Torontonians who are sick of being cat-called, gestured at, and generally assaulted with verbal come-ons as they try to slog through their daily routines are getting a little help from the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children, which on Monday released a a free iPhone app that allows users to immediately access a compendium of responses to specific instances of sexual harassment, as well as share instances of harassment with one another. The app, called "Not Your Baby" aims to help cultivate a community of people who are better equipped to fend off public harassment, a clear social transgression that often goes completely unpunished.
"Not Your Baby" developer Andrea Gunraj explained to The Torontoist that the app's name came largely from the more than 200 survey participants that helped shape the app. Since, according to Gunraj, many of the participants said they had trouble thinking up "responses [to harassment] in the moment," the app allows users to enter information about particular situations, including the setting of the harassment and the identity of their harasser. Gunraj hopes that "Not Your Baby" will not only prevent instances of harassment "before they happen, but also during and after they happen."
The app also includes compendious legal information about harassment, as well as community resources that help connect people find support. A helpful "situation generator" lets users input pretty much any harassment scenario, but, at least in its initial form, "Not Your Baby" doesn't include information about harassment when it's perpetrated by distant friends or acquaintances. Still, it's a pretty big step forward in the effort to use social media and mobile technology to help keep victims of gender-based harassment from feeling isolated when some majorly creepy asshole decides that it's totally fine, for some reason, to impose their lewdness on a complete stranger.
image via iTunes