BIG NEWS: HeartMob launches today and is ready to help you reclaim the internet! HeartMob is the first online platform to tackle online harassment by providing real-time support to individuals experiencing online harassment and gives bystanders concrete actions they can take to step in and save the day. With HeartMob, love and support is just one click away!
Watch this short video to see it in action!
Here’s how it works: Users who report harassment will have the option of keeping their report private and cataloguing it in case it escalates, or they can make the report public. If they choose to make it public, they will be able to choose from a menu of options on how they want bystanders to support them, take action, or intervene. Bystanders looking to provide support will receive public requests, along with chosen actions of support. You can “have someone’s back” and know that you’re helping them out in a time of need while directly contributing to safer spaces online!
The internet is the world’s largest public space, and just like in the streets, we ALL have the right to safety and respect. HeartMob is here to drown out the hate with lots of love and support by giving voice to people who experience online harassment, and tools to people like you who want to end it.
Check out HeartMob here, and get ready to reclaim your space on the internet!
We had a short week with a long weekend at Hollaback! HQ, but we were jam-packed in the office preparing for next week’s launch of HeartMob, our new online platform to address online harassment with reporting, bystander reporting, and community building. Follow the link to be the first to know when we launch on Wednesday! This week we also welcomed two new interns, Noelia and Rachel, who will be working on legislative advocacy and HeartMob. Welcome Noelia and Rachel!
And at Hollaback! sites around the world:
Hollaback Italy participated in #SvegliaItalia.
Hollaback! Atlanta partnered up with Hu-MAN Up, Men Stopping Violence, and One Billion Rising Atlanta to present a screening of The Mask You Live In, a powerful documentary that follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.
Holla and out!
I was at the beach reading and a guy was sat 50ft away from me, after a while he came over and started chatting to me, I didn’t really want to be bothered so tried to be polite but kept my answers brief. He asked if he could come and sit by me so I said “you can if you want but I’m just reading my book” hoping he would take the hint. He came and sat by me and we chatted, my birthday was coming up and I said I wasn’t thrilled about it as I was turning 30 and he reached out and stroked my shoulder and said I didn’t look 30. I felt uncomfortable with it and know now I should have said something then but I didn’t as it was an isolated beach and we were the only people there, I wanted to make my excuses and leave as soon as possible. After a bit more chatting and obviously encouraged by me not saying anything when he first touched me he started stroking my waist and making comments, at this point I felt very uneasy and said “look just because I said you could come sit by me doesn’t mean you can touch me” he stopped and we sat awkwardly for a while then I said I had to go. When I got home I felt disgusting, stupid and vulnerable.
More press this week at Hollaback HQ! Our Executive Director Emily was featured in Marie Claire magazine’s genius profile! We also had some young feminists drop by from Soapbox to help out in the office. It’s always inspiring to have more young folk contributing to the movement! In not-so-fun news…over ten years ago, Dan Hoyt was photographed publicly masturbating by the woman he was trying to intimidate, Thao Nguyen. When she posted the photo on Flickr, news outlets across New York begin to report on the incident. This case was one of the inspiring motives to create Hollaback!, and over 10 years later, he’s back at it. This goes to show, we still have so much more to do.
And at our Hollaback! sites around the world:
A coalition of European Hollaback! sites and Hollaback! HQ are drafting a collective response to the incidents in Cologne condemning the assaults, victim blaming, racism, and xenophobia.
Hollaback! Amsterdam participated in a protest against victim blaming–the city government’s suggested that women dress conservatively to avoid rape, so they responded with an all gender, skirt-wearing action! How awesome is that?
Holla and out!
This creepy guy followed me on the street I live I get sexually harassed or followed from time to time this is ridiculous this needs to stop no woman should ever experience verbal sexual harassment or being followed from any guy no means no
Yes I was followed by a Creepy guy 2days ago on the street where I live he was in a suv I was with my mom he thought it was funny but clearly being sexually harassed or followed is not a laughing matter I seriously think this is a good forum for women to talk about this so we can put a end to it
I work in a supermarket, and this morning a decent sized group of builders from another city came in. You could hear them halfway across the store being loud. I was the only person down my aisle, and no managers were close enough to see what was happening. They walked by the end of the aisle and I heard one yell ‘ey let’s go down this one!! she’s fit!!!!’ – they all started cheering and came down, then said hey to me and they all started laughing about how I wouldn’t even smile at him.
I so wish I could’ve retaliated, shown him how what he’s doing sucks, but being an employee it’s my job to be nice to customers, and being a new starter I didn’t want to risk getting into trouble for it, so I had to just walk away.
I’ve had a lot of anxiety issues the past two years and although I know I could handle any situation and not be in harm, I was still shaky afterwards because it truly sickens me to know some people still behave in such a misogynistic, desperate way.
I walk from Saint Nicholas Avenue on 149th street in Harlem toward Broadway almost everyday for work. One beautiful summer day, I began that walk to catch the 1 train in order to get to an audition downtown by 1:30.
I’ve always been able to trust that walk. Tune out and focus.
When I crossed Amsterdam, a man, about 5’3/ late 20’s, caught my attention.
Since I work in the area, I know the majority of people who live on that block. There’s always at least four people I get to say hello to on that block.
As I walked past this man sitting on the white bench next to the very first stoop, I hear, “Wow! Look at this thing not wearing earbuds! Today must be my lucky day.” This line brought me crashing back to reality and I suddenly realized I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings. I wasn’t doing what I had done every day since I moved to New York City. And I was so angry with myself.
As I quickened my pace, he stood up and began to follow me. He asked me where I was going and why I was walking so fast.
I told him that I had somewhere I needed to be and if he could just leave me alone.
His response was, “What? I’m not doing anything. Just walking with you.”
He began to walk very close to me. To the point where he was walking behind me but leaning into my left arm to talk to me.
I continued to ask him to leave me alone, but he persisted.
I could feel myself shutting down. This had never happened to me and I wasn’t able to find the strength or knowledge to get away.
He then told me that he had a friend in the Bronx that could “hook me up” and I could “make a lot of money.”
I couldn’t even respond. I remember a man passing us and looking at me with that “that doesn’t look right” look on his face but said nothing.
My plan was to make it to the coffee shop and ask for help.
Thankfully, a woman I know from the neighborhood was walking her dogs and said hello to me. When I couldn’t respond, I began to cry and she was able to get me away from the man and told him to get lost. He then walked a little farther down the block, sat on a stoop, and watched us. When she threatened to call the cops, was when he finally left. By then, I was sobbing and couldn’t thank her enough.
I haven’t walked down that street since.
The team is back at Hollaback! HQ with our full staff reunited! We had an exciting first week of 2016–our Deputy Director Debjani Roy was interviewed on local NYC television not once but two times! Check out her interviews here, and here. Also, some big news: NY State Bill A4310A, which requires data on sexual assault and harassment on the MTA to be published publicly, has passed! We have been advocating for this bill since 2010, and it’s so excited to see it finally happen.
And at our Hollaback! sites around the world:
Hollaback! Berlin has been responding to the recent incidents of assault in Cologne.
Holla and out!
Six years ago in 2010, our executive director Emily May sat down with Assemblymember Jim Brennan and asked, “what could New York State do to reduce harassment?” They were both determined that increasing criminalization wasn’t the answer, and the two batted around ideas for over an hour.
One of the problems that concerned them both was how reports of sexual violence on the subway were swept under the rug. The data was difficult to find, and riders were kept in the dark about which trains were safest. This not only silenced survivors — it put riders at further risk, as they didn’t have the information they need to advocate for safer subways.
Assemblymember Brennan put together a bill that would require the NYPD to submit a report to the City Council annually that detailed subway crimes including, “aggravated sexual abuse,” “sexual misconduct,” “rape,” use of abusive or obscene language or gestures,” and “following,” among other felonies.
Bill A4310A was consistently shot down by Mayor Bloomberg’s team despite widespread support from New Yorkers for Safe Transit, a coalition of community based organizations. This year, it gained traction. Assemblymember Brennan worked with Senator Golden to push the bill. And we are proud to announce that six years after that first meeting…
Now, data on location of criminal activity, including sexual harassment, will be updated quarterly online. It’s a small step, but an important one as we work together for fight for our right to commute safely and without fear of harassment or assault. We’ll update you on how to access the data once it’s published.
We are grateful to Assemblymember Brennan, Senator Golden, and the community groups that fought alongside us to make this bill a reality. It is our hope that together, we can use this data to advocate for increased public educational campaigns like PSAs in the subways, workshops in schools, community safety audits, and training for the police.