#MeToo? Gabbie chatbot offers help for sexual harassment victims

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 08 2018 12:19 PM | Updated as of Mar 08 2018 02:08 PM

MANILA - Gabbie, a purple-haired chat robot on Facebook, is collating reports of sexual harassment, providing victims an easier way to seek help.

Women's group Gabriela runs the chat bot, inspired by the crackdown on high profile sex offenders in Hollywood that encouraged victims to stand up and use the hashtag #MeToo.

Gabbie also accepts complaints from men.

She will first ask the user if he or she was harassed or just wants to know more about harassment.

Gabbie will then ask the user to categorize the type of harassment he or she experienced: workplace harassment, street harassment, online harassment, or lascivious acts committed by strangers, friends or family members.

Gabbie, who was coded with information based on Philippines laws, will then explain why the deed violated existing statutes.

Should the user opt to file a complaint against the sex offender, Gabbie will ask several questions about the alleged harassment with the assurance that the information will be confidential.

The chatbot compiles the information provided and users can download the complaint that they can submit to their lawyers, human resource departments or government agencies.

An option to forward the complaint to Gabriela is also available.

Though Gabbie is helpful in filing harassment complaints, she's not like Apples's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and other voice-powered assistants that can respond to diverse questions and requests.

Other options that may help harassment victims, such as connecting to the user to a psychiatrist, are not yet available.

Gabbie also speaks in English, and cannot respond to phrases and questions in Filipino.