As of June 15th, the nonprofit organization Good Night Out has launched a text-based reporting tool called “Creep Off” to accumulate data about harassing behaviours in Vancouver. It’s a tool to be used in non-emergency situations where individuals text a local number, briefly answer questions about the harassment they are subjected to or witness, and send a text report.
The Project’s Motivations
Good Night Out received the 2018 Innovation Grant from the Centre for Community Engaged Learning of the University of British Columbia. They used it to fund this pilot version of the harassment reporting tool for two months. The project was started because of several factors:
- a lack of strong data about the frequency of sub-criminal harassment in Vancouver
- a lack of evidence to use as indicators when applying for grants and demonstrating the severity of harassment
- an absence of formal means for victims of sub-criminal harassment to report the behaviour, as stated in a March 2017 report released by the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women.
Ashytn Bevan, co-founder of Good Night Out, plans on using the data to place the responsibility on nightlife venues because they have indicated that harassment does not occur in their spaces. With the data they collect, the organization will present it to the government.
There are only four questions that need to be briefly answered. To ensure they receive short answers, the organization formatted responses with a limitation of characters, which is less than a tweet. When answering the questions, it’s important to answer them in a cycle. This means that each answer must be completed; otherwise you will receive an error message.
The questions consist of specifying the location of the harassment, indicating the nature of the harassment, and stating your gender and as age. Good Night Out has requested individuals to adhere to the following when answering the questions:
- Name the venue, city event, street intersection, or building where you witnessed or experienced the harassment, but do not specify the names of individuals or the address of their private home.
- Use descriptors when indicating the nature of the harassment, including sexist, racist, and homophobic. Individuals are free to indicate that they are uncertain or that the harassment was a combination.
- Provide your gender and age to improve the quality of data received and demonstrate who is likely to use this reporting tool should a full version become available. Individuals are free to indicate how they identify themselves or indicate that they do not wish to disclose that information.
When You’re Charged with Criminal Harassment
Whether you’re charged with criminal harassment that stems from domestic violence or escalates to sexual assault charges, the lawyers at Sicotte and Sandhu are a highly experienced team that understands how fast situations develop in the heat of the moment. That’s why we handle each case with care, privacy, and sensitivity. Contact us today in the Surrey and Peace River areas so we can help you in this trying time.