Women are building an interactive map to mark where they’ve been sexually assaulted
It’s a nationwide campaign
In March, the Women’s Equality Party launched its #WECount campaign in London.
Victims of sexual assault in the capital were encouraged to write the postcodes of locations in which they were sexually assaulted on their hand, and share the image on social networks, attaching the hashtag #WECount. Women could also mark these locations by dropping a Google Maps-style pin onto an interactive map. These points are marked with “It Happened Here”.
Now, after the success of the initiative, the campaign and map is being rolled out across the UK. Women everywhere will be able to share the locations of their attacks. The interactive map will cover the whole country. It will also be shared on a billboard in west London for a week to mark the start of the nationwide campaign.
“An estimated 400,000 sexual offences against women occur in the UK each year,” said Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party. “Despite their frequency, the majority of these, often violent, incidents are unreported, and women are left feeling unsafe and unable to walk without fear on their own streets. It is vital that the victims of sexual harassment and assault have their voices heard as we strive to reclaim the streets for women and put an end to sexual violence once and for all.”
In London, there is an extra dimension to the campaign. The pins of ten locations in the capital – including the Houses of Parliament – will appear on the map as exclamation marks. Hover over these pins with a designated app and you’ll pull up a report that includes victims’ stories, incidents that have taken place in that area, and places where you can seek support for sexual assault.
Watch Sophie Walker talk about the next stage of the campaign below.