Want to make your neighborhood safer for women and LGBTQ folks? This March, local anti-street harassment groups Stop Street Harassment (SSH) and HollaBack DC! (HBDC!) are joining forces to conduct community safety audits of Washington, DC's 8 Wards. These audits are a way for DC residents and workers to evaluate DC and make recommendations about how it could be a more inclusive and safe city, free of harassment and assault. In particular, this audit will address what needs to be done to create a city were women and LGBTQ folks can navigate the public spaces of DC freely without fear.
Our audit is adapted from the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence against Women & Children (METRAC) audit used in Toronto in 1989. Since 1989, people have successfully utilized the audit format in cities across Canada and internationally in cities like Delhi, Cairo, and Tanzania and is even utilized by the United Nations’ Safe Cities division. This will be the first audit of its kind in the U.S. so by joining our volunteer Community Safety Audit team you will be part of history.
The outcomes of the audits will be used to make recommendations to the DC City Council and other local decision-makers. In April (date TBD) we will announce those asks at an anti-street harassment rally, which we hope it will lead to the first ever City Council Hearing on Street Harassment.
Still interested? Here are the deets:
To make the audits successful, we need YOUR help. We are recruiting at least 80 volunteers who live or work in DC. Approximately 3-5 people will form a team and there will be 16 teams (2 teams per ward). To better evaluate the inclusivity and safety of the neighborhoods, our goal is for each team to reflect the diversity of the city and the diversity of individuals’ experiences. We also want at least half of the team to either live or work in the specific neighborhood they audit.
Audits will occur on the First Day of Spring, Sunday, March 20, at 3 p.m. and on Wednesday, March 23, at 8 p.m. (Rain dates are Sunday, March 27 and Wednesday, March 30.)
We want to evaluate the safety of the city during the day and night, on a weekend and a week day. Each audit will last approximately two hours and will be led by team leaders.
Please fill out this form and we will be in touch shortly with more details and specific assignments.