Île-de-France – Public transport anti-harassment campaign
According to a survey conducted by the National Federation of Transport User Associations (FNAUT) in 2016, 87% of women respondents in France said they had been victims of sexual harassment (ex: being catcalled, physical assault, rape, etc.) in public transport. The survey also reported that in the face of harassment suffered, 46% were in a situation where they did not or could not react, only 2% of the surveyed victims of harassment under criminal law actually lodged a complaint. In 86% of harassment cases, witnesses were present and in 89% of these cases, they did not react.
The Île-de-France region (signatory of the European Charter for Equality since 2008), in cooperation with Ile-de-France Mobilités, RATP and SNCF Transilien, jointly initiated a vast communication campaign across the entire public transport network in the region: “Never minimise sexual harassment: Victim or witness, speak up!”. The campaign was launched in March 2018 and ran for a period of several months.
The campaign sought to educate all public transport users about harassment and to encourage them to report acts of which they may be victims or witnesses.
In the face of shock or fear of reprisals, witnesses present often have difficulty to react to sexual harassment or assault. This campaign aimed to: raise the awareness about the prevalence of sexual harassment in public transit; inform about the legal framework that protects against sexual harassment and assault (penal code); explain that everyone has a responsibility to report situations of sexual harassment and provide tips for how to react.
The campaign offered practical guidance to witnesses and victims of sexual harassment. The campaign put forward a number of reporting tools for the public, such as the 24h 7/7 alert hotline and smartphone application (3117 and SMS 31177, the 3117 application), made call boxes more visible in the transport system and encouraged users to alert transit agents directly.
The RATP and SNCF also increased the presence of agents in stations across the region for security and mediation. Agents also receive specialised training on working with victims of harassment.
Further, Île-de-France Mobilités, decided to experiment with “on demand” stops (between 2 ordinary stations) on certain bus lines after 10pm in order to allow voyagers to descend closer to their final destination.
Detailed information on the campaign (FR) is available here