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Week In Our Shoes: 80% of young people have been harassed in Edinburgh, survey says.

Hey Hollas!

We are less than a month away from Anti-Street Harassment Week, April 7-13. Mark your calendars!

Here’s what we’ve been up to this week:

  • ADVOCACY! We met with Councilmembers Levin, Palma, Lander, and Ferreras and their staffers to discuss our legislative agenda in New York City for FY13-14.
  • LEADERSHIP! We met with Hollaback Richmond, Montreal and Melbourne — and did a webinar on safety audits for our site leaders on Wednesday.
  • PARTNERS! We met with our partners Do Something, WAM!, Take the Lead, Exhale, New Yorkers for Safe Transit, Campus Pride, and Vitamin W to discuss taking the movement to the next level.
  • PRESS! International Business Times heralds Hollaback! for our mobile app that allows people to report street harassment directly to the authorities. The NYU Washington Square News covered awesome Brooklyn-based anti-street harassment artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. The article also talks about Hollaback! and all the fantabulous things we do to raise awareness about street harassment. BOOYEAH.
  • MEMBERS! Your scarves are in the mail!
by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

By Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

Now, without further ado, let’s talk about how y’all rocked this week:

  • Hollaback! Melbourne was featured in The Age following a widely condemned bar assault.  The public outcry that rose out of Melbourne following the incident was supported by Hollaback! Melbourne. On tuesday night, site leader Alanna was on ABC speaking about the effect of the recent and devastating rape and murder of Jill Meagher upon Melbourne women. You can listen here.
  • Hollaback! Buenos Aires posted about last week’s Festival Against Lesbian Phobia. The site is raising awareness about the death of Natalia “Pepa” Gaitan, a lesbian who  was killed a year ago by her partner’s angry father. This is serious business. Thanks for holla’ing back, Buenos Aires!
  • Hollaback! Brussels has a guest blogger this week. Emilie Van Limbergen writes on women’s and human rights. Check out her post on Hollback Brussels’ site!
  • Hollaback! Gent engaged in their first public debate after being invited to participate in Evanement for International Women’s Day last week. Check out their site for some great pictures and coverage of the event.
  • Hollaback! Ottawa is working hard to shed light on patterns of harassment in public transit. Site leader Julie Lalonde and Hollaback! Ottawa was featured in The Ottawa Citizen and CBC Ottawa’s radio show ‘All in a Day’. Y’all are fearless! The group recently connected with WISE, Women’s Initiatives for Safer Environments, and are in the planning stages of an Open Forum on Harassment in Transit. Way to go hollas!
  • Hollaback! Winnipeg has just come out with their Winnipeg State of the Streets report. In the report, they site findings from the street harassment survey they spearheaded (the city’s first!) and the meaning of some upsetting figures.
  • Hollaback! UK sites posted a joint statement of support this week for National Union of Students’ recent research on Lad Culture and its relation to the prevalence of sexual harassment and violence. This is a great report, definitely check it out.
  • Hollaback! Edinburgh released a street harassment report stating that over 80% of young people who took the survey have experienced some form of street harassment in Edinburgh. Read Edinburgh’s follow up statement “What we need is a culture change.”
  • Hollaback! London spoke this Wednesday at Enfield Labour Women’s Forum alongside Joanne McCartney (overseeing the Mayor’s Violence Against Women & Girls Strategy), Kate Talbot (Lambeth Women’s Safety Charter) and Karla McLaren (Amnesty UK). Awesome!
  • Hollaback! Baltimore reported on their recent visit to Project PLASE, a transitional housing and support facility for formerly homelessness people. The visit was a part of Bmore’s project trying to document the underrepresented voices of homeless folks on the topic of street harassment. If you or someone you know has ever experienced homelessness and might be interested in sharing a story, please get in touch with our Baltimore hollas via [email protected]
  • Hollaback! Boston champions Tumblr comic awesomeness Tyra WM. Check out her amazing street harassment work! The site also published a great blog post this week asking the question, in a harassment free world, would gendered nouns be left out of public encounters completely? A very thought provoking inquiry.
  • Hollaback! Des Moines posed an interesting quandary on their site this week: when is touching okay and how do we prevent unwanted touching. Our Iowa hollas are partnering this month with Iowa Pride Network for the 10th Annual Iowa Pride Conference at Iowa State University where they conducted a workshop talking to young people about their experiences with street harassment. The hollas are also working with the LGBT Health Initiative of Iowa to conduct a a needs assessment survey to determine how the Initiative can better serve the community.
  • Hollaback! Philly was featured in the City Paper in anticipation for their street harassment comic book!
  • Hollaback! Richmond is making a zine! On March 24, the site will gather to create a zine in honor of International Anti-Street Harassment Week. Very Cool.
  • Hollaback! Fredericksburg hosted their first Hollaback Hang, a conscious-raising group whose objective is to talk about personal experiences of street harassment and how to be a better bystander.
  • Hollaback! Bogotá did a HOLLAWho? Interview. Check out why Bogotá site leaders started their holla and why they like to Hollaback!

HOLLA and out —

Emily

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Street harassment: TAKE 2!

Thanks to Erin Jill for another great video!

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HOLLAWho? Meet Bogotá.

Interview conducted by Lauren Bedosky.

 

When did you start your holla?
In October, 2011.

Why start a HOLLA and what does Hollaback mean to you?
Street harassment is a real problem in Bogotá, and in Colombia in general. We wanted to make people aware of this problem. We thought that starting a Holla was a great first step to make change.

HOLLAfact about your city:
In Bogotá, there is a transportation system called Transmilenio, where women are harassed on a daily basis. Many people in Bogotá think that street harassment is women’s fault, that it is caused by the way women dress or behave. Many men in Colombia think that street harassment is a compliment, and that women who don’t like it are “crazy feminists who hate men.”

Say you’re Queen for the day. What would you do to end street harassment?
We would teach children (boys and girls) to respect each other and understand why street harassment is not a compliment. We would also offer training sessions for teachers and do campaigns to eradicate street harassment.

What was your first experience with street harassment?
I was on a farm playing with animals when I was eleven years old. One of the farmers was standing behind me and grabbed me all of a sudden. He fondled my breasts, which were just starting to grow. I ran away, cried, felt terrible, and pretended it never happened.

What’s your signature Hollaback?
I ask the harasser if we know each other. When he says no, I ask why he thinks it’s ok to talk to me like that. When I am not in a good mood, or am feeling sick of them, I just show them the middle finger…

My superheroine power is…
Empathy.

What is your proudest holla moment so far?
Several people we never met know about Hollaback and talk about it in public.

What do you do when your not holla’ng?
Marcela is a lawyer, currently completing a PhD in Law. Nathalie is a college student and vegan activist. Maria is a university professor.

If you could leave the world one piece of advice, what would it be?
Respect other people.

What inspires you?
Social justice.

In the year 2020, street harassment…
Will still be a problem, but hopefully people will understand it is a problem.

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HOLLA ON THE GO: We do not speak.

I moved to a new town last summer and met a boy on my swim team. Although he appeared nice at first, I was soon informed thay he was a little “off.” I soon understood what this met. Even when I told him I was busy he would not stop texting me, and although he lived fourty five minutes away from me, he even showed up at my house. I eventually stopped returning his texts, so he joined the cross country team because he thought we needed to “catch up.” Needless to say, we do not speak.

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Consent is sexy takes on street harassment!

Thanks to Erin Jill for making this and sending it along to us!

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Week in Our Shoes: International Women’s Day Edition

Howdy, Hollas!

Happy International Women’s Day! I’m sending all the women and supporters-of-women much love today.  I hope you are all celebrating and holla’ing with full hearts and voices on this very awesome day. Here’s what we’ve been up to this week at the mothership:

  • Our board member Allison Sesso represented us at the Women’s Equality Rally in NYC with Speaker Christine Quinn and other local Electeds.scarves
  • Our board member and director of Hollaback Philly Rochelle Keyhan represented us and Hollaback Philly at the UN’s CSW.
  • I represented Hollaback! in a Gender-Based Violence Google Hangout sponsored by Half the Sky Movement‘s Community Ambassador and College Ambassador Programs. The panel included David Lee of Prevent Connect and Jane Stapleton of Prevention Innovations at the University of New Hampshire. It was an invigorating discussion, and you can check it out here!
  • Debjani, our deputy director, spoke with out soon-to-launch sites in Ohio (USA), Belfast (Ireland), Antwerp (Belgium), LA (USA), Bosnia Herzegovina, Toronto (Canada), Nagpur (India), Athens (Georgia, USA), Hamilton (Canada), and Chemnitz (Germany).  Along with our awesome intern Jae, I spoke with our sites in London (UK), Baltimore (USA), Pathenkot (India), Melbourne (Australia), and Atlanta (Georgia, USA).
  • I had the opportunity to meet with the incredible Esta Soler from Future without Violence and attended the National Center for Women in Technology’s social for young women entering the field.
  • Hollablogger Rita Pasarell holla’d back after an incident of street harassment turned violent in Berkeley early this past Sunday.

 

Its no secret that Hollaback! has been on a ROLL lately, with many many sites making incredible strides every week! Welp, this week was no different–another beautifully busy week for our Hollas around the world:

  • Hollaback! Edinburgh made this awesome video answering the question, “What would you say to someone who street harasses?” On the site this week, Nadine announces their IWD event, “I Just Wanna Dance” and her personal history with dance venues and harassment.
  • Hollaback! Brussels did a HOLLAWho? interview this week. Find out how Brussels site leader Ingrid got started with Hollaback! and what gets her going.
  • Hollaback! Buenos Aires is raising awareness about the presence of harassment in the lives of cisgender people as well as homosexual and trans folks. As bad as the situation already is for cisgendered women, the situation often gets even worse for those of us who present ourselves in a way that others find “different.”
  • Hollaback! Melbourne is rockin’ and rollin’ with their first official edition of Takedown Tuesday! Also, Hollaback! Melbourne is looking for volunteers! Spread the word, hollas!
  • Hollaback! Alberta tabled at the 2nd annual Equality and Women in Alberta Conference at Grant MacEwan University. They sat alonside many other wonderful local Edmonton based organizations.
  • Hollaback! Montreal announces their Internatonal Womens Day screening of the film “Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada”. Great choice and definitely a must-watch.
  • Hollaback! Ottawa visited De La Salle high school to talk with students about street harassment. As an in-class project, hollas asked the students to come up with their own Holla responses to street harassers. Check out what students came up with!
  • Hollaback! Winnipeg discussed the meaning of safety on their site this week. Winnipeg’s discussion elaborates on the Spectator Tribune’s recent articles on what it means to be safe.
  • Hollaback! Croatia just released an AWESOME video titled “Video about street gender based harassment.” They made the video after completing their recent survey on how street harassment affects women and LGBTQUIA people from day to day. WOW, Croatia! The site is also saluting Women’s Help Now, an organization that has, for 25 years, provided shelter for abused women and children.
  • Hollaback! Chandigarh is holla’ing back with a condemnation of the police’s recent attack of a woman who had come to them to report sexual harassment. You can read Chandigarh’s coverage of the violent and upsetting episode here. There is a bit of good news though: since the incident, four cops have been suspended from their positions. Good riddance.
  • Hollaback! Bogota recently sent a letter to the District Department of Women in Bogotá, Colombia. They just heard back and have been invited to meet with them! Super exciting!
  • Hollaback! Boston applauds the new Tumblr badass, Princess Walnut. Basically, Princess Walnut is a street harassment super shero. Definitely check her out! Britni also wrote a powerful piece on Boston’s site asking a very important question: Why don’t our male partners get more upset when men harass or violate us?
  • Hollaback! Des Moines announces a month full of events. Happy hour and presentations galore! On a darker note, Iowa’s governor just introduced legislation that would protect LGBT bullying and harassment as religious freedom. Good lord. Des Moines needs our solidarity now more than ever. Let’s take this on, hollas!
  • Hollaback! Philly has reached the halfway point in their comic book campaign. Keep those donations coming! Illustrations and script writings are well underway. Can’t wait for the finished product, hollas!

Thanks for all you do — and have a wonderful International Women’s Day!

HOLLA and out –

Emily

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Late Night Street Harassers Attack Bystanders Off-Campus

By Rita Pasarell

Just before 2am on Sunday, outside of the UC Berkeley Campus in California, two men began street harassing two women. Two other nearby men saw the creepy behavior, decided to be awesome brave bystanders (thank you!!), and asked the harassers to stop. What happened next is yet another piece of evidence that street harassment isn’t really about verbal “compliments,” it is about dominance and violence.

After being confronted, the harassers continued their aggression, punching the other men, whacking one with a milk carton, and throwing a milk carton at one of the women. Suspects Aaron Raphael Carmona, 23, and Sean Carter, 26, were returned to the San Francisco Zoo arrested.

What can we all do? Most importantly, remember that according to the CDC, street harassment is the most prevalent form of sexual violence in the U.S. – it’s serious, and Hollaback! exists to make sure no one forgets that. Second, continue your Hollabacks and bystander interventions in a way that makes you feel safe. You have many options. Finally, don’t lose hope…the movement is growing and we are making progress with every shared story. Join us next month to share yours at our Anti-Street Harassment Week Rally and Chalk Walk.

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