"Not Your Baby" App Helps People Deal With Sexual Harassment


Toronto, Ontario -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/11/2012 -- On September 10, 2012, METRAC (the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children) released a free iPhone app, "Not Your Baby", to help users deal with sexual harassment. Once installed, the app will allow users to input where they are – such as work, school or on the street – and who’s harassing them – such as a boss, coworker or fellow student. A response will be generated "in the moment", based on the input of 238 people who shared what they've done to deal with similar instances of harassment. Not Your Baby also includes their stories and tips and allows users to submit their own.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (2011) recognizes unwelcome "vexatious comment or conduct" as sexual harassment. Gender-based harassment, "used to get people to follow traditional sex stereotypes", is understood as a form of sexual harassment ("Policy on preventing sexual and gender-based harassment"). Sexual harassment has been identified as a widespread problem. The 1993 Violence Against Women Survey by Statistics Canada found that 23% of women experienced workplace sexual harassment with young women at highest risk. A 1995 survey found that 8 out of 10 young women were harassed in secondary school ("The Joke's Over: Student to Student Sexual Harassment in Secondary Schools", Ontario Women's Directorate, Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation and Ministry of Education). In 2009, Egale Canada's report showed that nine out of 10 transgender students and six out of ten lesbian, gay and bisexual students were verbally harassed ("Youth Speak Up About Homophobia and Transphobia").

Not Your Baby stands as an example of the power of technology to help people take action, including women, young women, LGBTTIQQ2S and other groups most at risk of sexual and gender-based harassment. It is available on iTunes and by visiting METRAC's website.

METRAC is an award-winning, community-based charity that prevents violence against women and youth. Founded in 1984, METRAC works with communities to make them safer for women, youth and everyone.