Personal safety app App-Elles launched in Brussels to tackle street harassment

App-Elles, an app to combat street harassment and allow people who feel unsafe to quickly contact emergency services and alert friends or family, is being made available in Brussels, The Brussels Times reports on Wednesday.

While around nine out of 10 women and girls in Belgium have experienced sexual harassment in public spaces, taking action is difficult as the majority of incidents go unreported for a variety of reasons. App-Elles aims to make it easier to get help during and after an incident.

It was developed in 2015 by the French non-profit Resonantes, to provide a single entry point to all sources of support. It allows users to send an alert to three trusted people, sharing their real-time position and with the option to share audio and precise information to enable them to contact the emergency services.

"It was essential to carry out projects that put technology at the service of this issue of security and equity that is still too often trivialised"

Alerts are automatically recorded, making it easier for victims to file a report. “In the fight against harassment and sexual violence, the burden of proof still lies with the victims,” said Brussels city councillor Fabian Maingain in a press release.

“In the government agreement, it was essential to carry out projects that put digital technology at the service of this issue of security and equity that is still too often trivialised.”

App-Elles is available in about 30 countries, via the Apple Store and Google Play. In Belgium, it was launched in Liège in 2022.



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