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Creating Safety Houses for Women within the Urban Areas.

When we were younger we were always told about the local safety house, they were throughout my local neighborhood and were identified with a yellow sticker on their letterbox. We were told that if we ever felt unsafe and in danger we could go to those houses and those who lived there would help us call our parents, police or medical assistance and they would look after us until help arrived.

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While in Australia the Safety House Program was initially developed for children we can take this idea and apply it to low-income urban areas throughout the developing world. Not only can they be a refuge for those who feel as though they are in danger, they can provide workshops, education and information for both men and women on personal safety and violence. They can also provide assistance for those who need immediate help and create an environment with sense of community providing social services and a place for women relocating to larger cities. 
 

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DeletedUser

I really like this idea - a positively-framed, practical, community-based, community-powered initiative that promotes a feeling of safety and makes a statement about people in the community being prepared to look after each other. In New Zealand, there are discussions currently about how we can encourage young people to walk and bike to school safely. Over half of our school children are driven to school because of safety fears - only 15-20 years ago it was about 25%-30%. Part of it relates to the safety of our roads for cyclists but parents also fear for their children walking to school - an initiative like this could assist with alleviating those fears and reduce the risk by indicating to would-be offenders that the community is one that looks out for each other.

I wonder how technology might play a role in this? Connecting safety houses? Alerting other safety houses when someone can't be home on a particular day? Introducing the safety house owners to their community?

The other benefit is that it could help to reduce the "bystander effect". People would feel like they can intervene because they and others have a role to help protect their neighbours.

I have just remembered that a woman was recently randomly attacked in a low-income suburb and knocked on someone's door for help - they didn't let her in - they pushed her away. A safety house would have helped her but also I think that if a community see safety houses around them they might feel like they can/need to help people in times of need if they know there are others around them prepared to do so.

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DeletedUser

Hi Luc,
Thanks I think that looking into how technology would improve this program would be really interesting because I know there's a struggle with the program in Melbourne as they are struggling with getting enough people involved because they cannot be home all the time ect

The program is run alongside a neighbourhood watch program so that everyone has some sort of awareness of safety within the local community and feel as though they can approach these houses and report things that they have seen to help the local community

I also would like to see the project used for teenagers and adults! I think everyone could benifit from knowing that if they feel as though they are in danger there are places they can go that they could get immediate help!

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