Good Night Out also includes a street team on the Granville strip, offering water, harm reduction supplies and more. (GNO/Instagram)

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

A new text-based hotline in Metro Vancouver is aiming to collect data on what organizers say is one of the most difficult kinds of misconduct to track: street harassment.

Created by Good Night Out, a Vancouver-based anti-harassment group, “Creep off” is a data-collection project that launched this week, tracking incidents reported around Metro Vancouver until the end of August. The data will then be used in a larger report to municipalities.

“There isn’t a whole lot of data on street harassment right now because in most cases, it’s not really criminal,” said Stacey Forrester, a Good Night Out regional organizer.

“So it’s one of those things that we feel we hear happens all the time, but there isn’t really a strong data set to find out just how much [that] is.”

The project, which is being funded through an innovation grant from UBC, stems from a House of Commons Standing Committee report on the Status of Women released last spring that found there are no formal places for people to report harassment that isn’t criminal.

“It’s frustrating for me as a woman to have been talking about this very issue since I was 14 years old and the realization that people don’t take things seriously until we have quantifiable numbers behind them,” Forrester said.

“I am surprised that, given the social shift in recent years around street harassment, that such a tool hasn’t been created yet.”

Collecting the data is simple. Whenever someone witnesses or experiences harassment, text the words “creep off” to 778-800-3822 on your smartphone.

That will prompt a series of questions in return, asking where the harassment took place and what kind of harassment occurred.

Good Night Out will be watching for trends, Forrester said, but exactly how the data will be compiled is still in the works.

“If we notice really strong trends, like at music festivals or like at night, that may be another way to map it,” she said, “but we’re planning to share the data with the public for sure.”

If enough people turn report harassment through the hotline, she added, the group may lobby city or provincial officials to promote such a tool and expand it.

Forrester said she doubts she’ll be surprised by the number of incidents that get reported, but anticipates it will shock some.

“It may be the kind of push we need to approach venues and festivals who maybe have been telling us for a little white that this isn’t an issue,” she said. “It will be nice to have data to back it up.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

More tips for a very green Christmas

‘Tis the season for gifts, lights, trees, and delicious dinners! Whether you’re… Continue reading

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

A vehicle incident has closed Highway 1 in both directions

Mt Cartier Court gifted a wheelchair accessible bus

Mount Cartier Court has been gifted a brand new, top of the… Continue reading

The cost of Christmas light displays

BC Hydro talks incandescent versus LEDs

Snow warning: Bad for the highways, great for the ski hills

Get your ski gear ready as area mountains are ready for you to enjoy all the Interior winter has to offer this season.

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

Condominium market still ‘a lot better’ than normal in Vancouver suburbs

The Fraser Valley, east of Metro Vancouver, has long been considered a more affordable haven for first-time homebuyers.

Retired B.C. teacher a YouTube Sudoku sensation

A retired Kelowna teacher has amassed quite the following online by teaching the art of solving a Sudoku puzzle.

UN chief returns as climate talks teeter closer to collapse

Predictions from international climate expert, warn that global warming is set to do irreversible environmental damage.

Trump’s willingness to intervene in Meng detention roils Canada’s justification

The International Crisis Group said Tuesday, Dec. 11 it’s aware of reports that its North East Asia senior adviser Michael Kovrig has been detained.

Scientist awarded $100K for work on Arctic contaminants that led to ban

Derek Muir has received the $100,000 Weston Family Prize for his research that showed those carcinogens were able to move into the Arctic.

Another 20 to 30 cm of snow expected on Coquihalla

Environment Canada issued a weather statement this morning

Manhunt continues for France shooter

Suspected gunman named, had long police record

‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Shining’ added to National Film Registry

“These cinematic treasures must be protected because they document our history, culture, hopes and dreams.”

Most Read