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Christine’s Story

I was taking the train home from work. A man came by and seemed to be selling train tickets. He spoke to me (his voice was very hard to understand) and I said no thanks and he moved along. He then circled back and asked if he could sit across from me. I said sure and tried to look busy. He wouldn’t stop talking to me even though my headphones were in and I tried several times to just ignore him. I reluctantly talked to him for a while while he asked me when my birthday was and if I had kids and I just wished he’d take a hint and leave. Then he asked if he could give me a kiss and before I knew it he stood up, leaned over and kissed my cheek. I tried to push him away and I said “no” several times in a loud voice but he didn’t care. He sat back down and kept talking to me while I sat, shaking. I was looking around, hoping someone had noticed but the train wasn’t very full and nobody saw. There was an older woman in the seat ahead of him (I try to sit near other women) but her headphones were in and she didn’t notice. The man kept talking to me and I pulled out my book and insisted that I just wanted to read. He kept talking, he touched my leg before I pulled it away, and eventually put his hand out for me to shake hands (he put it directly in my line of sight so there was no ignoring him) and I was so flustered I just took it. He said my hands were soft and that I was very pretty and he finally left. I spent the rest of the train ride shaking and nearly crying and hoping he wouldn’t follow me home. As soon as my stop arrived, I called my boyfriend so someone would be on the phone with me as I walked home. He was out of town so I spent the rest of the night alone and scared. I told him everything but it was so hard to explain how helpless I felt (he’s 6’1 and not easily intimidated). I keep replaying it in my head, knowing it could have been so much worse but still hating every second of it. I wish I had known how to react. I can’t believe I shook his hand afterwards. I’m somehow ashamed; I know it was mostly from shock and the fear of inciting anything worse, but still. The next day I didn’t have access to my car so I had to take the train again to work. I got a friend to drive me home in the evening so I could put off those feelings a little longer. Plus I don’t want him to figure out my schedule. My budget and lifestyle depend on public transportation. I’m hoping it gets better but I have a feeling it’s going to get worse.

Published on May 4, 2016 at 10:32 am

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HOLLA ON THE GO: Harassed in an Alley

A friend and I were walking down the street, after the bars closed, with our boyfriends not far behind us. We started walking down this alley way, our boyfriends about a block behind, and these three guys passed us. One came up, about five inches from my face, and said a very inappropriate sexual comment, which honestly I can’t think of the exact words. Luckily we had a larger group behind us, which we were both able to run back to.

Published on May 4, 2016 at 10:30 am

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A Week in Our Shoes

A Week In Our Shoes: Online and on the streets edition

Hey Hollas!

IMG_4550It was a busy week here at the office. Debjani attended The Black Women’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and CJ and Desiree visited the Facebook New York offices for their Global Causes Day.

On Friday, the whole staff went to lunch to celebrate our spring interns who will be leaving us in the next few weeks. We’ve loved working with all of them over the semester and had an amazing time celebrating with a great meal.

At our sites,

Hollaback! Croatia presented the results from their Safe Neighborhood Project. The study was done in Maksimiru and focused on the harassment and violence throughout public space.

Hollaback! Bogota took part in the #MiPrimerAcoso campaign and held a Twitter chat.

Hollaback! Poland attended a protest held by Foundations for Positive Change. They protested the verdict of a rape trial that came out this week.

Hollaback! Vancouver spoke with Global News about the online harassment that women face everyday.

That’s all for this week! Stay tuned for more awesome things next week! 

Holla and Out

-Hollaback! 

Published on April 29, 2016 at 4:34 pm

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The harassment never stopped.

When I first moved to Beaumont I lived with my sister and her husband until I found a job. Their house was directly across the street from a convenience store that I would walk to. Several times I would be stopped, the front door blocked, grabbed by the arm, grabbed by the hair once, forced to listen to sexual comments about my body or what they wanted to do to me. I finally started carrying a knife and occasionally walking my dog (a large Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix) just to feel safe. The harassment never stopped. I never stopped walking across the street though. I refused to be afraid. Most of the men started to leave me alone once they realized I wasn’t afraid of them. Or at least was very good at acting unafraid.

Published on April 26, 2016 at 4:11 pm

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A Week in Our Shoes

A Week in Our Shoes: Rally and Statement Edition!

Hey Hollas!

We want to first thank everyone who came out to support our 4th Annual IHolla-Canuck-Joint-Statement-1nternational Anti-Street Harassment Rally last Saturday. We’ve uploaded some great photos from the event onto our Facebook page and more will be on their way soon. Check them out!

Hollaback! sites from around Canada came together to write a joint statement in regards to the Jian Ghomeshi case. You can read the letter here and promote the statement using the hashtag #WeBelieveSurvivors.

 

And at Hollaback! sites around the world:

Uniting Women PosterHollaback! Baltimore site leader Brittany Oliver spoke at “Uniting Women’s Struggles: Resisting Supremacist Regimes.” They also took part in the #Cometogether: Community Building Fridays this month with other activists from the Baltimore area.

Hollaback! Vegas will be holding a screening of the Hunting Ground and holding a chalking event next Friday, April 29th.

Hollaback! Barcelona was featured in El Periodico to get the word out about the organization and how they are fighting street harassment.

That’s all for this week! 

Holla and out!

-Hollaback! 

Published on April 22, 2016 at 2:44 pm

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