“they don’t care who sees or hears, because people rarely intervene”

I was driving to school, stopped at a stop sign where unfortunately there was construction to redirect traffic at a now busy intersection, less than a quarter of a mile from my school parking lot. A construction worker standing, “working”, started shouting abuse at me, obscene and indecent, as I approached, stopped, and accelerated around the turn. With a full line of people coming up behind me, and having left before me. From my car I’m not safe, they treat us as if no space we own and inhabit isn’t theirs to violate. Going to school I’m not safe. They don’t care who sees or hears, because people rarely intervene, those people rarely care, and our abusers know they won’t have consequences. No shame.

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A Week in Our Shoes

Week in Our Shoes: Back to Cool

Hey Hollas!

Summer is officially over as everyone across the country has gone back to school this week (the weather has been getting cooler too)! Though everyone here at HQ has graduated already, we’ve been busy bees with events, interviews, and some behind-the-scenes work in order to have an eventful and exciting fall!


This week our Executive Director, Emily May, presented at Civic Hall! During this event, she discussed why Hollaback! started and what it does. We’re proud to be involved with Civic Hall and to be able to start a conversation about street harassment with so many inspiring individuals!

Emily was also a part of a panel during the Mind Your Own Business: Cinema Against Street Harassment event. The first day of the event screened Maggie Hadleigh-West’s War Zone, which focuses on street harassment and even has West confronting those who street harass. During the panel, they discussed “what we can do to end this perverse – and pervasive – epidemic.”

Online harassment has been covered a lot in the news lately–Hollaback! and HeartMob both received a mention from Take The Lead. The article discussed how not only famous women, but any women, who use social media can face online harassment and what needs to be done to combat it.

Debjani spoke with WPIX about a possible 911 texting option for victims of domestic violence. She also spoke to Runner’s World about street harassment in both suburban and urban areas. Stay tuned with our Twitter for the video and article when they are released!

Here’s what is going on with our sites around the world:

Hollaback! London was mentioned in a speech by a club owner as one of the many resources the club used in order to make London nightlife safer for everyone. Last week, Hollaback! London also issued a statement about the new Night Tube where they offered their support and services to those who may experience harassment when using the new train service. You go Hollaback! London!

Hollaback! Alberta was featured in the Edmonton Examiner. The article discusses confronting harassment and even mentions a survey that Hollaback! Alberta conducted in 2013 “designed to study the different demographics and reasons behind gender-based street harassment.” Great work Hollaback! Alberta!


Hollaback! Vancouver participated in WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre’s Take Back the Campus: A March to End Rape Culture. This was a “demand that leadership go beyond simply writing policy and actually create a culture where sexualized violence against students, staff and faculty is not tolerated and is dealt with in just, timely and meaningful ways.”
See the video of the event here. And if you’re in the area, check out the other events that will be going on for the rest of the week!

That’s all for this week!

Holla and out!

the Hollaback! Team

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public masturbation

Public Masturbation on the Train… Successful Bystander Intervention!

The woman next to me noticed the man in front of us was masturbating in his pocket. I knew his hand had been in his pocket for a while and was ignoring him and trying to read. I’m glad she said something. She yelled at him to get off the train at the next stop and he didn’t. At that point, I called the police. I had to physically restrain him from leaving the station. A group of bystanders helped keep him put while the cops came. He pretended like he had no idea what we were saying. But he clearly understood what was happening.

Since he wasn’t exposed, the cop said there’s no way there could be a successful case against him, but that he’d add the guy to their file.

Watch out for this guy on the red line.

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Groped at Hopscotch

Got my butt grabbed at Slim’s. Unfortunately, there were so many people around, I didn’t even see who it was, but watch out, ladies.

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HOLLA ON THE GO: Groped by Bicyclist

I was walking on the sidewalk and two teenagers were approaching on their bicycles. One reached out and grabbed my chest and biked away quickly before I could react.

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racial discrimination

Islamophobic Train Reviser & Bystander Fails

Today an apparently magrebi man who was traveling in a train from Pamplona to Zaragoza couldn’t pay the ticket (he needed 1,15€ more). No one helped him. The reviser has told him to get off the train and he went completely mad. Finally, the reviser pulled him out in a village in the middle of nowhere while saying “I’m racist because of people like you”, and “If you are in our country respect our rules”, and shouting “this is how this people has to be treated”. No one said a word, and even a few people congratulated the reviser. I wasn’t there, but my boyfriend was so he has told me (no, he didn’t say anything either). Europe is going back to Germany during the beginning of the 30’s decade.

Hoy un hombre con acento magrebi que viajaba en un tren Pamplona-Zaragoza no tenía dinero suficiente para pagar el billete (a falta de 1,15€). Nadie le ha ayudado, y el revisor le ha dicho que tenía que bajarse del tren. El hombre en cuestión se ha enfadado y el revisor le ha echado diciendo: “Soy racista por gente como tú”, o “Si vives en nuestro país respeta nuestras normas”, y luego ha gritado: “Así hay que tratar a esta gente”. El hombre ha sido expulsado del tren en un pueblo en medio de la nada. Nadie ha dicho absolutamente nada, incluso hay quienes le han felicitado. No lo he vivido en primera persona, me lo ha contado mi novio, quien iba en el tren y, por cierto, no ha hecho nada. Europa está como Alemania a principios de los años 30.

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Nonverbal Harassment

HOLLA ON THE GO: Groping Gestures from Stranger in a Car

As I was walking to the store this guy reached out of his car window toward me with both hands and did a boob-squeezing gesture.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: “He grabbed my face with both hands”

A drunk guy stepped in front of me and barred my way on the sidewalk, saying, “Wait! Stop.” Then he grabbed my face with both hands and said, “You’re beautiful. I love you.”

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Assault, homophobic, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: Physical Assault from Man In Car

A man in a car threw a glass bottle at my face and broke my nose. He then yelled faggots burn in hell and drove away.

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groping, Nonverbal Harassment

Groped at State Fair

I was visiting Countryfile Live (I think it’s a bit like the state fairs across the pond) with my parents – I’m a 19-year-old girl. While dad used the facilities, mum and I watched a demonstration of dogs herding ducks around a cute little obstacle course, and this old guy (I’m talking 70+ here, old enough to know better) started getting closer and closer. Fair enough, it’s a popular event and the crowd is growing!
Then I realize I’m holding my handbag in front of me and therefore that steadily moving touch on my backside can only be a hand. I was so panicked, I’d been lucky enough not to have experienced this kind of nonsense before, and I just froze. My mum (greatest mum in the world, fight me) noticed my expression of ‘heeeelp’ and switched places with me. Weirdly enough he wasn’t too interested in groping someone who looked old enough to drink, dirty perv!

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