you?
Egyptian, collaborative, resourceful, action-oriented, innovative, un-stoppable, inclusive, grassroot
What feelings do you want to derive out of the experience?
We want people to feel motivated, encouraged, positive, informed and obligated to take action against harassers.
What is your brand/product’s mood and tone of voice? (Ex: happy, positive, serious, professional, casual, funny …)
Positive, inclusive, determined, creative, human, down-to-earth, strong (to be taken seriously), young yet mature.
What is the preferred overall style of the design?
Young and creative (implies non-bureaucratic, light on its feet) but also clean and professional
Are there any colors that should be avoided in the design?
We want to avoid too much pink in order to be more gender inclusive
Ushahidi 3.0 Mock-ups - http://blog.ushahidi.com/index.php/2012/10/19/ushahidi-3-0-visual-design-mockups/
About Badges - https://github.com/ushahidi/Badges
About Ushahidi Layers - https://wiki.ushahidi.com/display/WIKI/Layers
Take Back the Tech - https://www.takebackthetech.net/mapit/
Energy Shortage - http://www.energyshortage.org/
Liberia Elections 2011 (from National Elections Commission data) - http://www.liberia2011.ushahidi.com/
Free Humanitarian Symbols (OCHA) - http://unocha.org/top-stories/all-stories/ocha-launches-500-free-humanitarian-symbols