#SafeOutside is an independent grassroots initiative designed to combat sexual harassment and sexual assault (SHSA). Organizations from climbing and outdoor communities around the world have joined forces to collect data, drive conversation, share best practices, provide press coverage and address the issues.
Note: while the American Alpine Club is hosting this landing page, and has provided financial support in addition to responsive leadership on this issue, the #SafeOutside initiative and its associated output were not conducted or developed by the AAC.
#SafeOutside's mission is to combat SHSA. Our first step is to collect data and create a safer space for conversation. We worked with nonprofit, industry and press organizations to generate awareness around SHSA, as well as to implement or refine processes and policies. Our experiences and work to date resulted in two major outputs: a report about SHSA in climbing that presents our collected data and its analysis, and a toolkit that includes templates, guidelines and best practices to help others collect their own data and address this issue. The report and toolkit are meant to be leveraged by anyone in any industry who may wish to combat SHSA.
If funding and commitment exist, we hope to continue this work, to invest in long-term education programs, and to conduct deep policy research, as well as to expand on our work with survivors and bring perpetrators to justice when possible. If you like to contribute to the #SafeOutside work, we have a GoFundMe page set up.
Survey: Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault in Climbing
Between May and July of 2018, the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault in Climbing survey was conducted in two languages and three countries (US, Mexico and Australia) to collect data about SHSA in the climbing community. The survey was initiated and coordinated by Charlie Lieu, an operational strategist with 20+ years of big data and decision analytics experience. The survey was developed and tested by a team of experts led by Dr. Callie Marie Rennison, a renowned victimologist, and leading expert in statistical and survey methods. The distribution was driven by Katie Ives at Alpinist, and shared by over 40 organizations and countless individuals around the world.
Data analysis was completed by Dr. Rennison with support from Ms. Lieu. Responses gathered were generalized for the purpose of reporting, and have already helped partner organizations improve policies to reduce incidents, increase understanding, and provide better support systems for all climbers.
Full results in the form of a report can be found below.
Toolkit: Combat Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault
To help organizations and individuals combat sexual harassment and assault, we have created the #SafeOutside toolkit based on our experience, research and learnings. We expect this to be an evolving toolkit, and will release periodic updates to reflect changing needs and best practices. The current toolkit includes the following:
Overview on combating sexual harassment and assault
Tools for data collection (survey and instructions)
Best practices for policy and procedures (templates and guidelines)
Educational materials (what is SHSA, bystander intervention, consent)
Media: Create Awareness in Our Communities
In order to shed light on the issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault in our communities, the #SafeOutside press coalition committed to print and digital content designed to bring awareness and drive conversations.
Alpinist lead the press coalition and has published the extended result and full analysis.
Below are links to the additional digital articles and media (updated as content goes live):
Adventure Journal - #SafeOutside Survey Reveals Extent of Harassment in Climbing World
Adventure Sports Journal - #SafeOutside Initiative Launched to Combat SHSA
Alpinist - Safety Means More Than A Good Belay
Blog Descalada (Brazil) - Campanha contra assédio em ambiente outdoor
Diario Feminista (Spain) - SafeOutside: Recursos para un alpinismo libre de acoso y agresiones sexuales
Elevation Outdoors - Combating Sexual Harassment in the Era of Social Media
Elevation Outdoors - By the Numbers: Sexual Harassment in Climbing
Elevation Outdoors - Editor’s Letter: Stop the Cycle
Freeman (Mexico) - Estudio Safe Outside
For the Love of Climbing - Unbroken (trigger warning - violent and graphic content)
KNKX (NPR) - Morning Edition news segment: #SafeOutside
KUOW (NPR) - Harassment on the Mountain
The Mountaineers - Building A Safe and Respectful Culture
Outdoor Retailer Magazine - Five Summer Market Takeaways
REI Co-op Journal - Nearly One-Third of Respondents Have Experienced SHSA while Climbing
Participation: Join The Movement
Whether you are an individual, an organization or press, you are invited to join the conversation and the movement.
Individual: show your support by posting on the social media platform(s) of your choice. Use your voice for good by pledging to intervene when you see SHSA, or post a message of support for those who have experienced SHSA, or tell your own story of SHSA. Be sure to include the hashtag #SafeOutside.
Organization: put forth public-facing statements of support and/or policy statements on this topic on your website and/or on your social media channels. Additionally, you can develop or refine policy or procedures to close the gaps in addressing SHSA using the toolkit provided on this site.
Press: publish article(s), media or other content on topics pertinent to sexual harassment or sexual assault. The goal is to create awareness and inspire conversation.
The button below will take you to instructions, graphics, organizational statements and social media posts.
Partner and supporting Organizations
This initiative would not have been possible without the engagement of organizations who have shared the survey, as well as the support of dozens of nonprofit, industry, and press partners.
A (growing) list of supporting organizations, partners, and participants joining us for action are below.
Behind the movement
The #SafeOutside initiative is driven by the climbing and outdoor communities, and is only possible because of the countless people who have stepped up and mobilized around this issue. In that sense, each of us who have participated in #SafeOutside in whatever way we saw fit are "behind this movement."
We also like to acknowledge the work that has been done by members of various communities prior to #SafeOutside, as well as the individuals who had raised awareness around SHSA in the #MeToo movement, which laid the groundwork for us to build upon their momentum. To all those often-unsung heroes, we are ever grateful.
The volunteer #SafeOutside team members below have contributed time, finances, and expertise to help channel the collective energies of our amazing communities into this movement.