Thirty-three hotspots marking where women and gender-diverse residents have felt unsafe have been identified in Warrnambool.
Crowdsourcing website 'YourGround' revealed the locations, many of which are public spaces.
Among the majority of hotspots are parks and reserves, including locations in Albert and Brierly Park, the foreshore and Thunder Point trail, and Russells Creek and Merri River Creek.
The project - a partnership between CrowdSpot, Monash University's XYX lab and 23 local councils - invites women to pin locations within Victoria where they have either experienced assault, been exposed to unwelcome behaviour, or have been made to feel unsafe.
Users may choose to anonymously add details of particular incidents or select from a variety of predetermined descriptors including "the behaviour of people here makes me feel uncomfortable", "hard to see what/who is ahead", and "poor lighting".
Solving the problem comes down to ensuring gender equity and changing social and cultural perceptions and behaviours, the south-west's peak organisation for women says.
The real problem is social and cultural behaviour, and that's what we really need to change.Emma Mahony
While Barwon South West Women's Health and Wellbeing CEO Emma Mahony believes it's "awesome that local government is onboard", resolving the issue would require deep-seated changes to "masculine cultures" present in Warrnambool.
"Historically, when we built public spaces, we haven't really thought about gender," she said.
"So it's good to know that going forward, when we design new community facilities or spaces around Warrnambool we'll start to think about feelings of safety, light, easy access for all communities, but the bigger problem is why women don't feel safe in these public spaces."
Recounting her own experiences walking at night and being subjected to "whistling, leering and jeering", Ms Mahony attributed the problem to "behaviour, not the space".
"The real problem is social and cultural behaviour, and that's what we really need to change. We need a good, consistent, twenty-year investment to really promote gender equality to really build cultures of equality and respect in our community - that's where we'll get to solving this problem," she said.
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Head of the research project, Monash University's Dr Nicole Kalms, says it's "really important that we collate and highlight the experiences" of women and gender-diverse people.
"This is a way to surface the experience of people whose voices may not otherwise be heard within local government or planning circles," she said.
"The data and insights will be used to provide your local council with insights to help them make key decisions around policy and planning."
Findings of the project will conclude in July and an official report is expected to be released in November this year.
Project lead at Warrnambool City Council, John Finnerty, confirmed data from the website was "disappointing", but would be used to "review and update" council strategies, achieve target goals within the Gender Equality Act 2020, and create "inclusive and safe public spaces for everyone".
"It will inform future council strategic planning - once we develop the outcomes of the survey and what key information council should take into account, council will develop policies that will be used in consideration of (the issues)," he said.
In future, "projects that are in the pipeline could be influenced by this website if we are able to identify immediate improvements such as lighting or installing CCTV cameras and other public safety improvements," he said.
"We need to make sure that recreation, health and fitness, and well-being is something that's not withheld from people because of perceived dangers to safety or any other issues."
Acknowledging the "commonalty of responses" about "busy neighbourhood parks" being characterised as unsafe due to restrictions in visibility and a lack of passive surveillance, Mr Finnerty also said the data would be passed onto appropriate authorities.
"We have the intention of having a chat with our local police to make sure they have all the information that we receive from this," he said.
Warrnambool local Olivia Pagotto, 22, says heavier policing in public spaces would "make her feel safer" by tackling what she sees as a "drug problem" in Warrnambool.
"Because we're a regional location, there's less happening so (some) people tend to resort to drug use. I suppose when you get into heavier use, that's when a lot of the violence against women does occur," she said. "That means parks and trails are generally not safe for us."
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