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

Nathan Cullen named Parliamentarian of the Year

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP won the top-title Nov. 5

VIDEO: Taking to the skies to protect moose in the Cariboo Chilcotin

Conservation Officer Service doubles patrols to oversee moose harvest

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Central Coast Regional District swears in new Board of Directors

There are three new faces representing our region and two returning directors

VIDEO: Black horse signals ‘sign of peace’ for Tsilhqot’in Nation

Justin Trudeau rides black horse provided by Cooper family

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Trudeau says he won’t negotiate in public on future of LGBTQ rights in USMCA

Legislators urged Trump not to sign the agreement unless the language was removed.

Most Read