For a lot of my guy friends, walking home alone at night can be a pretty peaceful experience.
A time to think, reflect on the day perhaps.
As a woman, I will never know this feeling. Most of the time, my mind is on red alert and my internal dialogue goes something like this: “Is that dude following me or just walking kinda close?” “I should turn down my music, just in case.” “Why didn’t I just take an Uber?”
My pace quickens, I don’t make eye contact with anybody, and my mind is consumed by one thought – getting home as quickly and safely as possible.
And I know pretty much every woman can relate to this feeling, which is why this new app is a really big deal.
Designed and managed by the Women’s Center for Health Matters in Canberra, Australia, the Safety Mapping Tool allows users to list where they feel unsafe and why.
“There are so many places in Canberra where the lighting is just so insufficient, it’s so dark and you just don’t feel comfortable,” site user France McNair told Elite Daily.
The Safety Mapping Tool can be accessed through an app or the website.
The app will ask for your gender, age, any impairments or disabilities that you have that would impact your use of a public space, and if there are other comments you would like to make.
After you mark a location, the app will pose follow-up questions asking how safe you felt in the area, why you felt that way, as well as the day and the time. The site will then analyze the collected data and then give it to the government, which can use it to make improvements.
It’s a pretty simple concept but it can go a long way in making women, and people in general, feel much safer in their city.
Toronto – and other major cities across the country – might want to take a page out of Canberra’s book.