Connecting projects and people for safer cities

Why do we need to talk about safer and gender-inclusive cities?

Here we present testimonials from women who suffered some type of harassment when traveling through public spaces.



All testimonials presented on this page were collected for and by our partner initiative RuaMaria55.

Do you have a story that can help us explain why we should talk about safer cities for all women? Click here and tell your story at the website of our partner project RuaMaria55.


"I was on the bus. And I was leaning against the door with a bag in front of me. A man who entered with me slipped his hand between the bag and my body and rubbed my private parts! When he rubbed me, I elbowed him with all my might, and I said “what’s the matter with you? What's your problem? Who do you think you are?”. We waited for the city guard and went to the police to make statements. He denied it on his statement. And he already had a background of harassment and theft. In short, he was released the same day."

0 %
of the women interviewed have strayed from their usual path because of a dark street. - ActionAid, 2016


"I really like to jog, on the street, in the park. But then dusk comes, I know I can’t do it anymore. As you jog, they will catcall you at the gas station, the guy in a car, on a bicycle, the guy at the bus stop, you simply can't walk by. And this is just after dusk, I'm not talking about 8, 9 pm, I mean even at 6 pm, in the winter. So, I can't jog. If I'm going to jog, I have a schedule. I plan my day, so I can leave by 5 pm to be able to exercise."


"What I learned from this is that these guys are not afraid of anything, as nothing ever happens to them, nobody has ever done anything, nor will they. These guys are not afraid at all, while we are afraid all the time and don't even notice it anymore.”

0 out of 10
women are afraid to walk at night, alone, on the street. - Locomotiva Institute, 2018
Women afraid to walk on the street at night... 80%


"Nowadays I avoid a lot of things, I no longer wear open clothes, I am always aware of the time, I don't like to leave the house at night. Sometime ago, because of college, I didn't have much choice and I had to walk a long way on foot, alone, at night, and I walked in the middle of the street, literally in the middle of the street, in case, I don't know, someone would show up, having my hair always in a bun, never a ponytail, my bag close to my body. Whenever possible, I would also carry a key or something sharp in my hand."


"There were times when I was coming back from school at night, and a guy would drive his car next to me and keep offering me a ride, and insisting. And after the guy leaves, you are still scared of him coming back and whatever could happen, because you are there, right? And this was always with usual school clothes, pants, t-shirt, sweater, nothing special."

56% of the women interviewed are very afraid of becoming victims of assault/kidnappings on the streets – of the men interviewed, 40% said they are very afraid. Regarding the fear of being victims of rape in public spaces, 58,5% women say they are very afraid or terrified – for men, only  1,2% feel the same way. 

Final Paper for the Architecture and Urbanism Course – Laís Leão, 2016.