Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
New York City, NY (30th October, 2014) – When the street harassment video was launched earlier this week, we hoped that it would make an impact but never imagined that it would be viewed more than 15,000,000 times in the first three days. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Many women feel a little less alone and a little more validated in their experiences and we have heard support from our partners, new and old.
Rob Bliss Creative donated time and labor to create this video and support our work. We are grateful for his work and the wide reach that his video has achieved but we feel the need to directly address other responses to the video.
First, we regret the unintended racial bias in the editing of the video that over represents men of color. Although we appreciate Rob’s support, we are committed to showing the complete picture. It is our hope and intention that this video will be the start of a series to demonstrate that the type of harassment we’re concerned about is directed toward women of all races and ethnicities and conducted by an equally diverse population of men.
Hollaback! understands that harassment is a broad problem perpetuated by a diversity of individuals regardless of race. There is no one profile for a harasser and harassment comes in many different forms. Check out our Harassment Is: Identities and Street Harassment guide on how individuals experience harassment differently. This video should have done a better job of representing this knowledge.
There are many more voices to add to this conversation and Hollaback! is committed to continuing to make space for those voices by providing platforms and amplification of people sharing their stories and finding ways to push back.
Second, there has been another problem which deserves further attention: the onslaught of rape and death threats that have been directed at the Shoshana B. Roberts, the subject of the video, are unacceptable but sadly unsurprising. When women are visible in online or offline spaces, they experience harassment. When women demand change, they meet violent demands for their silence.
We understand that violence exists on a spectrum that is played out on the street and online. We understand that it needs to change. We hope that you will work with us to end street harassment and to fight harassment wherever it is found.
Third, the coverage that this video has received shows how far we have come and how far we still have to go. Many outlets have used the video to have conversations about street harassment that would never have happened even five years ago. For many, street harassment is a real problem to be reported as such.
Other coverage, however, shows that sexism still shapes culture in a way that harms women. When journalists on major news networks reinforce, support, and normalize street harassment they minimize the violence and fear that women experience on the street.
We want to thank everyone for participating in this vital dialogue — and we encourage continued conversation and debate.
Our first ever online silent auction has launched! We are so excited to have you #HOLLAbid on all of the goodies we have to offer including yoga classes, jewelry, home baked brownies, public speaking training and much more!
You can make a #HOLLAbid on any number of cool gifts and services while also making an impactful investment in our organization. With the click of a mouse, you can generate both a recreational and social return on your investment in us.
Peruse our site, find some things that you love, and place your #HOLLAbid. The auction is running until Monday, November 3 at midnight EST.
- The Hollaback! Board
Hollaback! is proud to partner with TrustLaw and DLA Piper to provide an international “Know Your Rights” guide to street harassment. The guide establishes legal definitions of street harassment and provides an outline of local laws governing street harassment. The “Know Your Rights” guide is aimed to inform individuals of their rights in public space.
We’ve received some questions about the guide, and we wanted to take a minute to answer them here:
Question: What exactly is street harassment?
Street harassment is a form of sexual harassment that takes place in public spaces. It exists on a spectrum including “catcalling” or verbal harassment, stalking, groping, public masturbation, and assault. At its core is a power dynamic that constantly reminds historically subordinated groups (women and LGBTQ folks, for example) of their vulnerability to assault in public spaces. Further, it reinforces the ubiquitous sexual objectification of these groups in everyday life. Street harassment can be sexist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, ableist, sizeist and/or classist. It is an expression of the interlocking and overlapping oppressions we face and it functions as a means to silence our voices and “keep us in our place.” At Hollaback!, we believe that what specifically counts as street harassment is determined by those who experience it. If you’ve experienced street harassment, we’ve got your back!
For the purposes of this guide, street harassment is defined per local laws. For example, in Maryland, United States, one form of street harassment is defined as: “making unwanted or inappropriate sexual comments if it continued after a request to stop.” In Berkeley, United States, street harassment is defined as: “unlawful violence, a credible threat of violence, or a knowing and wilful course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the person, and that serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the petitioner.”
Question: Who experiences street harassment?
On our site, we primarily receive stories from women and LGBTQ individuals. You can read those stories here (and click the I’ve got your back button to support them).
For more information on how identity intersects with one’s experience of street harassment, including individual stories of street harassment, check out Hollaback!’s Harassment Is: Identity and Street Harassment guide.
Question: How did this guide come about?
Since our launch in 2005, Hollaback! has fielded requests from survivors requesting legal information. We have tried to make legal information about street harassment transparent on all our local sites, but oftentimes, this information was either hard to find or required legal expertise to navigate. At the same time, we listened to survivors articulate concerns about police involvement. With this in mind, we sought legal support to create an international guide that provided accessible, locally-based legal information for individuals who have experienced harassment, advocates, and activists around the world.
In December 2013 we partnered with TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global legal pro bono service, to create an international “Know Your Rights” guide to street harassment. Over the next nine months, DLA Piper led a team of law firms and in-house corporate legal teams who worked pro-bono to navigate local laws in fourteen languages and work with our site leaders to learn how laws are implemented on the ground. We are incredibly thankful for the hard work of everyone involved.
Question: What are the goals of the Legal Guide?
The goals of the “Know Your Rights” guide are:
Question: Does Hollaback! endorse increasing criminalization of street harassment?
No. We believe that it is our role as advocates to steer policy makers away from measures that would increase criminalization, and toward measures that engage communities in prevention. As explained in Hollaback!’s article by Deputy Director, Debjani Roy, “Criminalizing verbal harassment and unwanted gestures is neither the final goal nor the ultimate solution to this problem and can, in fact, inadvertently work against the growth of an inclusive anti-harassment movement. The criminal justice system disproportionately targets and affects low-income communities and communities of color, as evidenced by policies such as New York City’s Stop and Frisk program and other degrading forms of racial profiling. Our objective is to address and shift cultural and social dialogues and attitudes of patriarchy that purport street harassment as simply the price you pay for being a woman or being LGBTQ. It is not to re-victimize men already discriminated against by the system.”
Question: I don’t feel safe working with the legal system. Are there any options in this guide for me?
The purpose of this guide is to educate and inform individuals about their rights. We understand that there are many reasons why individuals might not feel comfortable accessing legal recourse when harassed. This guide is not meant to act as an endorsement of any single solution, but as an option.
What is important is that you feel supported and know that you are not alone. We encourage you to share your story on our website: ihollaback.org, speak to your friends, and practice self care.
Regardless of what you choose to do, it is always important to know what your rights are.
If you have additional questions, email us at [email protected]. We welcome your feedback and engagement in this conversation as we work together to make the streets safer for everyone.
A new report released today offers the first ever global legal resource on street harassment. Led by NGO Hollaback! and the Thomson Reuters Foundation and coordinated by global law firm DLA Piper, the “Know Your Rights” guide compiles the latest legal definitions and information on all forms of street harassment across 22 countries and in 12 languages. A monumental undertaking, the guide involved the efforts of 11 legal teams working in collaboration around the world.
Check out the guide below – and check out our FAQ for more information. You can download a PDF of the guide here: Street Harassment – Know Your Rights. Photo credit: A woman walks past a building decorated with a pair of eyes in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, February 29, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer
The videos from #hollarev are here, and they are amazing! Today’s video features some REAL TALK as Rebecca unmasks rape culture and street harassment in her spoken word
“I am tired of hearing blame at girls for being caught out in the rain when there are folks standing out on street corners with garden hoses and super-soakers” – Rebecca, Hollaback! Halifax, at this year’s #hollarev
I am a male and first I want to say I’m really sorry for what you ladies go through. It’s terrible that there are men out there with such blatant disrespect for women. Reading these stories, it sickens me to hear them. I just wanted you to know that at least one man got your back!
HOLLA::Revolution is back in NYC and it’s better than ever.
#Hollarev will be held on May 27th, 2014, from 2-5pm at the New School in New York City. Tickets are running out for this year’s HOLLA::Revolution, be sure to get yours before they’re sold out!
This year’s HOLLA::Revolution will feature 12 astounding speakers, comedians, and performers. We can barely contain our excitement at the speaker list so far, and it just keeps getting better! Speakers include Sally Kohn, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh from Stop Telling Women to Smile Soraya Chemaly, and more!
Afterwards, join us for a post-#hollarev celebration down the road at the Cubby Hole.
For more information about the event, email us at [email protected]
Here’s what HOLLAs around the world have been up to:
Hollaback! Appalachian Ohio did a self defense class for the women at Southeast Ohio Regional Jail and presented to an Ohio University Cultural Diversity in Education Class. They also completed their training with Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery, certifying them as HB! Appalachian Ohio’s second Safer Space.
Hollaback! Boston did a workshop at Emerson College, and will be on today’s 103.3 FM’s morning show, The TJ Show, promoting their work and Anti-Street Harassment Week events.
Hollaback! Brussels held a “Café-Brainstorm: ‘This is a Safe space’ Chalk Walk” event to help organize their upcoming creative walk on April 5th. They also turned 2 as of Monday! Happy birthday, Hollaback! Brussels!
Hollaback! London was on BBC World Service and Reprezent Radio, talking about harassment in clubs and pubs. This week HB! London was also contributing to some research called ‘How can nonviolent grassroots networks transform insecurity?’ being carried out by Bristol University’s Global Insecurities Centre. And last but not least, HB! London attended a Dalston PubWatch meeting where they spoke about Good Night Out!
Hollaback! Philly was selected as a finalist for the 3rd annual Avon Communications Awards: Speaking Out About Violence Against Women for its outstanding work on an anti-street harassment campaign to bring attention to the need to end violence against women. Awesome work, HB! Philly!
March 30th – April 5th is International Anti-Street Harassment Week! Make sure to check out your local Hollaback! site to get involved in all the amazing events coming up in your community!
Til next week-
HOLLA and out!
– The Hollaback! Team
At the Mothership, a training was held with a group of parents in the South Bronx and we toasted to safer streets to everyone at Wednesday’s Girls Pint Out Inaugural Event to Benefit Hollaback!
Here’s what HOLLAs around the world have been up to:
Hollaback! Appalachian Ohio held an art party at their first safer space, Donkey Coffee, in which the community was invited to come make art with them for their April Art show at Casa Nueva. They also screened their short documentary, On The Catwalk, at the Ohio University International Women’s Day Celebration, made art with the women at Southeast Ohio Regional Jail for their art show, and held a Self Defense workshop for the women at Rural Women’s, a drug rehab facility. Finally, they held a 1.5 hour workshop on Hollaback!, Rape Culture, Victim Blaming, and Bystander Intervention in a Cultural Anthropology class at Ohio University. There were about 40 students. Way to go HB! Appalachian Ohio!
Hollaback! Bahamas joined together with the Bahamas Against Sexual Violence and Child Abuse and Citizens for a Better Bahamas in starting this “Violence is Not Funny” petition. The petition requests that the Member of Parliament formally addresses the nation with regard to his inappropriate violent comments (mentioned in last week’s edition) and for specific action to be taken against domestic violence and violence against women in the Bahamas. On Wednesday, concerned citizens, HB! Bahamas, and the organizations they’re collaborating with, came together to peacefully protest. Also, Alicia Wallace, Director of Hollaback! Bahamas, was a special guest on Power Talk Radio yesterday afternoon.
Hollaback! Boston were asked to pen a response piece for DigBoston, a local paper they criticized for their insensitive cover art that made light of the “upskirting” issue that was just dealt with in Massachusetts. Also, their first first queer bar takeover is tonight!
Hollaback! Edinburgh presented a workshop titled “Challenging Street Harassment, Smashing Rape Culture” at a Challenging Everyday Sexism event.
Hollaback! Polska was mentioned on Radio Gdańsk S.A. audition concerning “Manifa” in Gdańsk (its annual march celebrating Women’s Day which takes place in many cities in Poland under that name) on last Saturday evening. They have also been encouraging their community to protest against a misogynist “design” in one of the clubs in Gdańsk.
Til next week-
HOLLA and out!
– The Hollaback! Team