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YourGround

Are there places where you feel unsafe?

News Article Date: 
Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Warrnambool City Council is joining 19 other Victorian municipalities in a project to gather perceptions about public safety for women and gender-diverse people.

YourGround is an interactive map where people can anonymously drop a pin, tell a story or share an experience while out for leisure, sport, exercise or play.

Statistics show that movement and access is restricted for women and gender-diverse people due to fear, violence and harassment. 

While 80 per cent of Australian men report feeling safe while walking alone at night, a 2019 Community Council for Australia report notes that only 50 per cent of women say the same. 

With the implementation of Victoria’s Gender Equality Act 2020, creating inclusive spaces for women and gender-diverse people is a priority state-wide.

Warrnambool Mayor Cr Vicki Jellie said that the project would provide insights to help make Warrnambool’s public spaces more inclusive and equitable.

“One of the best things about Warrnambool is how walkable it is, but the reality is that more than half the city’s population is restricted in the places where they feel safe going or travelling through, especially at night,” she said.

“Most women and gender-diverse people would have a story about a negative experience when out in public, ranging from a general feeling of unease right up to being the victim of a crime.

“We want to know where these places are so we can look at what can be done to make them feel safer.”

YourGround was created by Monash University’s XYX Lab and digital consultancy CrowdSpot.

XYX Labs Co-Director Dr Nicole Kalms said that the ability to move freely in and around the places you live, work and play, and to feel you belong in your space and place is an essential human right.

“As designers, architects, urban planners, councillors, facilitators, even equity experts, we can’t make assumptions about what women and gender-diverse people experience,” she said. 

“XYX Lab works from lived, sometimes hidden, experiences to really make an impact. 

“As a grassroots, crowdsourcing tool YourGround will uncover the experiences that restrict access to exercise and freedom of movement and provide important insights to those tasked with making key decisions.”

View the map and share your story anonymously at www.yourground.org

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