London police sexual violence reporting web-app adds more options for survivors

Stock photo of a woman holding a cell phone, with an unsure expression on her face CREDIT: FIZKES
Leah Marshall, Fanshawe's sexual violence prevention advisor, said that it’s good to have more options for survivors of sexual violence.

The London police have launched a new web page allowing survivors of sexual violence to anonymously report incidents.

The web-app, called Speak Out, was originally created by the Barrie Police Service in 2021 and is now being rolled out in London as part of a one-year pilot project. According to a London Police Service (LPS) media release, reports made using the app are not an official report; rather, the information that is gained from the reports may assist investigators if a formal report is made.

Leah Marshall, Fanshawe’s sexual violence prevention advisor, said that it’s good to have more options for survivors of sexual violence.

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“When it comes to healing from trauma and especially sexual violence, survivors need options. We’re all unique,” she explained. “For some folks, reporting to police is an option. For other folks, maybe not, not all communities are treated the same by enforcement or police.”

Marshall added that having more options for sexual violence survivors is never bad and that allowing survivors to decide what’s best for them is a good thing.

In her role as the sexual violence prevention advisor for Fanshawe, Marshall assists students who have been subjected to sexual violence, both on and off campus. Part of that is referring students about their next steps, and that things don’t have to be immediate.

“When we’ve experienced trauma, our nervous system is severely impacted and sometimes our ability to make decisions takes longer. By police offering this kind of first step, they’re allowing survivors to say, ‘I might want to do this, but I’m not sure, and at least I can have that there if I change my mind in the future.’”

The app provides a reference code, so that anyone filing a report through Speak Out that wishes to file an official report later can use the information they provided to aid any formal investigation.

Users of the app must be over the age of 18, which was one feature that Marshall pointed out as a possible issue. To remedy this, Marshall offered an alternative to the app called Map My Experience.

“If folks are fearful about even initially giving their information to police in that way, I want to let them know that there’s, again, other options. It’s a positive thing that the London Police are offering this, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle that may not be right for everyone.”

Map My Experience, launched in Oct. 2022, is run by Safe Cities London in a partnership with many institutions across London including Anova. The app allows you to open a map of London and drop a pin where you may have experienced any gender or sexuality-based discrimination. The app doesn’t submit any official reports like Speak Out but is more for the community to know of any potentially dangerous spots.

“It allows us as a community to look at where students are experiencing this violence the most. From there, it allows us to put in better measures to respond and to be more proactive around how we can support survivors before it happens.”

The app was originally just launched to Western and Fanshawe students and their respective campuses but has recently expanded to cover the entirety of the city of London.

Speak Out can be found at and Map My Experience can be found at