Women's Safety Assessment Toolkit
Women's Safety Assessments
Women's safety assessments specifically focus on the prevention of sexual harassment and all forms of assault by increasing women's safety in public places and at public events.
In the context of an assessment, 'safety' refers to personal safety - specifically, how safe a person is and how safe they feel in any given environment.
A women's safety assessment is a process that involves walking through a physical environment, evaluating how safe it feels, identifying ways to make the space safer, and effecting those changes. It often involves surveys or self assessment by attendees during an event.
The benefits of a women's safety assessment:
- Helps organisers understand how different groups of women experience their environments.
- Often results in measurable changes that improve safety for all attendees.
- Encourages individuals to take part in shaping their environment and events.
- Increased feeling of safety among attendees.
Things to consider in conducting an women's assessment:-
- Lighting level
- Clear signage - navigation of area + emergency contact point
- Audibility of calls for help
- Security/police presence
- Strategies to deal with unsafe behaviour
- Entrapment sites - escape routes and obstacles
- Appearance - vandalism etc.
Steps for the Women's Safety Assessment
A Women's Safety Assessment can take various forms. In the instance of an ACT Government event, the following steps are recommended:
- Event coordinator, or other specified person, walks through and assessment the site to identify potential issues.
- Event coordinator, or other specified person, develops and implements strategies to address any identified / potential issues.
During the Event
The preferred method would be dependent on available resources; agencies may choose to adopt a variety of methods to collect information.
- Survey female attendees at event to determine their feeling of safety.
- Self-assessments by female attendees at clearly signed designated areas and / or availability of an on-line assessment process.
Some questions for the women's safety assessment.
Would I feel safe here if I...
- was alone?
- was with children?
- had a disability?
- was an elderly person?
- was part of a racial minority?
- was a newcomer? was an aboriginal person?
- was walking?
- Collect the information and analyse results.
- Post-event evaluation and review - review outcomes and develop strategies to address issues of safety identified from the survey / assessments.