Today WE launch #WEcount, our campaign to reclaim Britain’s streets for women, UK-wide. This follows a highly successful London campaign in March, when the city’s women posted on social media and an interactive map to mark their experiences of violence, harassment and assault.
“WE are now extending #WEcount across the UK so that women right across the country can make their voices heard and say: this must stop,” said Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party and its London Mayoral candidate.
"WE are asking our supporters to post photos of their hands on social media with the hashtag #WEcount, showing a postcode or place where they have experienced sexual harassment, assault or verbal abuse. Alternatively, they can email their photos to WEcount@womensequality.emailnb.com to be posted anonymously.”
The campaign also includes a film featuring Pavan Amara, who built the “My Body Back” project after being attacked and has helped hundreds of women who have been assaulted to reclaim their lives.
“Thousands of women experience unwanted sexual behaviour every day, and harassment is on the rise,” said Walker. “Our streets are not safe. WE will show this by live mapping the locations where women report having experienced catcalling, flashing, verbal abuse, harassment and physical assault.”
Women can mark their experiences on an interactive map of the UK (wemap.org) by dropping a Google-maps-style pin. In London, this map will be on display for the week on a dedicated billboard at Westfield shopping centre, Shepherd’s Bush.
And in a digital first, the campaign will be brought to life for Londoners with the use of a new visual browsing app, BlippAR.
WE have painted 10 physical markers – which show the Google maps pin transformed into an exclamation mark – at locations around the capital, from the Houses of Parliament to Parliament Hill. People who ‘Blipp’ the mark will receive a host of content and information about the campaign, as well as details of what support is available.
Walker added: “An estimated 400,000 sexual offences against women occur in the UK each year. Despite their frequency, the majority of these incidents are unreported, and women are left feeling unsafe and unable to walk without fear on their own streets. WE want to reclaim our streets.”
“WE are the only party who are making the sexual abuse and harassment of women a political priority. WE will show that women right across the UK are affected by this every day – and that every one of us counts.”
A list of organisations that offer support to survivors of sexual assault can be found here >>