While the ‘#metoo’ movement has taken over the entire world, Pakistan is still a few laps behind. However, it does not mean Pakistanis are not realizing that sexual harassment is an issue that needs to be dealt with strictness.
Just like other countries, the denizens of Pakistan are also trying to facilitate the reporting of harassment cases. It is a well-known fact that most cases of sexual harassment go unreported, which encourages this practice to continue.
Recently, a group of students from Iqra University, Islamabad have come forward with an answer to the issue. The students have developed a mobile app named ‘Speak Up’ that simplifies the process of reporting sexual harassment.
This app enables the user to deal with harassment while making sure that the perpetrator is reported to the concerned authorities for the initiation of legal action.
The app is easy to download and helps a person in reporting cases of sexual harassment, assault, or abuse. The reporting process is simple, all thanks to the app’s decent interface.
Furthermore, it gives the victim a choice in filing a complaint without disclosing their identity. However, the details like gender of the victim and the offender, the site of offense, and that of the incident is required to file a case.
The app has another feature called ‘distress message’ that enables a person to send out an emergency signal to three selected contacts with a single click of a button.
This single click will update the incident location on a heatmap after which the information will be forwarded to the relevant authorities for legal action.
The technical and financial assistance for the project has been provided by the Pakistan Youth Change Advocates (PYCA). PYCA is a national level non-profit organization that engages youth in the process of development.
It needs to be mentioned here that several cases of harassment were reported across the country in 2018. However, the movement, which led to several new policies and awareness in other parts of the world, could not gain momentum in Pakistan.
The main reasons for this failure remained victim-blaming and lack of knowledge about the due process of reporting such incidents. These reasons prevented an extensive investigation of the cases.