Despite being one of the most loved and liveable cities in the world, Melbourne – like every city – still deals with scumbags. However, a new app has been made that depicts the safe and the unsafe spots throughout the city and suburbs.
Called Free To Be, the app was created by children’s charity Plan International and has been made as a guide for women to use and update if they are subject to violence or intimidation when out in Melbourne, and hence works as a warning for others in the future.
On the flip side, it also allows users to mark safe spots that do not pose any threat.
Speaking with ABC news, 16-year-old Carly is a user of the app who marked Church Street in Richmond as an unsafe spot. “I had a man with a group of friends walk past me and he touched my bum and I asked him not to do it” she said.
“And I said, ‘How does it feel to be a paedophile? I’m 16.’ And he blamed me because I look older than I am.”
Another user of the app, 20-year-old Shelly, tends to avoid going out in the city of a night due to harassment issues in the past.
“There are just so many small, little things. There are areas that are not well lit, there is the possibility of being harassed,” she said.
“It’s just little instances that make you feel as if, OK, maybe this is just not my place and I shouldn’t be here.”
Plan International Australia’s deputy CEO Susanne Legena said the idea for the app spurred from research results conducted by the group earlier this year.
“That showed us that one in three young women aged 15 to 19 don’t feel safe coming into the city after dark, and one in four of them don’t feel that they can take public transport after dark on their own,” she said.
“And we found the results really shocking because we do research all over the world with young women that we work with and some of the results show that young women in Australia feel more unsafe than their counterparts in places like Pakistan, Cairo, Delhi, Nicaragua.”
Its pretty crazy that an app marking safe and unsafe spots needs to exist, but goes to show even the most liveable Australian cities still face the issue of harassment/violence towards women.
The app will be usable form Melbourne women until December 12, in which Ms. Legena said they will expand if it proves successful. Check out the app right here, and be sure to share it around.