Coming home from work, a man nearly hit me coming into my lane. To alert him of this, I honked. In retaliation, he thought following me was a good idea. He followed me for 30 minutes, including waiting around the corner out of sight while I deposited a check at the bank, which took nearly 10. Then he circled highway patrol when I ran in to get help. I’m unsure if they caught them. What’s worse is the highway patrol was unhelpful and dismissive until I told them my father was a police officer.
I had just walked out of a club and was helping out my drunk guy friend that I was with when a couple of men started yelling over at me to come over by them. So I ignore it and kept walking and unfortunately had to walk by them to get to my car, so they started making fun of how drunk my friend was and whistling at me. They made a few other crude remarks i cant remember exactly. Something about my ass i believe. It was so inappropriate.
Trying to decide which chips or crackers to buy. Someone grabbed my side and ran his hand down the small of my back and started suggesting certain type of crackers. GROSS DISRESPECTFUL!! This is why I hate goin in public place anywhere alone.
“I see the reports of the terrible things women and LGBTQ people such as myself go through every time we go out on the street, and being part of the Hollaback! team gives me an outlet to the rage and helplessness I feel when reading these stories. I’m not helpless anymore. I can do something to bring more good to the streets of my country.” -Maital Rozenboim
Hollaback! Israel is currently involved in a joint project with the Israeli Association of Hotlines for Sexual Assault Victims to raise awareness about the broad spectrum of sexual violence, and to point out the way street harassment is often a gateway crime that creates a culture in which other forms of sexual violence are tolerated. Site Leader Maital notes that Hollaback! Israel’s greatest accomplishment has been to gain credibility even in the orthodox community where the word “feminist,” is frowned upon, and homosexuality is still, albeit in name only, punishable by death. Maital explains, “In short, we’ve become mainstream… We’re making a difference in the public discourse in Israel, and that’s probably the best thing we can possibly do.”
“I experienced a lot of street harassment over the years and one day I finally had enough. I knew I had to do something about it and I came across Hollaback!. I had just quit my job and I really wanted to put my energy into something I believed in and I started the Chandigarh chapter.” – Rubina Singh
When Rubina began organizing as the site leader for Hollaback! Chandigarh, street harassment was not often discussed or taken seriously. Despite this challenge, the site has been well received by the community, has gained press coverage and has garnered increased overall support. Most importantly, people have been sharing their stories and breaking the silence on street harassment in Chandigarh. In addition to a variety of community events and film screenings, Hollaback! Chandigarh participated in Punjab Engineering College’s annual festival, an event which the entire college attended. Rubina is especially excited about the potential for Hollaback! Chandigarh’s LGBTQ focused efforts, as Chandigarh is a very conservative city and Hollaback! is currently the only organization dealing openly with LGBTQ rights.
To walk down the street without being asked if you’re “a girl or a boy.”
To hold hands with your girlfriend without some creep asking if he can watch.
To sit in a park without someone muttering “dyke” or “fag” under their breath.
You deserve a world without street harassment. Our site leaders are 44% LGBTQ, and in 2013 we want to train an additional 50 LGBTQ leaders internationally. But we need your support.
Donate today — and have the happiest of HOLLAdays!
My friends and I were at Sugar Lounge in San Francisco and was constantly staring at us. The whole time he stared but didn’t initiate any conversation. It was uncomfortable and scary.
Each day I learn increasingly how dangerous it is to be a female on this planet. I only recently returned, just before 2am, from the most terrifying experience of my life. On my commute home, I ended up at a relatively desolate subway station. A guy apparently took interest in me and started (literally) doing ninja kicks by my head as I sat, petrified, on a bench wondering what the fuck was going on. I moved away and he pursued, following me wherever I walked in the station. I sought solace by the only other people there at that moment, only to again be regarded as a piece of meat and catcalled by the two shitfaces. The psycho guy was oblivious to my intentions of ignoring him, my dirty looks, hanging around the emergency call button and wearing headphones. I was so tempted to push that button, but I was afraid he’d beat me to a bloody pulp in the time it took the cops to get that far underground to the station. I knew he would follow me onto my train and my prediction was correct, as he boarded the same car as me and made sure to stand a few feet away from me. I swung my umbrella around and clenched my pepperspray in my coat pocket. It was collectively the most horrifying 20 mins of my life. He pretty much chased me out of the station and I almost passed out due to running and having a simultaneous panic attack. Hollywood Boulevard was almost empty, but I saw a mall security guard (as I’d hoped to) and ran to him, relaying my story. The psycho followed me into the open air mall, only to continue walking up the steps when he saw me with security. I was literally shaking and out of breath. Another guard was called to escort me to my street, which is right behind the mall. He couldn’t believe what had happened. We approached the exit of the mall, which joins up with a parking garage for the hotel and also my street. Who was walking down the driveway from the parking garage? The psycho! I bolted back towards the mall until the guard received a call that the guy had left the area. The guard then walked me to my street and I said I was ok to get to my apartment, which was a few buildings down and waved to him when I was outside my door. I am so grateful to them for helping me and as sad as it is, I know it could have been much, much worse, as it is for so many people in this scenario. I don’t think it’s stretching beyond the imagination to say that guy would have attacked and raped me, then killed me, had we been alone. It’s like I can’t even live my life with these people around, all because I am a girl.
“I found it important to bring the issue up in the public realm. It was not an issue that had been addressed very widely, but it was certainly the case that it was an issue that needed attention. Hollaback! offered the tools and the support to create a new paradigm using digital technology, which wasn’t being used in that way here yet…” –Inti Maria
Last year, when Hollaback! Buenos Aires leader Inti Maria received a public rape threat from prominent and influential journalist Juan Terranova, Holalaback! sprang into action to respond. Terranova made his threat in reaction to Hollaback! Buenos Aires’s sudden rise in publicity surrounding an advertising campaign by Coca-Cola which encouraged piropos, a kind of street harassment. Sending a clear message that Hollaback! takes violent threats seriously, Emily May, Inti, and Hollaback! site leaders from around the globe created and circulated an online petition that gathered signatures from over 3,500 people in 75 different countries. Next, Hollaback! focused their energy on convincing advertisers to withdraw support from the magazine that printed the threat. Through brilliant use of online organizing and their global network, the united Hollaback! groups convinced advertisers Fiat and Lacoste to pull their advertisements, prompting the magazine to distance itself from Terranova. More recently, Inti has been working on building a stronger local network and volunteer community, organizing alongside feminist organisations with strong digital platforms, such as Con.textuadas, AnyBody Argentina, Especie en Riesgo de Extincion and Chicas Bondiola, in opposition to a website, Chicas Bondi, which posts photos of women on public transportation without their knowledge or permission. In her own words, Inti is most proud of “having inspired personal and professional growth in the volunteers of the chapter.” Most recently, Inti has raised the issue of street harassment at the National Annual Women’s Meeting, attended by 25,000 women. She has also singlehandledly set up a screen printing studio in her garage to make hand crafted merchandize, which helps visbilize and bring brand awarenes to the movement. Hollaback! Buenos aires has joined forces with the feminist self defense workshop to create a safe space for women to talk about strategies of self defense and street harassment, and participated this years Marcha de Las Putas Festival with an information stall, t-shirts, and a self-defense workshop.
“I personally feel I walk differently on the streets now. There’s a strength that wasn’t there before, and that’s all thanks to Hollaback.” – Ingrid Vanderhoeven
Angelika Hild, Julie Richel, Ingrid Vanderhoeven, and Anna Whaley started Hollaback! Brussels because they wanted to make their community a better place to live. They celebrated their site launch with a flash mob, and have since been working with partner organizations like Outrage, which focuses on ending harassment of LGBT individuals, Garance, which specializes in violence prevention, and Zij-kant, a sociocultural movement focused on gender and equal rights. Hollaback! Brussels has seen an outpouring of support from their community, which helped make their 2nd Chalk-Walk (Reclaim the Streets) this past June a huge success (Their First Chalk-Walk was held in March, serving as an event for the International Anti-Street-Harassment Week , but also serving as a pre-launch ritual for the four site leaders). During the Chalk-Walk in June, members & volunteers of Hollaback! Brussels covered streets and sidewalks with eye-catching slogans advocating for a harassment-free city. In the next year, Angelika looks forward to continuing to meet with government leaders, and is excited by the upcoming opportunity to speak at a session of Parliament. Angelika notes that, “More and more politicians want to meet us and are recognizing that street harassment is a problem.” Brussels’ Parliament Members Yamilla Idrissi and Bianca Debaets have recently contacted and declared their support for Hollaback! Brussels. MP Yamilla Idrissi spoke up in Parliament on the subject of sexual violence and street harassment asking what the Parliament intended to do about it and mentioned Hollaback! Brussels as a great initiative in the fight against these issues. As a result, Equal Opportunity Minister Pascal Smet said he intended to lead a year-long project to map incidents of sexual violence, street harassment and homophobia in an attempt to better understand the roots of misogyny and homophobia in Brussels.