Bill To Establish First-Ever Committee On Street Harassment In NYC

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, November 29th, 2021

CONTACT: UniQue Webster, Director, External Affairs, [email protected]

(NEW YORK CITY, NY) – Committee on General Welfare Jointly with the Committee on Women and Gender Equity held a hearing on Monday, November 29th, 2021 at 10:30 a.m regarding Intro 2424: a new bill that, if passed, will establish a committee to identify solutions to street harassment in New York City. The bill’s hearing comes on day four of the global campaign 16 Days of Activism on Gender-Based Violence.

 

“Intro 2424 offers a bold new solution because it puts the job of creating solutions in the hands of the advocates and community members. It is explicit in its intent to examine street harassment from an intersectional approach and without unnecessary increases in policing and criminalization,” said Emily May during her testimony. May is the co-founder and executive director of Hollaback!, a nonprofit working to end harassment — in all its forms. 

 

According to a 2021 study by L’Oreal Paris and IPSOS, around one in three women (31%) said they faced street harassment during the COVID-19 pandemic. This figure is 46 percent for those ages 18 to 34. 

 

“Street harassment is a widespread and highly destructive aspect of life in New York City. Mandating the creation of an Advisory Board will help to support survivors, provide public education, and identify more effective community-based responses. The traditional tools of policing, civil penalties, and interactions with the criminal legal system have not fundamentally addressed what so many New Yorkers are experiencing on the street,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Manhattan, District 6, member of the Committee on Women & Gender Equity and the Women’s Caucus, and one of the sponsors of this bill.

 

“For far too long, street harassment has created a hostile – and often accepted – environment for New York City’s most vulnerable populations with few avenues for survivors to seek justice. Intro 2424 will help provide solutions to street harassment while creating a blueprint of how to address community safety without further police intervention. I’m proud to have worked directly with advocates for the past two years to create the framework for the Advisory Board and look forward to voting emphatically yes when it comes up for a vote.” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Queens, District 26, and one of the sponsors of this bill. Other bill sponsors include Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Councilmember Ben Kallos, and Councilmember Selvena N. Brooks-Powers.

 

Jean Son, the community advocate who developed and championed this bill said, “The passage of Intro 2424 would be a milestone achievement demonstrating the City’s commitment to our safety and peace of mind, especially our young girls, women of color, and LGBTQ+ folks, who comprise some of the most vulnerable populations.” Inspired by her own experiences of street harassment, Son is a NYC native who first experienced street harassment when she was only 11 years old.

 

In the 2021 study, 50 percent of respondents said they did not feel safe in public spaces over the past year.  In partnership with Hollaback!, L’Oreal Paris is hosting daily, free, online training in how to respond to street harassment if you witness or experience it as part of 16 Days of Gender-Based Violence.

 

Voces Latinas applauds and fully supports Intro 2424. We should ALL feel safe on the streets of NYC without fear of harassment of any kind. This bill will include the voices of the community with the realities they’re living. Often, we overlook these realities as they don’t always affect us, but this bill gives advocates and community the platform to voice the severity of this harassment and its after-effects on its victims. We can no longer ignore this issue because it doesn’t affect us personally.  Girls and young people should not have to put up with this and live with the mental, emotional and physical consequences.  Voces Latinas fully supports Into 2424,” says Nathaly Rubio-Torio, LMSW,  Executive Director, Voces Latinas.    

 

Korean American Family Services Center applauds and fully supports the passage of Intro Intro 2424. As a direct service provider to those who are affected by gender-based violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. Harassment falls along a spectrum of violence, and street harassment is often the first sexual experience for young women. No form of harassment is ever okay; everyone should always feel safe on the street and beyond at all times. Street harassment is a human rights issue and KAFSC stands with our elected officials, community-based organizations, and our community today to support the passage of Intro 2424.” said Jeehae Fischer, Executive Director, Korean American Family Services Center.

 

A similar bill to Intro 2424 called the “Street Harassment Prevention Act” was successfully passed in DC in 2018, and has paved the way for a host of improvements in the city’s approach to street harassment, including increased interagency coordination and bystander intervention training for those most at risk.

 

 

 

About Hollaback!

Our mission is to end harassment in all its forms by transforming the culture that perpetuates hate and harassment. We carry out this mission by building the power of everyday people to create safe and welcoming environments for all.

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