React! – A new crowdsourcing platform for preventing violence against women in public spaces
Reactor – Research in Action announced the launch of the new online platform React! (reagiraj-bidibezbedna.mk), under the motto Share a story, prevent violence, and with the ultimate goal of making public spaces in Skopje safer for women. The platform is part of a scoping study that researches Violence against Women in Public Spaces in Skopje, carried out by Reactor and supported by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
React! is an online mapping tool that women and girls can use to anonymously share their stories of any form of gender-based violence that they have been subjected to or witnessed in public spaces in Skopje. In addition to this, the platform will be used as a crowdsourcing tool to help in the collection of otherwise difficult to acquire data on harassment and violence against women, which occurs much more often than is reported. Finally, by collecting data in the form of stories, pictures and videos, React! will provide a social network dedicated to the prevention of gender-based harassment and violence in public spaces.
By incorporating these three aspects, the platform will be useful to an array of users, from the victims who will be able to share their experiences anonymously, to law enforcement authorities who can use the anonymously collected data to identify high-risk locations, as well as frequency and types of violence that women are faced with and take appropriate actions.
The website itself uses the user-friendly and open source Ushahidi platform and is available in Macedonian, Albanian and English. Personal or eye-witness accounts can be submitted using the Android and iPhone apps (which can be downloaded from the website), or by filling out the form provided at the following link: http://www.react-besafe.mk/reports/submit
In order to make the platform as effective as possible by reaching out to as many potential users as possible, Reactor kindly asks everyone interested to link to it, using the banners (below) or to share the information via their blog posts or through the social networks.