Preventing Sexual Harassment in Australian Public Transport Spaces

Uncovering how the safety of women and girls is challenged in public transport spaces.

Number of media reports of Sexual Assault in Public Transport Melbourne, 2000–2016. Image: Monash University XYX Lab.

Despite being the major user of public transport spaces, women have had very little say about the planning of transport routes and safety of public transport spaces. Women must be involved design, planning and policy solutions so that public transport spaces incorporate their gendered perspective.

Associate Professor Nicole Kalms

In public transport spaces, perpetrators feel comfortable in offending and in many cases, emboldened by their close and anonymous proximity to other travellers. As a result, women and girls regularly modify their behaviour when using public transport – avoiding strangers, pretending to have a conversation on their phone, grasping their keys as a weapon, or even forgoing some trips entirely.

This project will examine public transport space solely through the experiences of women and girls to propose strategies and toolkits they can use to reduce risk and fear. Using design-based methods and techniques, such as mapping, diagramming and modelling in three-dimensions, the experiences of women and girls will be harnessed and engaged in order to create a number of policies that can be enacted by stakeholders and policy makers to alleviate the issue’s underlying causes.

* Public Transport Report (PDF, 3.6MB)
* Public Transport Report HAPPY and SAD STATIONS (PDF, 3.5MB)