Protesting risk: mapping sexual assaults in Egypt

When large-scale protests began in Egypt in 2011, they were accompanied by reports of women being insulted, beaten and raped. An interactive map for reporting abuse is trying to ensure that the latest protests are not accompanied by a fresh wave of sexual attacks

Use: the interactive map

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How does it work?

Users can email, post a message on Facebook, Tweet or send an SMS message to inform HarassMap of incidents. The range of reporting methods is key – according to the latest numbers from the International Telecommunication Union (the UN’s agency for ICT) 44% of Egyptians use the internet and 97% have a mobile phone subscription.

Members of a 500-strong team of volunteers – men and women from across Egypt’s governorates – then review the reports. They check that the message received relates to a specific incident of sexual harassment, with a date, location and description rather than being a general statement about harassment.

While the focus is on reporting sexual harassment and improving awareness about its prevalence, volunteers also focus on response. SMS messages receive an automated response with information about legal assistance, psychological counseling, and even self defense classes.

Read more on The Guardian.