City of Edmonton launching bystander awareness campaign

April 6, 2023
The campaign is designed to help reduce gender-based violence and harassment in transit spaces.

The city of Edmonton is launching a bystander awareness campaign to help reduce gender-based violence and harassment in transit spaces. The campaign - which is part of a broader, multi-layered effort to create safer transit spaces - aims to empower and educate bystanders about how to intervene in a way that is safe for them and for the individual being targeted. The campaign provides information about six actions bystanders can consider taking based on their personal assessment of how safe it is for them.

“The campaign’s concept, One Strong Voice, speaks to the inner voice that tells us we should do something to help but may need a little extra knowledge and confidence to take that first step,” said Sarah Feldman, director, business integration and workforce development, Edmonton Transit Service. “Everyone deserves a safe transit experience. We are committed to providing a safe and comfortable transit system, which is essential to building a greater sense of community safety and well-being in our city. This campaign is one part of the city’s efforts to make transit a safer, more convenient and reliable way to travel.”

The campaign incorporates research grounded in a Gender-Based Analysis Plus process and an Indigenous perspective to help understand and address the needs of diverse people in transit spaces.

“Through our work as a safe city, Edmontonians told us they want to play a role in preventing harassment towards others in public spaces but needed more information on how to respond when they witness these behaviors,” Feldman said. “We are confident this campaign will help address this need and contribute to improvements throughout the transit system.”

Safety and security in transit spaces remains a top priority. The bystander awareness campaign complements the broader safety and security efforts as outlined in the Transit Safety Plan. The city is working with partners to increase law enforcement, support community health, increase housing, make transit safer and make public spaces more vibrant.