Changes to Safe Walk and next steps for Safe Slope
Dear friends, volunteers, supporters, neighbors, and partners,
As the new year approaches, we wanted to say thank you. With your help, we’ve made our community safer by sharing information, watching out for each other, and walking dozens of women home at a time when they felt threatened and unsafe in their own neighborhood.
We founded Safe Slope in August due to the urgent need to address the gender-based violence that was happening on the streets of South Brooklyn. Since then, we fought against violence in our community by organizing a rally, attended by hundreds of neighbors, community organizers and politicians, and inspiring them to join our cause. Our Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr pages became hubs of information and community organizing for the neighborhood. Safe Slope’s organizers and Hollaback! met with the commanding officers of the NYPD’s 72nd and 78th precincts to directly address our open letter about their actions in the neighborhood, and the police agreed to make improvements. We launched Safe Walk, gathered dedicated volunteers, and made our neighborhood safer.
We’re excited to continue this important work in the community!
However, for the past month, there have been fewer news reports of attacks. The winter months are approaching and we are getting fewer calls for a Safe Walk home.
So for the holidays, we are going to suspend Safe Walk services, starting immediately through January 7th.
Starting on January 12, we will launch a Safe Walk reservation system. We will announce more information about this soon. Please note that we are not ending the program. We are looking for a sustainable way to make this program available to those who need it.
While it’s great that community members may be feeling safer, Safe Slope is dedicated to remaining vigilant about preventing violence in our community—on our streets and in our homes; between strangers and between people who know each other. As our friend, supporter, and Council Member Brad Lander recently wrote,
If we want to end the plague of violence, we all need to start speaking out against the disrespectful culture around sexual assault that allows so many attackers to walk free. We must not simply breathe a sigh of relief (now that the creeps on our neighborhoods’ streets seem to have taken a break) and close our eyes and ears to violence that is less public. Instead, let’s keep up the neighborhood patrols, interrupt street harassment, support organizations combating domestic violence, and insist on respect for victims.
In that spirit, Safe Slope is working on organizing more community events, anti-violence advocacy and workshops, and awareness campaigns.
We are really excited about opportunities for new projects and creating opportunities for community members to work together to make our streets and homes safer spaces. If you are interested in helping us with these programs, please get in touch to let us know if you have ideas, or would like to be more involved in our advocacy programs.
This is your community, you can make it safer!
We’re looking forward to a bunch of great changes here at Safe Slope.
Best Wishes in the New Year,
The Safe Slope organizers
Cam, Gillian, Jesse, Jessica, Liza, Michael, Nick, and Sarah