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

Greyhound’s departure opens door for BC Bus

After years of service cuts and declining service quality, Greyhound’s corporate owners… Continue reading

Update: Park pipeline protesters say arrest is a ‘declaration of war’

Led by Kanahus Manuel, the Tiny House Warriors moved into park in Clearwater last week

Police investigating more racist slogans on First Nations signs

Police are investigating racist graffiti being posted on First Nations signs in the Kamloops area

Update: Kamloops wildfire now mapped at 500 hectares

Firefighters worked overnight on what was a fast-growing wildfire east of Kamloops.

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Through your lens: Okanagan wildfires

Check out some of the captivating images and video from social media of the wildfires

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Recent online kitten abuse video raises serious social media questions

UBC and UFV profs weigh in on the subject of online sharing, shaming, and our digital landscape

UPDATED: ICBC fights back against claims that it’s ‘ripping off’ B.C. RV drivers

Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the provincial government to open up ICBC to competition

Summerland issues State of Local Emergency in response to wildfire

Two homes under evacuation order; evacuation alert remains in place as result of wildfire

A brother’s determination pushes B.C. cyclist to ride 2,500 km for heart care

#Cunnycan: Ryan Cunningham ‘pushing the envelope’ to support brother Craig’s foundation

B.C. hockey coach, nurse was killed in case of mistaken identity, police say

In Surrey, Paul Bennett’s wife makes a tearful plea for help in finding her husband’s killer

Lower Mainland blueberry farms expect solid season

Blueberry Council of B.C. says season will be better than last year

Most Read