MEXICO CITY, Mexico — Mexico City’s government started handing out whistles on Thursday as part of a campaign to prevent violence against women traveling on the city’s metro system.
They were handed out in six metro stations: Pino Suárez, Hidalgo, Guerrero, Pantitlán, Balderas and Chapultepec, to prevent and deter harassment and sexual abuse.
In a first stage of the campaign, 15,000 whistles will be distributed at the stations mentioned above as well as in civil courts, while supplies last.
The whistles come with a booklet containing advice on when they should be used. It also lists emergency telephone numbers as well as information on legal prosecution offices that deal with sexual offenses.
Despite the good response by metro passengers, some remain skeptical.
“Sometimes it’s useless to separate women from men and it’s not enough. I think the solution would be for fewer people to board the wagons. I think that would help and avoid men from being so close to women. Because that gives him the possibility to touch us and abuse,” said Dulce Fernández.
More than 1,400 security officers working in metro stations have also been informed about the protocol to follow, in connection with the use of the whistles, which emit a sound capable of reaching up to 700 meters.
The use of surveillance security cameras has also increased at stations as well as the use of alarm buttons placed on buses and public spaces.
Another passenger, Rosa González, said the whistle would be helpful.
“It will be helpful because when they (attackers) hear the sound of the whistle, they will get scared and say: ‘What shall I do?’ and they will possibly run but we will join forces, in this case the women, and more people in the car and we will retaliate,” González said.
The sound of the whistle is intended to alert and request the immediate support of the police.