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I couldn’t have said it better myself. In his Presidential Proclamation for Sexual Assault Awareness month Obama says:
“Every day, women, men, and children across America suffer the pain and trauma of sexual assault. From verbal harassment and intimidation to molestation and rape, this crime occurs far too frequently, goes unreported far too often, and leaves long-lasting physical and emotional scars… Survivors too often suffer in silence because they fear further injury, are unwilling to experience further humiliation, or lack faith in the criminal justice system. This feeling of isolation, often compounded with suicidal feelings, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, only exacerbate victims’ sense of hopelessness.”
Kudos to Obama for highlighting the entire spectrum of sexual violence and including verbal harassment in the mix. Too often, people tell us that our work would be more powerful if we only focused on groping, public masturbation, and assault. But words hurt too. Especially if you hear them everyday, from every street corner. You’re not crazy to think that these words can turn physically violent at any moment. But even when they don’t, the emotional violence has already left its mark.
We have benefited from the women who came before us and made workplace harassment illegal and frowned upon. They did it by telling stories. Brave women came forward, and simply, but boldly, told their stories. Now it is our turn to do the same thing.
In honor of sexual assault awareness month, be bold, hollaback, and tell your story. Your story will build awareness. Your story will help others know they are not alone. Your story will squash the culture that makes sexual violence OK and open the doors for a world without sexual harassment or assault.
Your story will change the world. It is the only thing that ever has. Hollaback.
As you all know, street harassment is a seriously under-researched issue. As activists, this makes it hard to bring attention to this incredibly important issue. Help push the agenda forward by taking these two surveys:
This one is investigating how women present themselves and whether that influences perceptions of street harassment.
This one is looking at whether or not body size is related to harassment.
Your voice is critical to this conversation, Hollaback and take a survey!
Reposted from Gothamist:
Horrible story: The Post reports two men were arrested for allegedly “raping an unconscious woman on a West Village park bench. A witness told cops the victim was out cold in Jackson Square Park on West Fourth Street at about 11:35 a.m. Monday when the men approached her. She was lying face-down on the bench when one man allegedly got on top of her and took off her pants.” The witness called the police and both men, Anthony Torres (who has a previous arrest for rape) and Stanley Drayton, were charged with rape.
Today, I had gotten on the R train going to queens from 23rd and broadway, I dosed off and woke up to this man, sitting a few seats in front of me, glaring. It weirded me out but I didn’t think too much of it. I had closed my eyes for another few minutes and when I opened them, he was leaning against the door still glaring at me. Then I started noticing his arm moving, then ultimately realizing that this nasty asshole has his penis out and is seriously masturbating in front of me. I’m mortified, in complete shock. I didn’t think to take a picture, this was the first time anything like this has happened to me. He ran out once we reached the station. I filed a police report and a detective is meeting me after work tomorrow to take the train to see if I can spot the guy again. I feel victimized. Ladies, please stay alert. Carry mace with you. And don’t be scared to tell anyone; especially the police or mta. These men are scum and they deserve to rot.
Submitted by Char
Louise Dreier, a graduate student at Columbia, is doing research on how street harassment affects how women use the city and how the built environment affects street harassment. Lord knows this field needs more research, and quick! She has agreed to share her findings with Hollaback readers.
Perhaps needless to say, I am insanely, stupidly, flattered by this. On a list of women making history — with Rachel Maddow and Nancy Pelosi? Yes, this is our revolution. And yes, this is only the beginning. Together we will end street harassment, one hollaback at a time.
Check the story out, and take a second to learn more about the Progressive Women’s Voices program at the Women’s Media Center. This is not an overstatement: it changed my life.
Leaving work in union square Sunday night (I manage a restaurant), I overheard this guy shouting from up there at girls covering their heads with bags in the rain. “Hey you look good with that bag on your head. Just like an antelope.” and other random and potentially mildly offensive things to several woman walking by. Noted they were on the job for Titan360 and have decided to contact them requesting what steps they will take given the observation of said conduct in uniform.
Submitted by a male friend of this cause
This is the third video in the “Why I Hollaback” series. “Why I Hollaback” tells the story of how and why folks decide to take the leap, speak up, and start Holla’ing back. We will release a new story every Monday and accept submissions from all over the world. So tell us your story — Why do you Hollaback?
Walking home from my car at 430pm on a Thursday, and I see these two men. Both wearing these “sweat attire” and chains that I have grown to dread, as that is usually what my street callers are wearing- or the more scary ones. The “friend” did nothing. The main guy says “what’sss upppp” as he is walking towards me (we were walking opposite directions on the sidewalk). He is like ten feet in front of me but like three feet to the side. THEN, he bee lines right for me, smiles this disgusting shit eating smile, undressing me with his eyes, and does this head jerk/kiss/bite at my face, like inches from my fucking face on the sidewalk! I usually ignore these people bc it slows my stride and forces me to engage with them if i do anything else, and its not like i think that they dont know i dont like that, i give them a pretty evil glare. but THIS! And from someone who looked like they were 18!?!?! (im 23). I screamed at him in my meanest and loudest voice “Don’t Fucking Do That!!!!!!!!” and everyone else on the street stared at him and knew what a fucking scumbag this guy was, and he gave me a very scary face that really seemed to say “watch your back”. I was thrilled I said something, but terrified at the same time too bc this guy outweighed me by over 100Ibs and if he’d bite at a strangers face, umm, what the hell else would he do?
I didnt take a picture bc it happened too quickly and he scared me. In retrospect I wish had bc i could have filed charges against him for assault.
Assault is if he puts u in imminent fear of being attacked, battery is if he attacks u.
Also, if the police laugh at u, or dont take the report, or mock u, etc… as I have read here, file a complaint against them and even sue them in small claims court. The police are not allowed to do half of the things ive read on here. In some of the stories Ive read here, I would even sue the Police Department for sexual harrasment, intentional infliction of emotion distress, … The law is actually quite pliable to the female pedestrian’s plight against street harrassers, even if the police are not.
And even though in this case I didn’t, I would strongly urge anyone who wanted to, to pursue these matters bc they dont just pick “you.” The person who “bit” at me will do the same thing to another woman, and another, and another… And the police officer who mocks you, etc…
Submitted by “Law Student”