When Street Harassment Comes Indoors: A sample of New York City service agencies and unions response to street harassment

Project Partners: Worker Institute at Cornell University and Hollaback! 

Researchers:  KC Wagner, Beth A. Livingston, and Sarah T. Diaz.



• More than 86 percent of respondents had received a report of street harassment in the
past two years from a client, constituent or consumer, while 96 percent reported that
they or a colleague had been targeted by street harassment.
Ninety-six percent of respondents indicated they responded to reports of street
harassment by listening, while only 20 percent referred the complainant to another
colleague or agency, and as little as five percent called security or a city authority.
More than 92 percent of respondents reported an interest in receiving increased
resources for staff and clients, constituents and/or consumers on how to deal with street
harassment; 70 percent of respondents felt that their clients, constituents or consumers
should be provided with information and resources on how to deal with street
harassment, regardless of organizational mission.

Next Steps:

• Resource development such as a comprehensive resource guide for service providers.
• Public education efforts such as incorporation of an anti-street harassment curriculum
into anti-bullying and sexual education efforts.
• Training for 311 and 911 operators on how to respond to and effectively track reports of
street harassment.
• Hold community safety audits, a United Nations-recognized best practice for
assessing the level of safety from gender-based violence in a community. To conduct an
audit, you gather teams of 5-7 community members from a variety of backgrounds and
who can offer unique perspectives about safety and inclusion issues. The teams survey
high-risk areas, assessing factors such as the gender make-up of those in the space, how
those present are using the space and lighting levels of the space. Community safety
audits result in increased community engagement and recommendations of concrete
• Engagement of the local business community to train their proprietors and staffs about
street harassment and how to respond to reports of harassment, and the establishment
of “safe zones” within their stores.
• Workshops on street harassment and how to intervene safely if you witness street
harassment. Importantly, these workshops should include both community members
and officials and their staffs, so that those who act as liaisons with community members
are prepared to respond to complaints of street harassment.


Click here to see the fact sheet and here to see the full report.



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