Smartphone app charts homophobic street violence
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 — Although the term gay bashing certainly does not require any explanation within the holebi community, the concept is completely alien to all too many outsiders. To bring homophobic violence into the spotlight and call on people to no longer tolerate this sort of behaviour, the anti-gay-bashing movement Outrage!, launches its ant-gay-bashing app today. Via Google maps, this smartphone application, brainchild of the advertising agency FAMOUS, charts all the reported locations where homophobic violence was ever committed. Both physical and verbal violence against holebis are literally and figuratively put on the map. By means of this application, Outrage! wants to show that gay bashing is a genuine problem which calls for serious action.
Discrepancy between official & actual figures
Research conducted at the behest of the Minister for Justice shows that one in three holebis feel unsafe at least once a month. The reason: his or her proclivity. Almost six people in ten have had to endure verbal abuse while no less than twenty percent have been at the receiving end of threats. One holebi in ten has fallen victim to physical aggression. These figures speak for themselves. The official complaint figures point to a gap between the number of official complaints made and the situation on the ground however. For various reasons, victims of homophobic violence are slow to file a complaint, with the result that the problem seems to be less serious than it actually is.
Gay bashing charted
Within this framework, Outrage! today launches the gay-bashing application. This app allows holebis faced with aggression to geographically pinpoint the incident on Google Maps via their smartphone, anonymously so if they wish. Thus, the streets where homophobic violence has been committed can literally be ‘put on the map’. In this way, both parties want to raise awareness about the issue and push for persistent action.
The iPhone app can be downloaded free of charge via the Apple Store and via Android Market
(search term = ‘Bashing’). Aggression can only be reported via the application. The gay-bashing map and further information on this application can also be obtained online via www.bashing.be.
“Bad things happen when good men do nothing”
Bert Vermeire, developer with the advertising agency FAMOUS, originally came up with the concept after having read the Outrage! call on Facebook in the wake of last summer’s events. As Outrage! jumped at the idea, Bert set down to work.
Developer Bert Vermeire: ‘The app is based on user generated content, which means that its success will hinge on the willingness of each and every one of us. With this app, we call on any one who has ever been at the receiving end of physical or mental abuse because of their orientation and call on them to report homophobic violence via the gay-bashing app. Reporting it takes less than a minute of your time but it is the only way to ensure that outsiders get a clear picture of the seriousness of the problem. I would go as far as to conclude with the quote “Bad things happen when good men do nothing.”’
The need to make an official complaint
With the launch of the app, Björn Pius, Chairman of Outrage! also calls on victims to file an official complaint with the police: ‘We do know that it can be very hard, following an at times traumatic experience, to walk into the police station, but it remains a necessity! This is the only way the police well get sufficient insight into the problem, which, in turn, will allow them to apprehend the perpetrators more easily. What’s more, what we don’t want is that the missing objective crime figures can be used as an argument to ignore a genuine problem. It is therefore also vital that you specify that you were the victim of homophobic aggression. Via the gay-bashing app we are creating a direct link to www.meld-it.be which clearly details all the information.’
Want to file a complaint?
Dial 112 to contact the police
Centre for Equal Opportunities
Dial 0800 12 800 to contact the Centre for Equal Opportunities
### End of the press release###
Outrage! is a Belgian, open community based on the LGBT community, united in the fight against homophobia, discrimination and violence against holebis. They foster collaboration between organizations and individuals, and shall assert their rights and dignity through targeted, political, radical, though peaceful action so as to bring about positive change.
FAMOUS is an independent Belgian advertising agency which, with its campaigns, has managed to scoop near enough to every single national and international award over the past 15 years. FAMOUS transcends the media borders and offers clients a mixture of advertising, CRM and PR, both online and offline. Famous operates a co-inspiration model where the input of the client takes centre stage. To that effect, Famous launched the Everybody Famous community in 2011: a 24/7 online community of 300 Belgians who guarantee a non-stop input and feedback from consumers.
FAMOUS looks after campaigns for a. o. Bacardi-Martini, BOIC, De Morgen, Electrabel, GAIA, Hyundai, AB InBev, SITA, VT4 and Vandemoortele.
For further information: www.famous.be.
Follow FAMOUS on Twitter: @FamousBrussels
 Cf. Written question 4-5669 by Senator Bart Tommelein dd. 7 December 2009