State of the Streets: London

“To us, street harassment is a kind of code. It’s a code that means the same thing regardless of whether its spoken with grabs, gropes or leers, close whispers or faraway shouts. What Hollaback does, both here in London and across the world, is unscramble this code completely, laying bare what it really means and thus tuning everybody in to the unique frequency of being a woman or LGBTQ person on the street, so that together we can confront and challenge this behaviour head-on.” – Bryony Beynon
Julia Gray and Bryony Beynon started a Hollaback! site in their area because, in their own words, “we realised that the harassment we experienced on a daily basis was part of an unspoken epidemic, and that there was this huge potential for change once the silence had been broken.” Between strong media coverage and Hollaback! London’s own publication ‘Langdon Olgar,’ Julia and Bryony have experienced huge successes in their mission to create dialogue about the treatment of women and LGBTQ people in the public sphere and the media. In the past year alone, Hollaback! London has appeared in four of the largest newspapers in the United Kingdom, and been featured in radio segments on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Europe, BBC Wales, BBC Birmingham, as well as on Irish radio stations. Hollaback! London has also hosted numerous discussion groups and workshops, including workshops at Queen Mary University that were broadcast on a BBC Radio 4 special on feminist activism today. Julia and Bryony are proud of the support they’ve received from the public and of the volume of press attention the project has garnered in just two years. “The objective when we started was to bring these issues into the public consciousness and generate conversation and debate around street harassment, and we really feel that we’ve achieved that,” said Julia. “It’s been very encouraging and we are excited about the future of Hollaback! London.”

 

To read our entire 2012 State of the Streets Report, click here.  Donate to keep this movement moving.

 

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