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

Hot weather returning to Chilliwack

Temperatures expected to climb into the low 30s starting Sunday

UPDATE: Abbotsford police seek info from public after man, 32, found dead

IHIT identifies victim as Sukhpreet Grewal, who they say was known to police

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on Vedder River in Chilliwack

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating down river is inherently dangerous

Habitat for Humanity says it owes no money to former CEO

Upper Fraser Valley branch responds to wrongful dismissal lawsuit

City hall taps out on decade-long resistance to MMA in Chilliwack

Official sanctioning under B.C. Athletic Commissioner helped change minds

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the BC Games

From equestrian to volleyball to swimming, all 18 events in full swing here in the Cowichan Valley

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

ZONE 3: Luck played no part in getting Riley Ward to the BC Games

Langley baller flouts misfortune on the floor; he’d rather get by on hard work

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

Combined 584g of cocaine, fentanyl and meth found in Abbotsford home

Charges pending against a man and a woman after police execute search warrant on Larch St. home

2017 wildfires give B.C. mom chance to say thank you to officer who saved her son

An unlikely encounter in the rural community of Likely, near Williams Lake

UPDATED: Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters defy eviction order

Demonstrators at Camp Cloud in Burnaby say they won’t leave, but will meet with city officials

B.C. tent city camper arrested for taking coins from fountain

The man, who built a shelter at a Saanich park, says homeless people are unfairly targeted

Ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan says goodbye to Toronto on Instagram

The guard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

Most Read