A new campaign is urging women in London to share the postcode of areas in which they’ve experienced sexual assault or harassment, in a bid to reclaim the city and make problem areas safer.
Launched by Women’s Equality (WE), the #WEcount campaign is also calling on women to mark the location of their assault on a live map, to help highlight the sheer scale of the problem in visual terms.
In a video fronted by Pavan Amara, who founded the My Body Back project in 2014 after being attacked in North London, Women’s Equality reveals that while 4,000 rapes were reported in London last year, the number of unreported incidents are likely to be far higher.
“We know that on average about 1 in 10 are reported, so the actual number of rapes is much higher,” explains says Women’s Equality Party leader, Sophie Walker.
“Thousands more women experience unwanted sexual behaviour every day, from groping to catcalling – and none of this is news.
“We want to take back London to make it safe for women.”
To raise awareness of the campaign on social media, and to encourage more pinning on the live map, #WEcount is also asking women to post an image of themselves along with the postcode in which they experienced unwanted sexual behaviour.
“We are asking our supporters to post photos of their hands on social media, showing a postcode or place in the capital where they have experienced sexual harassment, assault or verbal abuse,” continues Walker.
“London’s streets are not safe. WE will show this by live mapping the locations that women report having experienced catcalling, flashing, verbal abuse, harassment and physical assault.
“The prevalence of sexual assault and harassment in our capital shames London. I want us to take back every part of this great city to make it safe for women.”
Following the campaign, Walker, who is a London Mayoral candidate, hopes to secure funding for increased community action and policing in ‘rape hotspots’ around London, and feed more resources to the city’s Rape Crisis Centres.
Though launching just a few days ago, the campaign is already picking up momentum, with many women sharing social posts and marking the Google map too.
Instead of sharing your postcode photograph on social media yourself, you can email it to WEcount@womensequality.emailnb.com for it to be posted anonymously. To add your experience to the live map, visit www.wemap.org.