Research into the everyday experiences of girls and young women in our cities


Free to Be is a crowd-mapping tool developed in collaboration with CrowdSpot, Monash University’s XYX Lab and, crucially, young women. Following a pilot in Melbourne in 2016, we rolled out an improved version to five cities. In 2018, Free to Be enabled young women in Sydney, Delhi, Kampala, Lima and Madrid to identify and share public spaces that make them feel uneasy, scared or happy and safe. It has empowered young women in these cities to call out unsafe experiences and geographically identify spaces where change needs to occur.

What girls from Sydney, Australia have to say about their city

Explore the map below or click here to open the maps in a new window.

Delhi Kampala Lima Madrid Sydney


unsafe city coverThrough this ground-breaking research, thousands of girls and young women have shared their stories of harassment and violence for the first time, providing a never-before seen glimpse of what they experience in their cities and the impact this has on their lives. Based on research in Delhi, Kampala, Lima, Madrid and Sydney, Unsafe in the city reveals relentless sexist and sexual harassment and abuse – and calls for specific actions to allow girls and young women to live without experiencing fear or discrimination on our streets.

“For us there isn’t anything new [in this research]. The most important finding isn’t for us but for the world that you can see how insecure we feel. They harass us, they touch us, they do everything to us. There is finally somewhere where it is written down.”

Young woman, 21, reflection workshop, Madrid.

Reporting to Authorities

unsafe city coverUtilising data collected via our Safer Cities Free to Be project in 2018 with Monash XYX Lab and Crowdspot, the ‘Reporting to Authorities’ report is a major study on street harassment, and urges authorities to improve reporting outcomes for girls and young women. Across five cities, the report found that young women’s reports of harassment were largely trivialised by authorities, with responses ranging from belittling, disbelief and dismissal, to further harassment from authorities themselves and a complete lack of justice, resulting in frustration and a lack of trust in the system.

Unsafe on the streets
Unsafe on the Streets Report

Read our latest report, which looks specifically at the nature of the group harassment that was highlighted through Free to Be and how decision-makers can work to address it.

Local Reports from Sydney, Delhi, Madrid, Lima & Kampala

Download the local reports to understand more about girls' realities in their own contexts, in their own words.

What’s changed?
whats changed momentum

Everyone has a role to play in making cities safer and more inclusive. Find out what’s been happening since Free to Be amplified the experiences of girls and young women.

Learn More