Investment theme: Moving on from abuse
The Media Co-op £30,000 over 3 years 2016 Tampon Tax award: Seed corn funding for a new project which resulted in a significant long term resource for women being stalked
The £30,000 from Women’s Fund enabled Media Co-op to leverage funding for the overall project of £125,348, as follows:
Glasgow City Council Cooperative Business Development Fund (for usability testing):£5,000
Nominet Trust Social Tech Seed Funding (tech build and first release, initial legal work): £55,000
Comic Relief: £65,348
The Scottish Government contributed £13,278 to SWRC from its VAW fund specifically to support the ongoing running and support of the App and signposting, enabling SWRC to offer the App free to women as part of their core services.
Purpose: to project manage and administer the development, testing, build and release of ‘FollowItApp’ over a three-year which enables women who are being stalked to log details of incidents, which they can then use, either as their own personal record, empowering them in relation to the crime; or to help police gather evidence to build a case. The App enables women who are being stalked to log details of incidents, which they can then use, either as their own personal record, empowering them in relation to the crime; or to help police gather evidence to build a case. Their data is stored securely on a remote server, so women do not risk having their phone seized by the police when they report. On the user’s request, the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre sends an authorised report to the police with all the data the incident data user has recorded on the App. The App is designed to prompt the user to record exactly the sorts of details the police need to build a successful case. For example, the law on stalking in Scotland states that stalking is a pattern of behaviour that “causes fear and alarm”, so there is a free text field in each incident report asking the user ‘How did it make you feel?” Women who are being stalked can get the App through the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre, which also signposts them to suitable support services during sign up.
Achievements: The App continues to be available and is widely used throughout Scotland. The difference it makes is shown by this example:
“At the beginning I didn’t think it was serious enough to go to the police. Someone just driving past your house: why would you think that’s stalking? Nobody understood, like,why I kept getting myself into such a state over it all, cos I was so scared of what he could do. There was no need for him to be in my street, to be parked outside my house.It’s terrifying knowing that he can be at the other side of that door. Everyone used to say to me ‘You’re safe in the house. You just lock the door and keep the windows closed’. I never ever felt safe. Windows are easy broke and doors are easy kicked in.I was at breaking point and didn’t want to be here any more. It wasn’t just myself that was affected, it was my son as well. And my son missed out on so much. I used to just shut myself away when I should have been there with him. When the App didn’t exist I wrote things down. I would always get to that stage where I didn’t want to write it down any more. I would rip it all up and I’d bin it, I didn’t want it lying about my house. It was just a constant reminder of my stalker – I just wanted to forget about it all.
In the App, the time and date’s already there for you, and it’s a lot quicker. You don’t need to fill in all the information there and then, you can just whiz through it and add some details, and then fill the rest in when I got to a safe place. So when you record an incident, it doesn’t go straight to the police or anything like that.It’s up to you whether you want to report it to the police. It’s your information so it’s your choice whether you share that or not.
You can find out more about this app and hear the words of a survivor here
The Women’s Fund for Scotland has made one grant of £30,000 to Media Co-op towards this vital work, thank you for giving us the opportunity to support this. We are delighted to have supported you from 2016-2019 as a grant partner.