95% of women and girls feel unsafe in public spaces in New Delhi, India, a recent UN survey found. After nine at night you will hardly see women or girls in the streets, either because they or their parents are worried about their safety.
And rightly so: A breathtaking 51% percent of the men in the same survey reported that they have perpetrated sexual harassment or violence against women and girls in public spaces.
And Delhi is just one among many places around the world where gender based violence rates are increasing and the state cannot guarantee personal safety in every situation.
Outrageously, many of the perpetrators interviewed in Delhi blamed their abusive behaviour on the women they harassed - their manner of dress, their being out at night at all, them not riding the metro in the women’s special carriage. For fear of being blamed and stigmatised women often don’t report incidences. This has to stop. Besides infringing the basic human right of personal safety, violence against women keeps women from moving freely and therefore from contributing fully to their communities socially, politically and economically. The resulting resource loss to society is immense.
CrowdGuard contributes to a value change that ends such cultures of violence by fostering civil courage and solidarity. We take a clear stand on misogyny, we give people an instrument to help protect each other, and we aggregate debate to perpetuate a plurality of gendered perspectives.
We want to build a world carried by more civil courage and solidarity. In this world individuals feel safe from other individuals in any place and at any time of day and night. In this world people’s bodily integrity is respected and collectively protected.
We are disgusted by physical and sexual violence and gender inequity around the globe. We are united by our will to initiate and witness change on this our planet.
If someone calls for help, we will go for help. We will disturb violators and rapists and bring them to the attention of the police, which will bring them to justice.
We will refrain from telling our friends how to be safe and thus avoid violence or rape as we acknowledge that violators are the ones to be blamed for rape.
We believe that only where people feel safe they can fully contribute to the social, political and economic fabric of the place where they live.
We refuse to concede that reasonable people would want to live under a spell of violence. We acknowledge that security is a very politicised term and we do our best to avoid feeding the fear and pseudo safety based on political correctness.
We have no illusion that it will be easy. But we will work very hard.