Anti-catcalling app pulled for lack of public funding

Anti-catcalling app pulled for lack of public funding
An app promoted by authorities to fight sexual harassment in Belgium has been pulled for lack of government funding. Credit: © Belga

A government-backed mobile app to fight street harassment in Belgium is no longer available after the app said that public funds provided by Brussels were cut prematurely, according to reports on Wednesday.

The launch of the application last year was largely promoted by Brussels' secretary for equality, Bianca Debaets, who announced that public funds would be provided for the app for a period of two years.

But only one year into the application's release, the application is no longer downloadable, according to the association behind the app cited by RTBF.

"The nonprofit no longer has the means to ensure the licence and maintenance of the application," a representative of the eponymous association told the outlet.

Debats' cabinet said that the decision to cut funding for the app was made due to "negligence" on the part of the reporter, according to Bruzz.

At the time of its release, Touche Pas A Ma Pote (TPAMP, which stands for 'don't touch my friend') was lauded by Debaets as a step forward in the fight against street harassment of women in public spaces. She said that it would help gather statistics and encourage more women to report instances of harassment.

The nonprofit association behind the app will reportedly start a crowdfunding campaign to relaunch the application, which, according to the secretary's cabinet, can still be used by those who have already downloaded it.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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