An android application is being developed by the Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) in collaboration with the Punjab Commission on Status of Women to help report and combat harassment faced by women across the province.

Once developed, the application will allow women to notify the Police Integrated Command, Control and Communication (PPIC3) officials about the kind of harassment they are facing along with their exact geographic location.

The officials will then dispatch a team of first responders to immediately tackle the situation. The first responders of this application will be the Dolphin Force, Police Response Unit and Police Stations Beat Officers.

Women’s harassment includes, but is not limited to domestic, workplace or public place harassment.

Read more: Lahore Police Launches Rescue 15 Mobile Application

The application will be used for two purposes: to create awareness about harassment and to help victims of it. It will consist of two to three modes including a panic button for emergency situations.

Phone calls generated from the application will be directed to the 15 helpline where a special desk has been designated to answers the calls. These operators have undergone special training to effectively deal with cases of various forms of harassment.

“Definitions of what constitutes harassment and what does not will be built into the application, so apart from helping out the citizens we can also educate them,” says Shamsher Haider, Deputy Chief System Integration at the PSCA.

The punishments for these crimes are in sync with Federal and Provincial legislature.

However, while the application aims to make it easier for women to report harassers, the officials have not mentioned how the law enforcement agencies will be sensitized to ensure that female harassment cases are dealt with delicately and adequately.

“We already have laws where women can report abuse and assault, but the process of filing that FIR, or even stepping into the police station, means preparing yourself for a character assassination first,” says Sadia Khatri, Founder of the women empowerment initiative “Girls at Dhabas”.

When reports of harassment / assault do come in, the very officials dealing with the reports turn to the survivor (usually a woman) first, trying to find a reason to blame her for what she had no control over. It’s rare for authorities to focus their investigation on the aggressor — esp until media and activists make some noise.”

Read more: Registering Private Employees in Punjab

The application, being developed by Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) IT Department will be launched by the end of December 2016.

This piece first appeared on MIT Technology Review Pakistan and has been reproduced with permission.

Opinion

Sialkot speaks
31 Jul 2021

Sialkot speaks

The PML-N leadership is shell-shocked. A drubbing by the PTI in Sialkot? In the heart of Sharif territory?
Who messed up Afghanistan?
Updated 31 Jul 2021

Who messed up Afghanistan?

Russia and USA are squarely responsible for Afghanistan’s tragedy but Pakistan is certainly not innocent.

Editorial

China-Taliban meeting
Updated 31 Jul 2021

China-Taliban meeting

WITH the government in Kabul appearing to stand on very fragile foundations, and as the clock ticks down to the ...
31 Jul 2021

Outages in Makran

IT is no surprise that people in Balochistan’s Makran Division have of late taken to the streets to protest in the...
31 Jul 2021

Reduction in polio cases

AFTER the long and tedious efforts of those running the national polio programme, there are signs that Pakistan ...
30 Jul 2021

Judge’s elevation

A CONTROVERSY roiling the legal fraternity for a few weeks has come to a head. It was precipitated by the Judicial...
PTI’s Sialkot win
30 Jul 2021

PTI’s Sialkot win

The PML-N’s internal duality is a particularly acute factor that is dragging down the party in electoral contests.
30 Jul 2021

Attack on Chinese

AN attack targeting two Chinese nationals in Karachi on Wednesday should put the security apparatus on alert in ...