OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Male buddy volunteer walkers on call to walk with women for safety 24X7

When I first moved from Asia to study at an American university, navigating a strange city and a large college campus, and with few friends was quite an overwhelming experience. The experience of young women moving into large urban areas seem similar. The university had a male buddy volunteer walker system that helped me feel less isolated, and enabled me to freely use the library and computer rooms till late at night. The male buddy system had a database of men, who were vetted, and who volunteered to walk female students home or anyplace on campus at night. I'd telephone the main hotline line number, and a male buddy would pick me up within 15 min. Male buddies had an ID to show they were registered. Men were encouraged to volunteer.

Photo of Khin Tye
2 23

Written by

I felt less isolated and could be more free being out later in the night, knowing that I could call a 'male buddy walker' to walk me home. The positive side effect was having a companion and someone I could talk to and made friends with too.

The men were trained on safety issues, and security checked. They all carried IDs to show that they were part of the Male Buddy volunteer organisation.  They signed up knowing that that they could be called upon anytime within the stated hours, usually in the night and early morning.

I thought that male buddy walker systems can be set up in local neighbourhoods. This will also include men to volunteer and have an active role in women's safety too.  The system for despatching taxis can be used similarly for despatching male buddy walkers. A potential issue to consider is the woman's access to a mobile phone or telephone. 

2 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

My only concern is how are they vetted?

Spam
Photo of Khin Tye

Yes true especially in some areas, even the integrity of police are questioned. For my example, that was organised by the University.