The Safe Community (Safe City) survey methodology was developed under the UN Women Global Program on Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls, launched in November 2010 and involves leading women’s organizations, UN agencies, and more than 70 global and local partners. It is the first global program to develop, implement and evaluate tools, policies, and comprehensive approaches to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls in various settings.
The survey methodology is comprehensive and combines several key data collection methods.
- Desk review, including a review and analysis of statistics, previous studies, and legal documents adopted at the local level.
- Quantitative survey of community residents, which can be conducted face-to-face or online.
- Focus groups with community members, including the most vulnerable groups regarding security.
- Flexible interviews with stakeholders involved in community security.
- Security audit. This method was developed by the Metropolitan Toronto Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC, 1989) and later expanded by the organization WISE (Women’s Initiatives for Safer Environments). Safety audits are implemented in the form of walking raids along previously developed routes, during which representatives of initiative groups record the results of observations in a specially designed form for capturing information (safety audit protocol form), take photos and videos.
During 2019-2021, our organization conducted 12 surveys using the Safe Community (Safe City) methodology, studying the risks of sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls in public places in settlements and territorial communities in eastern Ukraine, namely:
- Rubizhne, Zolote and Svatove towns, Novoaidar township, Sievierodonetsk, Stanytsia-Luhanska and Hirska territorial communities of Luhansk region;
- Toretsk and Soledar towns, as well as Velykonovosilkivka and Druzhkivka territorial communities of Donetsk region
- Komysh-Zorya township, Zaporizhzhia region.
As part of these studies, we adapted the survey methodology to Ukrainian realities, taking into account the specifics of each community. In particular, the methodology, initially developed for megacities, was modified to be used in small towns and rural areas and to conduct research at the territorial community level rather than a single settlement.
Based on the results of the safety audits, recommendations were developed for each community to improve safety and reduce the risk of sexual violence and harassment in public places. In most communities, these recommendations were used by local authorities together with local non-governmental organizations to develop targeted local programs to improve community safety. As of the end of 2021, the relevant programs were prepared and approved by local governments in four communities, and in several other settlements and territorial communities, draft programs were undergoing the review and approval process.