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General Overview

EICS Framework


Region of Reference

  • AfricaAfrica
  • AsiaAsia
  • AustraliaAustralia
  • EuropeEurope
  • North-AmericaNorth-America
  • South-AmericaSouth-America
  • WorldWorld


Enacting laws against specific offences is also only part of the picture of effecting change – proper implementation requires appropriate enabling policy frameworks that guide the relevant government departments across the spectrum, faithful compliance with duties under the law, and sufficient resources to enable appropriate service provision.

Collecting a quality database on incidents of sexual harassment can assist in managing the problem, but obtaining this data is fraught with problems. Some of the reasons why victims of rape will not report these incidents to the police include:

  • Trauma, that may prevent them from recalling or being able to talk about what happened to them

  • Not understanding that what has happened to them constitutes rape

  • Shame as a result of being raped

  • The fear of being blamed for their victimisation

  • The risk of retaliation by the perpetrator and/or their supporters, family and friends

  • The fear of not being believed by police, healthcare workers, and family/friends

  • The risk of stigma and ostracization because of harmful cultural beliefs and norms (for example, that women who have been raped are ‘damaged goods)

  • A lack of support systems to assist victims to report to the police and to see the case through to its conclusion in the criminal justice system

  • The belief that the criminal justice system or authorities will not respond appropriately to reports

  • Secondary victimisation at the hands of insensitive officials who employ problematic beliefs and stereotypes to undermine the credibility of reports of sexual violence.

Ensuring that first responders or reporting officers understand the law and have a clear idea of how to respond appropriately and where to access the services, care and support for the survivor is critical and can not only improve victims’ experiences of reporting but also increase the likelihood that the survivor will see a prosecution through to completion. In many countries, a lack of attention by the justice systems to sexually motivated crimes that happen to women while travelling can lead to reluctance to report incidents; and research shows that this is largely due to a widespread lack of trust in security agencies, especially in developing regions.

Women are more likely to report incidents of harassment where authorities take complaints of harassment seriously, and where the penalties for being found guilty of the offence are enforced. Weak, unclear, or absent legal and policy frameworks allow the problem to flourish. Successful initiatives to combat this behaviour include more, visible and better trained, law enforcement and private security personnel who respond to complaints of harassment. Best practice dictates that these officers should be trained to recognise street harassment and understand the harm it causes, should avoid victim-blaming, should provide appropriate responses and care for the victim, and should be willing to make official reports in such cases.

The institutional and legal framework on the security of mobility and responses when crime happens varies widely. In many countries, when crime or sexual harassment takes place, there is often a problem with statutory definitions, such as definitions of harassment in public spaces. Laws, regulations, and responsibilities of security agencies can also vary from one jurisdiction to another. For example, transit authorities may have jurisdiction over public motor vehicles, and trains, while local police forces have jurisdiction over the streets (public space) stations or terminals (which may be part of the same transit system) or they, can be shared competencies. Moreover, there is frequently a lack of clarity of the roles and responsibilities for post-incident support of women survivors of violence in public transport, and related services—medical care, safe accommodation, psychological counselling, police protection and/or legal advice—compounded by a lack of coordination among these services.

Clarifying jurisdictional issues and criminalizing harassment in public spaces, can provide women with the legal tools they need to ensure a safe user experience.

Types of Impact

Area Impacted

  • To/from the stop/station/rank
  • Waiting for train/bus/paratransit
  • In the vehicle
  • At interchanges
First responders are typically located at public transport access or egress points.

Time of Day of Impact

  • Day-time travel
  • Night-time travel
  • Peak-time travel
  • Off peak-time travel
As offences can happen at any time of day, the intervention can be impactful at any time.

Mode Impacted

  • Bus
  • Train
  • Rideshare
  • 4 wheelers informal
  • 3 wheelers informal
  • 2 wheelers informal
  • Cycling
  • Walking
All modes of transport can be impacted by having adequately trained first responders.

Demographic impacted

  • Girls
  • Boys
  • Adult Women
  • Men
  • Elderly Women
All demographics are affected.

SWOT Analysis

  • Better data collection

  • Improved possibility of prosecution

  • Passengers learn to trust the authorities and feel safer

  • Staff needs to be available 24/7

  • Language barriers

  • Build a quality database for better management and decision making

  • Employment opportunities can be created

  • Poorly trained first responders can have adverse impacts on victims' willingness to report incidents.


There are various examples supporting this notion in the literature, so the level of confidence that this intervention will be impactful and well received is high.

  • Perception by (female) passengers
  • Perception by governing bodies
  • Level of confidence in these ratings


Implementation of this intervention takes some time initially, as the legal framework and response procedures are developed. The benefits occur slowly initially but will last as long as the staff are made available.

Implementation timeframe

  • 0-1 year
  • 1-3 years
  • >3 years

Timeframe to realise benefits

  • 0-1 year
  • 1-3 years
  • >3 years

Scale of Implementation

This intervention affects all geographical scales.

Station or

Ease of Implementation

This intervention takes a moderate amount of effort to implement, as it requires skilled personnel, and it takes a fair amount of time and effort.

List of References



1. Chafai, H. (2021). Everyday gendered violence: women’s experiences of and discourses on street sexual harassment in Morocco. The Journal of North African Studies, 26(5), 1013-1032.



2. Ancheta, A. C. P. (2018). No place for harassment: Construing street harassment as gender-based sexual violence and providing remedies therefore. Ateneo LJ, 63, 539.

North America

North America

3. Arndt, S. (2018). Street harassment: The need for criminal remedies. Hastings Women's LJ, 29, 81.

4. Laniya, O. O. (2005). Street smut: gender, media, and the legal power dynamics of street harassment, or hey sexy and other verbal ejaculations. Colum. J. Gender & L., 14, 91.