Looks aren’t everything

We would like to share the feedback with our followers and supporters because we feel that the women who participate in these focus groups are as much a part of the Keep Safe team as the team members. And their feedback is valuable in many contexts and applications for anyone who is a sex worker or an ally.

Since the start of our little project we’ve been contacted several times from various businesses, individuals, and other organizations requesting to know what the device will look like. We could never give people a direct answer for several reasons. Well, first of all, we don’t exactly know that for sure. Once we raised a certain amount of funds we purchased several different devices to test out in order to pick the best one or two to present to sex workers. Thankfully, we were lucky to have purchased a device that works with no problems and were able to use that as a demo during focus group sessions.

One question that we posed to focus group team members and that we really wanted feedback on was the appearance and aesthetics of the device itself. A concern that many women posed was if the device is made public through media or marketing how will that impact the safety of sex workers. Early on with the project, we were fortunate to have a lot of media interest in Keep Safe which resulted in a lot of positive support, but also resistance from other parties to work with us. Thankfully, we were able to mend some damaged bridges and increase collaboration despite some preemptive media attention.

Other comments/concerns from the focus group team members included:

  • Concerns over flashing lights that could be confused with a recorder or draw unwanted attention
  • Creating a cover (preferably waterproof, if the device is not already) to protect it and conceal any light distractions, or make it look more like a makeup/cosmetic item
  • Concern, again, with the device possibly being published in the media and other people in their circles/buildings would know they were carrying it, and may consider them to be a “spy” or “narc” as they are able to discreetly call law enforcement
  • One person asked if, as an organization, we would put media attention (and thus possible funding) as a higher priority than the safety of sex workers

These are extremely relevant questions and concerns that we would not have thought about without the input and involvement of the focus group team members. Our goal is to address these and other information that came out of the focus group sessions, and our objective is driven by these team members.

Stayed tuned next week for some other enlightening feedback from our focus group team members!

In Solidarity,

The Keep Safe Team

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