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
“Street harassment is something that has plagued me for my entire adult life…. I wanted to start up a Hollaback! site here to work towards the goal of eradicating street harassment in my own city, as well as to contribute to a global culture which does not accept street harassment.” – Kira Poirier
Site Leaders Kira and Nadia got involved with Hollaback! in hopes of starting a discussion about street harassment in Montreal, and they have been ecstatic about how much progress their site has made in such a short time. One of their main focuses in the past year has been to expand the bilingualism of the site, in order to reach both French and English speakers in Montreal. The site’s most successful events have been movie screenings followed by open forum discussions. Kira reports: “[The event] was quite a success and [we had] a very interesting and insightful discussion on individual experiences of street harassment and strategies on how to best deal with it.” In the long term, Hollaback! Montreal hopes to use Hollaback!’s maps of where the harassment is occurring to allocate resources to the most affected communities. Hollaback! Montreal also hopes to strengthen ties with feminist and LGBTQ organizations, while building on their relationship with their local university’s social justice community.
“My whole life I’ve been subjected to harassment and abuse in public settings, and before I read about Hollaback, I never really talked about it with anyone… It takes a lot of courage to face stories of mental and physical street harassment, but it’s the first step in healing and taking control of situations in the future.” – Luci Cook
Luci Cook was inspired when she learned about Hollaback! through the website Feministing. “When I read that article, a rush of legitimization and understanding came to me and I knew I had to be a part of it… that’s when I learned that I could start my very own Hollaback! in my small town of Columbia, Missouri,” Luci explains. Luci has partnered with University of Missouri’s Women’s Center to host a variety of events and to collaborate with the University’s bystander intervention program. Luci has already conducted analysis on the stories her site receives, including information on where the most harassment takes place and what type of harassment is most common, and she plans to use the results of her research to raise awareness about street harassment in her community. In the next year, Hollaback! CoMo looks forward to fostering more relationships with community organizations.
Coming home from work, a man nearly hit me coming into my lane. To alert him of this, I honked. In retaliation, he thought following me was a good idea. He followed me for 30 minutes, including waiting around the corner out of sight while I deposited a check at the bank, which took nearly 10. Then he circled highway patrol when I ran in to get help. I’m unsure if they caught them. What’s worse is the highway patrol was unhelpful and dismissive until I told them my father was a police officer.
I had just walked out of a club and was helping out my drunk guy friend that I was with when a couple of men started yelling over at me to come over by them. So I ignore it and kept walking and unfortunately had to walk by them to get to my car, so they started making fun of how drunk my friend was and whistling at me. They made a few other crude remarks i cant remember exactly. Something about my ass i believe. It was so inappropriate.
Trying to decide which chips or crackers to buy. Someone grabbed my side and ran his hand down the small of my back and started suggesting certain type of crackers. GROSS DISRESPECTFUL!! This is why I hate goin in public place anywhere alone.
“I see the reports of the terrible things women and LGBTQ people such as myself go through every time we go out on the street, and being part of the Hollaback! team gives me an outlet to the rage and helplessness I feel when reading these stories. I’m not helpless anymore. I can do something to bring more good to the streets of my country.” -Maital Rozenboim
Hollaback! Israel is currently involved in a joint project with the Israeli Association of Hotlines for Sexual Assault Victims to raise awareness about the broad spectrum of sexual violence, and to point out the way street harassment is often a gateway crime that creates a culture in which other forms of sexual violence are tolerated. Site Leader Maital notes that Hollaback! Israel’s greatest accomplishment has been to gain credibility even in the orthodox community where the word “feminist,” is frowned upon, and homosexuality is still, albeit in name only, punishable by death. Maital explains, “In short, we’ve become mainstream… We’re making a difference in the public discourse in Israel, and that’s probably the best thing we can possibly do.”
“I experienced a lot of street harassment over the years and one day I finally had enough. I knew I had to do something about it and I came across Hollaback!. I had just quit my job and I really wanted to put my energy into something I believed in and I started the Chandigarh chapter.” – Rubina Singh
When Rubina began organizing as the site leader for Hollaback! Chandigarh, street harassment was not often discussed or taken seriously. Despite this challenge, the site has been well received by the community, has gained press coverage and has garnered increased overall support. Most importantly, people have been sharing their stories and breaking the silence on street harassment in Chandigarh. In addition to a variety of community events and film screenings, Hollaback! Chandigarh participated in Punjab Engineering College’s annual festival, an event which the entire college attended. Rubina is especially excited about the potential for Hollaback! Chandigarh’s LGBTQ focused efforts, as Chandigarh is a very conservative city and Hollaback! is currently the only organization dealing openly with LGBTQ rights.
To walk down the street without being asked if you’re “a girl or a boy.”
To hold hands with your girlfriend without some creep asking if he can watch.
To sit in a park without someone muttering “dyke” or “fag” under their breath.
You deserve a world without street harassment. Our site leaders are 44% LGBTQ, and in 2013 we want to train an additional 50 LGBTQ leaders internationally. But we need your support.
Donate today – and have the happiest of HOLLAdays!
My friends and I were at Sugar Lounge in San Francisco and was constantly staring at us. The whole time he stared but didn’t initiate any conversation. It was uncomfortable and scary.
“I found it important to bring the issue up in the public realm. It was not an issue that had been addressed very widely, but it was certainly the case that it was an issue that needed attention. Hollaback! offered the tools and the support to create a new paradigm using digital technology, which wasn’t being used in that way here yet…” –Inti Maria
Last year, when Hollaback! Buenos Aires leader Inti Maria received a public rape threat from prominent and influential journalist Juan Terranova, Holalaback! sprang into action to respond. Terranova made his threat in reaction to Hollaback! Buenos Aires’s sudden rise in publicity surrounding an advertising campaign by Coca-Cola which encouraged piropos, a kind of street harassment. Sending a clear message that Hollaback! takes violent threats seriously, Emily May, Inti, and Hollaback! site leaders from around the globe created and circulated an online petition that gathered signatures from over 3,500 people in 75 different countries. Next, Hollaback! focused their energy on convincing advertisers to withdraw support from the magazine that printed the threat. Through brilliant use of online organizing and their global network, the united Hollaback! groups convinced advertisers Fiat and Lacoste to pull their advertisements, prompting the magazine to distance itself from Terranova. More recently, Inti has been working on building a stronger local network and volunteer community, organizing alongside feminist organisations with strong digital platforms, such as Con.textuadas, AnyBody Argentina, Especie en Riesgo de Extincion and Chicas Bondiola, in opposition to a website, Chicas Bondi, which posts photos of women on public transportation without their knowledge or permission. In her own words, Inti is most proud of “having inspired personal and professional growth in the volunteers of the chapter.” Most recently, Inti has raised the issue of street harassment at the National Annual Women’s Meeting, attended by 25,000 women. She has also singlehandledly set up a screen printing studio in her garage to make hand crafted merchandize, which helps visbilize and bring brand awarenes to the movement. Hollaback! Buenos aires has joined forces with the feminist self defense workshop to create a safe space for women to talk about strategies of self defense and street harassment, and participated this years Marcha de Las Putas Festival with an information stall, t-shirts, and a self-defense workshop.