The Movement

"Harassment on the Train May be on the Rise"

Sexual Harassment on Public Transportation from Dana Rapoport on Vimeo.

Watch the video, and read the article here. Hollaback is working with RightRides and New Yorkers for Safe Transit to make the subways safer. Here’s why:

“Over the past year or so, we’ve seen a rise in transit-related stories and the stories have become increasingly more violent. Stories of groping and public masturbation are the norm, not the exception anymore,” said Emily May, Co-founder of Hollaback, as another indication of commuters’ distress through emails and pictures submitted to their blog. “Understaffed subway system makes it hard to report these crimes. By the time victims have found an MTA worker or police officer, their perpetrator is 7 stops away.” 

Our new mapping system is going to make it even easier for us to track harassment and assault. The crowd-sourced data we generate will be the first of its kind. Never before has the government or another nonprofit tried to track and map when and where street harassment happens. We believe this strategic intervention will be the catalyst that creates a world where women can feel safe, confident, and sexy when they walk down the street.

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The Movement

How you can be a HOLLAhero!

1. Be an Angel. Donate.

We are seeking angel donors who are willing to make meaningful gifts. This donation will go directly to startup costs, which include the website, backend database, iPhone app, marketing materials, public relations, and strategic planning and development. As a significant leader in the Hollaback! movement, you will receive monthly donors-circle-only updates the executive director on how your donation is being used to create a world without street harassment.

2. Volunteer with Hollaback for Impact.

At Hollaback, we are looking for professionals who want a volunteer opportunity that optimizes their talents. Specifically, we are looking for volunteers with the following talents:

  • Webdesign. Our site desperately needs an overhaul before the big relaunch. We also need people who can design sassy, engaging, empowering add-ons that keep our site fresh.
  • Graphic Design. We need business cards, flyers, and letterhead, to name only a few.
  • Mapping Experts. We’re launching on a google map with pins that you can hover over to see details. Our vision is to make these maps completely searchable, to generate maps that are more visually appealing (like heat maps), and to chew these maps up into legislative districts for lobbying.
  • iPhone app designers. We’ve got the basic app coming out in June for our beta launch, but we need people who can make upgrades based on user feedback.
  • Legal Expertise. We’ve never been sued, and we’d like to keep it that way.
  • Search Engine Optimization. Search “hollaback” and we come up #1, even above Gwen Stefani. That’s great if you already know about our project. Search “harassment” or “groped” and all you get is a bunch of depressing news reports. Let’s make it easier for folks.
  • SMS text to map. We are launching with an iPhone app, but want to move to allow folks to report their harassment using SMS texting quickly. We understand it’s not easy, but we also know that this will open up the demographic that can Hollaback! significantly.

3. Board Membership.

Between now and September 2010, we are building our founding board. We’re looking for rockstars that are committed to Hollaback’s success. Expertise in technology, start-ups, marketing, legal, and/or event planning is a plus. To be considered, board members must be willing to leverage and engage their networks to advance Hollaback’s mission.

Want to help but don’t see the perfect opportunity for you listed? Contact Emily May at  hollabacknyc@gmail.com. I am happy to brainstorm with you on how we can best leverage your talents.

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The Movement

Californians: Make Your Workplace Harassment-Proof

ADVERTISEMENT

Harassment doesn’t just magically go away; it takes work. If you want to make your workplace harassment-proof, check out our corporate sponsors at CalBizCentral.

From CalBizCentral:
When it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace, you have to know what is required of your company and your human resources department. Harassment is not a topic you can take lightly or decide to learn about at a later date. If you work in human resources for a company, it’s time to learn everything you need to know about sexual harassment. HRCalifornia will help you find information and tools to assist with training.

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The Movement

Why I Hollaback: Salam’s Story

This is the fourth 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?

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The Movement

Obama Includes Verbal Harassment in his Sexual Assault Month Speech!

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.

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The Movement

Help the Research Happen!

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!

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The Movement

HOLLAback survey-style!

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.

Help her out by taking her quick survey!

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The Movement

Emily May: A Woman Making History

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.

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The Movement

Why I Hollaback: Miranda’s Story

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?

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