Audit aims to create discussion about safety in Nanaimo’s south end

NANAIMO – Canada World Youth volunteers audit safety issues for women in south Nanaimo.

Canada World Youth volunteers hope to give Nanaimo something to talk about with a new audit on women’s safety.

An audit on women’s sense of safety in south Nanaimo was presented at the Harbourfront Library Friday as a starting point for discussion and a more in-depth study on safety.

The audit, done by Jillian Der, 18, and Siti Habibah Rhadiabullah, 19, as part of a three-month Canada World Youth program, looked at the area around Haliburton, Irwin and Victoria streets and the top issues affecting safety, from overgrown bushes to poor lighting and a lack of signs pointing people toward emergency resources.

The intersection of Irwin and Sabiston streets was so dark, the study noted that it was hard to find the sidewalks and there were inadequately marked and lit bus stops. In a preliminary survey at the Nanaimo Women’s Centre, participants also noted that the Needham and Haliburton Street bus stop in particular felt ‘exceptionally unsafe’ and refused to use it.

Der, who walked south Nanaimo with a group of women during the audit, said she was surprised at how dark and isolated it was. Her host house is in the same area.

“I’ve walked along there at night by myself and I try not to think about that because then you get into a frame of mind that’s fearful,” she said. “But when you take it all in and you look at how dark it is and how easy it would be for someone to sneak up on you or turn a corner and all of a sudden there’s someone there and there’s no lights on in the houses and you don’t know where to go for help … it’s unnerving.”

Der said the audit is surface level but hopes it leads to conversations about women’s safety needs and how they have to be addressed. Recommendations include better lighting on streets like Irwin, better identified bus stops and signs directing people to emergency resource areas.

Lesley Clarke, executive director with the Nanaimo Women’s Centre believes their work advances dialogue, especially about people coming to Nanaimo and how safe they feel.

“I really applaud these youth women for taking this on,” she said. “It was really interesting to have their perspective and I think that would be useful information to add to a larger safety audit.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A battery electric-hybrid ferry, pictured here, is expected to make its way to Vancouver Island in late 2021, says B.C. Ferries. (Submitted photo)
Hybrid ferry for Gabriola-Nanaimo route launches in shipyard in Europe

Two hybrid vessels to replace MV Quinsam by early 2022, says B.C. Ferries

Vancouver Island Symphony conductor Pierre Simard is releasing his new synthwave album ‘Plandemic’ on March 5. (Photo courtesy Olivia Simard)
Vancouver Island Symphony conductor releasing side-project EP of electronic music

Pierre Simard, recording as Plan Omega, presents ‘Plandemic’

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a B.C. Ferries vessel. (File photo)
Nanaimo ferry passengers who refused to wear masks and caused disturbance fined $460 each

Incident happened Sunday, Feb. 21, aboard the Queen of Cowichan

Beef to the woman walking two dogs that attacked my two small chihuahua dogs along Estevan Road. I was dragged down the embankment with my dogs. All three of us were pinned against the fence by your dogs with no escape route. Your dogs were on retractable leashes that were not appropriate for their size and weight and you had no control over them at all.
Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 24

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement

Lease agreement ‘important first step’ in $105-million Duke Point expansion project

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A BC Ferries worker out of Swartz Bay has tested positive for COVID-19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Swartz Bay ferry worker confirmed to have COVID-19

Employees in direct contact with worker now isolating

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Nanaimo’s Joanne Secord is a quarterfinalist in Inked Magazine’s Cover Model Search contest. (Janayh Wright Photography)
50-year-old Nanaimo mom hopes her tattoos will earn her a magazine cover shoot

Joanne Secord on cusp of semifinals in Inked Magazine contest

Nanaimo Courthouse. (News Bulletin file photo)
Motorist sentenced to two years for dangerous driving causing death on Gabriola Island

William Goosman pleaded guilty last fall in connection with incident that killed Jay Dearman

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

Most Read