SafetyNET is a global cyber café project that uses the power of new technologies to help stop violence against women and children. As part of cultural and women’s studies programmes, SafetyNET quietly links women and children to information about domestic violence through online access. In the “safe spaces” of secure, moderated chat rooms, participants communicate with domestic violence specialists, volunteer attorneys, survivors of abuse, and mentors. SafetyNET also provides women with opportunities to develop computer skills and to start e-commerce businesses.
The project is operating in North America, North Africa and Europe. Plans are underway to establish SafetyNET in Asia and Latin America.
Our vision for the SafetyNET Project is to enable more women and children to live life free from abuse, and to effect change in cultural attitudes about human rights around the globe.
UPDATE 22ND NOV 2005:
SafetyNET team on site in Marrakech for AmeneNet first installations!
Following on from our last visit in April, we have taken up the call to return to Marrakech to light our candles together to symbolise the official launch of AmeneNET – the Arabic world’s SafetyNET Project – in Morocco.
At the invitation of Dr Fatima Bouabdelli, key members of the UK and USA SafetyNET teams converged in Marrakech from 18-24 November 2006, to undertake the first phases of installation of the new AmanaNET programme.
Professor Lizbeth Goodman (Founder and President Safespaces.net), Professor Lesley Ferris & Professor Bryan Loughrey (Senior Research Associates), Mr Jose Marinez (SafetyNET Tech Director), Ms Cassandra St Louis (SafetyNET webmistress and Interaction Designer), Ms Taey Kim (Interface Designer), Ms Joy Barrett (Project Manager UK), Ms Jana Riedel (Videographer/Content Manager).
Objectives of the visit:
– To update site research on the development of cybercafe culture in Morocco since our last visit, and to make a presentation on the spread of new technologies since our first pilot project in 1997.
– To donate computers, software and training to the heads of “Maison du HAOUZ”, a self-contained university house for young women from the villages of the region of Haouz, near Marrakech, and of the sheltered accommodation for younger girls from disadvantaged communities in the Atlas villages (see below).
– To work in the medinas and with local NGOs for women to further develop the SafetyNET JET system providing gps- and sms-enabled mobile tech solutions for women in need.
– To hold a ceremony symbolising the launch of AmeneNET, firstly in Marrakech and then at the public event in Fes to follow on the 25th.
This visit was funded in part by a generous grant from the University of East London Graduate School, and by the kind hosts of the Club de l’Universite Cadi Ayyad, Marrakech.