Stand Up Against Street Harassment

 

“Street harassment ends here. We see it happen, but uncomfortably look away. We feel the urge to speak up, but stay cautiously silent. We all want to do something about it, but don’t know what. Or worse, we end up thinking it’s “not a big deal.” Street harassment is always a big deal. And now, we have what it takes to stand up to it. It’s always worth it.” – Stand Up Manifesto

 

About Stand Up 

Street harassment is an experience that devalues people of all sexual orientations, cultures and beliefs causing them to doubt their own experiences. When we watch harassment happen without intervening, it deepens the trauma for the person being harassed and shows the person doing the harassing that their behavior is OK. We want to disrupt this dynamic one intervention at a time.

When we see someone fall, or drop something in public, we instinctively help out. Why don’t we have the same reaction when we see someone being sexually harassed? We see it happen, but uncomfortably look away. We feel the urge to speak up, but stay cautiously silent. We all want to do something about it, but don’t know what. Or worse, we end up thinking it’s “not a big deal.” Not knowing what constitutes street harassment and what to do, limits our ability to take action, chipping away at the self-worth of men and women who suffer from street harassment.

In 2020, Hollaback! and L’Oréal Paris join forces to ensure everyone’s self-worth, leveraging Hollaback!’s 5 D’s methodology to help people safely intervene when they experience or witness harassment in public spaces.The goal of the Stand Up program is to train 1,000,000 people to become Upstanders before the end of 2021 and ultimately build a culture where street harassment is seen as unacceptable behavior.

 

How to Stand Up to street harassment 

How can we take action if we don’t know what to do? This is why we use a clear, adaptable, and expert-approved set of tools that have been proven to reduce the prevalence of street harassment. If you are not sure whether or not someone is being harassed, you can still use the 5D methodology; there should not be any negative repercussions for you (the bystander) or for the person being harassed.

Less direct actions (e.g. “distract”) are always recommended, particularly if you’re unsure whether or not someone is being harassed. It’s ok to be unsure. You may not have all the context and even if you do, it can be tough to discern what is happening. Always look at the body language of the person being harassed to understand whether they are uncomfortable. If you can’t distinguish between harassment or flirting, remember that harassment is unwanted and persistent. Before you start to explore what you can do, remember that no action is a one-size-fits-all. You may need to use a different D depending on the situation. It’s important to always ensure you feel safe before intervening.

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE INITIATIVE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 

 

Still have more questions? Please check out the Stand Up FAQ.