I was taking a stroll to check out an area of Geneva that I was considering living in. It was 7pm on a sunny summer day. As I was taking a stroll along the river, I passed a group of men, one of which looked pointedly at me and started to walk slowly and menacingly towards me, and trying to catch my eye, muttering what I can only guess were insults/lewd comments in a low threatening voice. He got really close to me and I turned my head away to make clear the advance was unwanted, which only served to increase the intensity of his advance. I walked on and found a group of women to walk with, and followed as if I was with them for safety. At one point the women went into a bar and I suddenly realised I may have to go back the way I had come alone – luckily I found a way not to have to do that.
This is the third time it has happened to me in the 6 days I have been in Geneva. The other times were on crowded streets. What struck me was his clear satisfaction when he got a reaction from me. I’m afraid but also of how I may respond in the future as I could nearly have screamed at him in rage. Rage that has been growing over the years as I realise that this is systemic, and not my fault.
I was unhurt physically, but it has left me scared and really really angry. I feel powerless to know how to make this change. And for a place I am moving to for work, it makes me wonder if I will just have to put up with it while I am here.
It also made me start a list of the places and times I’ve had this experience and I had the sad realisation that every place I have visited solo something like this has happened. Including my hometown Dublin.
Man staring at my backside saying “damn I like that sexy ass”
Here at the HQ, we’ve been stewing in the heatwave–but that doesn’t stop us from forging ahead in building this movement to end street and online harassment! Despite the sweltering weather we’re very excited to be planning and prepping for the Fall. Meet our new Communications Intern Lucy, a recent grad from UC Berkeley!
We are also thrilled to announce that we are looking for a Program and Communications Coordinator, who will be working in our office in Brooklyn. This is a brand new position and the deadline for applications is on August 15, 2016. Please share this with everyone you know and help us build our team in preparation for Hollaback!’s big, bright future!
Here’s what Hollaback! sites around the world has been up to this week:
Hollaback! Ottawa shared photos of a chalk walk they recently held in order to spread anti-harassment messages and to create a dialogue about harassment in their community.
Follow them on Twitter to see some more amazing chalk drawings from the event!
Hollaback! Detroit has their first event at BFF Fest this weekend! They’ll be holding a workshop on responding to street harassment and how to be a good bystander on Saturday, July 30 from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm at El Club, located at 4114 West Vernor Highway in Detroit. Stay tuned to this new site for more information on this event and any upcoming events!
That’s all for this week!
Holla and out!
– the Hollaback! Team
I was standing in Penn Station, NYC – waiting to get my train out of the city, I was looking at the screen to see which platform my train would arrive on. It was very crowded and hot, I was wearing leggings and a white t-shirt. People were piling through the station and suddenly a man from behind reached and squeezed my ass in a very aggressive and sexual manner. I was shocked and I turned around to see who had done it but it was so busy there was no sure way to tell. I spoke to two cops who tried to help me identify the man but as I was not 100% sure of who did it, there wasn’t much they could do. I was escorted by the police to my platform so that I was not followed.
It was very scary and I was very upset and had never experienced anything like that before. I regularly experience cat calls and verbal harassment, but never anything physical.
I am shocked at the way anyone could think that it is ok to reach out and touch somebody like that, it is disgraceful and incredibly disrespectful. I should not have to fear standing in a public space – I should not have to worry about being inappropriately touched.
I was walking my dog around 5:45pm on a Monday when I noticed a man standing next to his bike taking photos of me as I walked by. When I passed I turned around and he was taking photos of my butt. I started yelling at him and insisted that he was not allowed to take photos of me and to show me his phone. I could see the photos of my butt on his phone but he got on his bike and rode away before deleting them. When I called the police they provided no support.
I was shopping at the supermarket for my flat and a slimy teenager told me I had a nice ass and catcalled/verbally harassed me. Not that it’s relevant but it is still worth saying I was wearing my vans, jeans and an oversized mickey mouse sweater. Even worse his parents didn’t care.
Drive by comments on my appearance and cat-calls. Was SO CLOSE to making it home today without being harassed!
Happy weekend Hollas,
This week at the Headquarters, we are celebrating the leadership of nine new Hollaback! sites! These teams have gone through intensive training and community outreach and we can’t wait to see what they’ll do next. Join us in welcoming leading thinkers and movement makers in Costa Rica, Detroit, USA, Jakarta, Indonesia, Lawrence, KS, USA, Madrid, Spain, Oslo, Norway, Oxford, UK, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad and Tobago. Check out their websites to volunteer, send a kind message, or to keep up with the launch events they’ve planned.
Emily and Jae were at Nexus Youth Summit 2016 this week in NYC, and Debjani held an important interview on PX11 Morning News to discuss Gretchen Carlson’s experience of harassment. Also, big news — this week HeartMob won “best new product” at Netroots Nation! We’ve been having a dance party all week long.
Here’s what Hollaback! sites around the world have been up to this week:
Hollaback! Vancouver‘s Good Night Out program had a heavy presence at Bass Coast festival. These folks are doing amazing work creating safer spaces in festival, club, and concert culture to ensure that we all have a good night (and weekend) out. They write, “when creating a community with intention those elements of the status quo have no place, and you do all you can to both challenge and resist them – this includes prioritizing conversations about safety and consent.” If you’re interested in joining up, send them an email at [email protected] for training, or just to tell them that they are awesome.
Hollaback! Halifax site leader Rebecca was featured on CBC news radio, discussing the importance of oversight for Taxis and debating dashcam use. Have an opinion on the matter and want to lend your voice? Reach out to the always inspiring Hollaback! Halifax through twitter at @HollabackHRM
We couldn’t be more excited about the amazing work we’re seeing from site leaders around the world this summer! If you’re looking to support your local Hollaback!, check out their site and support pages, or volunteer by sending an email to [email protected] – we’d love to hear from you!
Holla and out –
We are so excited to announce that nine new Hollaback! sites are launching today! These sites leaders and teams have completed Hollaback’!s intensive leadership and organizing training, running since January. They’re ready to lead local events, campaigns, and actions – and they’re coming to a town near you. Join us in giving a big welcome to local leaders bringing the movement home in:
<3 <3 <3
Check out their local sites to share your stories and send them your support on social media! And, if you’re interesting in joining the next class of training, sign up today!
I was walking outside 878 Main Street in Lafayette, Indiana around 3 PM when a man in a car drove by and screamed “put some fucking clothing on, you whore!”
Not that it matters, but I was wearing jeans and a tank top.