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“Not Your Baby” iPhone app helps users deal with sexual harassment

BY ANDREA GUNRAJ, COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST, METRAC

In 2010 and 2011, we were delighted to partner with Hollaback! to release an online survey on responses to sexual harassment. It was one of a few similar surveys we put out to find out how people deal with harassment, where they go for help, and how they would help a friend.

We received a total of 238 responses and, absolutely spilling over with your inspiring and diverse stories, we developed Not Your Baby, a free iPhone app to provide users with ideas on how they could respond to sexual harassment “in the moment”.

Once installed, the app allows users to input where they are – work, school, home, social setting or on the street – and who’s harassing them – perhaps a boss, coworker or fellow student. Based on the ideas of those survey respondents who shared what they’ve done to deal with similar instances of harassment, a possible response is generated. Not Your Baby also allows users to submit their own stories and ideas and grows richer as people contribute to it.

METRAC, the community-based organization I work for in Toronto, Canada, was founded in 1984 to help prevent violence against diverse women and youth. From our Safety Audit process to legal information provision to our youth violence prevention workshops and game development, we’ve been aware of the impacts of sexual harassment, especially on women, girls, trans people and other groups at highest risk. We love exploring new ways to address violence against women and youth and supporting folks to find their own solutions. That’s why we admire Hollaback! so much – it’s all about grassroots action and the things we can do in our own lives to challenge sexual harassment on the street.

In 2011, the Ontario Human Rights Commission recognized gender-based harassment “used to get people to followtraditional sex stereotypes” as a form of sexual harassment in their updated policy on preventing sexual and gender-based harassment . They acknowledged that, in addition to the harassment many women and girls face based on their identities, those who don’t fit dominant stereotypes of what it means to be a “real man” or “real woman” are also targeted. The reality of gender-based harassment is reflected in the app and resources to help people deal with it are included.ir own solutions. That’s why we admire Hollaback! so much – it’s all about grassroots action and the things we can do in our own lives to challenge sexual harassment on the street.

Many thanks to Hollaback! for support in the survey process, as well as many of you who responded to the survey. Take a look at the app, submit your own ideas and stories, and let us know what you think!

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HOLLA on the go: Right back ‘atcha.

This guy took a picture of me on the subway. He forgot to turn off the flash so I caught him and decided to return the favor.

I've got your back!
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Anonymous’s Story: Returning the favor

This guy took a picture of me on the subway. He forgot to turn off the flash so I caught him and decided to return the favor.

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A week in our shoes: CATS AGAINST CATCALLING

Hey Hollabackers —

I’m on vacation this week, but our fierce staff and volunteers are keeping the movement moving (with your support of course)! Here’s the roundup:

CATS against CATCALLING tumblr launches! Check it out — and if you love it — spread the word! We’ll have it up for a month, and longer if it takes off.  You can submit your own “kitteh” too!

 

Hollaback! Melbourne Organizes a Site Launch Party! Entry is $5 and includes tea/coffee, special ‘holla’ cupcakes, a Hollaback badge and an arts and crafts station. Guest speaker Lauren Rosewarne will be speaking at 8pm. More details are here.

 

Hollaback NYC Calls for Local Assemblymember who Sexually Harassed Staff to Step Down.  We wrote the statement last Saturday, a day after the allegations were made public, and he stepped down as Brooklyn party boss later in the week.  We’re continuing to push for him step down from his Assembly seat, so stay tuned. Our full statement can be found here.

 

Boston Chalked it up! Check out their street art here (and to the right!).

 

Rebecca Faria, Founder of Hollaback! Halifax spoke at “Walk With Her: DIY Healthcare.” The description reads, “The healthcare debate has never been so heated, but we’re meeting outside the OR rooms and talking about the things that really do matter most; building walkable cities, accessible mental health services, and how to make “local” more than a slogan.” We couldn’t agree more! Details for the event are here and you can follow Hollaback Halifax on facebook here. Hollaback Halifax has been embraced by the recently launched “GAYBOURHOOD WATCH,” a community organization to prevent crime and violence in Halifax’s gay neighbourhood. Check out their press mentions on CBC (Hollaback ismentioned at 5:40 and again about a minute later), Metronews, and Openfile.

 

Hollaback Turkey in the News! Check them out in Today’s Zaman and the SES Turkiye.

 

Don’t we have the best team in the world? I think so. And you’re part of it.

 

HOLLA and out —

Emily

 

 

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Rosie’s story: I was supposed to completely ignore it or be rendered utterly weak and impotent…

I have a crude story of street harassment.
It was in the market town of Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, England. (In the south east of England.)
This happened yesterday (22nd August, 2012), I had just left the cinema (movie theater) to pick up some tickets, it was afternoon.
As I was getting ready to cross the road, a man says “He wants to do you up the arse” and pointed to his friend. They were only a small distance from me. There was nobody else nearby, which may have empowered him to say it.
When I looked at them in disgust he said to his friend “Oh sh*t, she’s looking” and LAUGHED. (?!?!?!) I suppose I was supposed to completely ignore or be rendered utterly weak and impotent by the revelation.
Absolutely no respect for women. They think we’re so weak. They think they can say what they want to our faces and get away with it. Where do they learn such an unhealthy attitude? It makes me MAD!
Rosie,
Bedfordshire, UK.

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A week in our shoes: HOLLABACK AT THE NATIONAL SEXUAL ASSAULT CONFERENCE

Hey Hollabackers —

I’m at the National Sexual Assault Conference !  I got to meet Kelly Ziemann from Hollaback Des Moines and gave a presentation to the to 60+ professionals (some are pictured left) from around the country on how to infuse activism and the internet into their work.  It was an honor, a blast, and they had tons of great ideas.

 

Hollaback Baltimore is having a Women’s Equality Day Picnic! It’s this Sunday, check it out! 

 

The soon-to-launch Hollaback Victoria is holding a launch party! It takes takes place September 6th, isfamily friendly, wheelchair accessible, and includes t-shirt screenprinting! Rad! Details are here.

 

Hollaback Philly needs your help!  Support their efforts to end street harassment in Philly by giving them your vote this week.

 

Press!  Hollaback Chennai got a shout-out in the HinduHollaback Boston got a shout-out in the Boston Dig, and  I got profiled in Killer Startups! Also, Hollaback got profiled as an “outstanding organization” by A Woman Phenomenally. YAY!

 

Hollaback NYC holds workshops and gets organized! Hollaback! conducted two workshops at the “Yes She Can” conference for girls on introducing the Hollaback! movement, exploring the meaning and impact of street sexual harassment in their daily lives and provided them with tools to an empowered response to street harassment. We also attended the Women Occupying Wall Street 4th Feminist General Assembly. Hollaback! participated in the assembly focusing on people of Color and joined the education system committee group meeting. We Will Not Be Silent organization also participated in the meeting and provided signs of their inspiring quotes for the group photo.

All this work is possible because you believe in us.  So keep on keepin’ on!

 

HOLLA and out —

Emily

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Anonymous’s Story: Not getting in your car

Guy catcalled me, then told me to get in his car

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Anonymous’s Story: Exposing himself

A man pulled out his penis in front of me, and looked me straight in the eye, on the 1 train going downtown. I got up and moved. He got off at Penn Station.

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HOLLA on the go: drive-by harasser, with heroic bystander intervention!

I was with some friends walking along the street and this truck of guys slows down and they start whistling and making noises. This nice man came to our rescue and told them to ‘f’ off and they drove away but he got their license number and called the cops.

I've got your back!
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HOLLA on the go: “touched my behind”

A man who was older than me (almost 30), touched my behind in the street and went so quickly that I couldn’t tell something. Very mature.

I've got your back!
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