City of Bern launches reporting tool against sexism and queer hostility

The city of Bern is stepping up its efforts against sexism and queer hostility. As part of the "Bern is watching" campaign, it has launched a new reporting tool.

"Together against sexism and queer hostility": City of Bern has launched a campaign. (Image: zVg.)

Anyone who experiences or observes sexist, queer-hostile and sexualized harassment in public spaces should be able to report it anonymously and safely. The web address was presented on Monday.

Harassment is still part of everyday life, especially for women and queer people, it said at a media conference. There is also a need for action in Bern.

Those who are harassed rarely report it to official agencies such as the police or victim support. The reporting tool is intended to contribute to illuminating the large number of unreported cases and to further develop preventive measures. Those affected and observers can also find support offers and possibilities for action in the tool.

"No one should be afraid"

"In Bern, everyone should be able to move safely and freely," said City President Alec von Graffenried. "No one should be afraid of harassment or violence." That sounds like a matter of course, he said. But the reality is different, as the city's 2019 population survey made clear.

Comparatively more women than men said they felt unsafe in public spaces at night and avoided certain public spaces - for example, the Grosse Schanze, but also deserted places in the city center and in neighborhoods.

The "Bern is watching" campaign concerns the entire population, von Graffenried emphasized. "Everyone should participate." An important goal is that harassment, stupid remarks and physical assaults are no longer accepted as "normal" by anyone.

With the tool, Bern implements a mandate of the City Council from October 2021. The tool was developed by the Zurich is watching" campaign adopted and slightly adjusted.

"Anonymity guaranteed"

Anyone who wants to report an incident can easily click through an online form to define, among other things, the location, time and type of incident. The data is used by the city for statistical purposes. Anonymity is guaranteed, according to the authorities.

If someone reports a potential crime, the tool automatically points it out and offers legal information and addresses for advice centers and police stations. Users can then decide for themselves whether they want to report the incident to the police.

For the time being, the tool is only available in German. A French and an English version are being planned, it was said at the media conference. (SDA)

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