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International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2013 Report

The Week is a program of Stop Street Harassment. The report was compiled by Holly Kearl


TaBle of Contents Page 3: Overview information about International Anti-Street Harassment Week Page 9: The off-line actions that took place outside of the USA Page 74: The off-line actions that occurred in the USA Page 139: Examples of online activism

Note: Not everyone sent information about their events, so this is not a complete report.

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Overview Information: What’s the Problem? Catcalls, sexist comments, gender-policing, leering, flashing, groping, stalking, and sexual assault: gender-based street harassment makes public places unfriendly and even scary for many girls, women, and LGBQT folks. It limits their access to public spaces. http://www.meetusonthestreet.org What is the Week? Meet Us On the Street: International Anti-Street Harassment Week is an opportunity to collectively raise awareness that street harassment happens and that it’s not okay. It began in 2011 as International Anti-Street Harassment Day. It expanded to a week in 2012. Why a Week? Activists and individuals around the world work hard year-round to make public places safer but once a year we can help amplify each other’s voices and make the global mainstream media pay attention by collectively speaking out together. Why Hold it in April? April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the USA and street harassment falls within the spectrum of gender-based violence. April is also springtime in the Northern Hemisphere While street harassment occurs year-round, spring is a time when there is an increase in the harassment because of the increased daylight hours and warmer weather that brings people outside.

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What Happened? From April 7-13, 2013, 150 co-sponsoring groups, organizations, and campuses from more than 20 countries and on six continents, plus thousands of people, spoke out against street harassment! Who made it possible? International Anti-Street Harassment Week is a community mobilization program of Stop Street Harassment and it was spearheaded by SSH founder Holly Kearl. She was helped by: – The leaders of 150 groups, organizations and campuses that took some form of action during the week. – Nuala Cabral, co-founder of FAAN Mail and a SSH board member, who was a key leader in planning and carrying out the week and led activism in Philadelphia, PA. – Laura Palumbo at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) who welcomed the idea of having the week moved to Sexual Assault Awareness Month and helped advertise the week to the NSVRC networks. – SSH social media volunteers and SSH correspondents who helped advertise the week and participate in tweet chats and offline events. – Translation volunteers, media relations volunteer Katie Broendel, graphic designers Kira Hug & Alli VanKanegan who created great logos and flyers for the week, & Nuala Cabral who created a shareable video

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Thanks -- National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) In August 2012, I met with Laura Palumbo, the Prevention Campaign Specialist for NSVRC who oversee Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and others on the NSVRC staff. They welcomed the idea of holding International Anti-Street Harassment Week within Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April) and they helped advertise the week to their networks. Laura wrote this blog post for Stop Street Harassment to kick off the week – “As soon as my sneakers hit pavement, I might as well be a lamp post. Does that sound absurd to you? Believe it or not, it’s how I’ve been made to feel by onlookers and passersby who have treated me like an object in public spaces. Yes, they are the vocal minority, the harassers and near-do-wells. But they still have a power and they abuse and enforce it in the form of street harassment. Despite however many positive, neighborly interactions I experience each day in public spaces – I am still forced to expect the worst every time a nearby car slows down or a stranger’s eye contact lingers. Meet my fear in the streets ….In these spaces, my individual strengths, personal successes, my gifts and values – they don’t really matter anymore. They can’t protect or humanize me as long as there’s anyone else whose can express a disvalue of my gender. [Insert: race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, ability, body type…] As a walk-to-work commuter and runner, this fear of street harassment follows me daily. Sometimes the word street harassment feels sanitizing, because what we are really talking about is sexual harassment and sexual violence in the context of any public space: streets, sidewalks, public transportation, stairwells, elevators, etc. Meet my rage in the streets…..Catcalls, sexist comments, flashing, groping, stalking, and assault impact all women and many men, especially in the LGBQT community. Street harassment like all sexual violence is a global issue, and the impact is far reaching. Hostility in our streets or public spaces changes the dynamic for everyone, and it makes these environments unsafe, unfriendly and less accessible. That is why we need to reclaim our streets. Meet us in the streets….As spring begins to unfold, warmer weather often means an increase in the likelihood of street harassment. This April, as a part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it’s time to welcome a new dynamic to our streets. Meet Us On the Street: International Anti-Street Harassment Week (April 7-13) is an opportunity to collectively raise awareness that street harassment happens and that it’s not okay. During this week, join tens of thousands of people worldwide who will be using chalk, street theater, rallies, and marches to reclaim public spaces. Meet change in the streets…..By making the connection between sexual violence and street harassment, we can change the dynamics in our streets, schools, and homes. How will you participate?”

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Highlights This was an incredible week of awareness. It was amazing to see: – UN Women tweet about the week. – Great articles about the week/issue on highly trafficked websites like BuzzFeed and the Washington Post. – UpWorthy post about Hollaback Philly’s new SEPTA ad to their millions of followers. – The Harry Potter Alliance speak out against street harassment – A city council woman in New York City lead a rally. – People around the world, from Australia and Zimbabwe, to Yemen and Peru, to Belgium and Bangladesh, take to the streets to bring attention to this issue and engage their community to discuss what needs to change to stop street harassment. – Five very successful tweet chats led by: Hollaback Bmore, Fem2pt0, Men Stopping Violence, FAAN Mail, Women’s Media Center, Breakthrough, Blank Noise, and Everyday Sexism. Since launching Stop Street Harassment five years ago, there has been a significant shift in the number of people who acknowledge street harassment as a legitimate problem and are willing to do something about it. Awareness campaigns like International Anti Street Harassment Week contribute to that evolving shift. If you participated, know that your voice matters, you’re making a difference.

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Media Coverage • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Washington Post BuzzFeed.com MTV.com Slate.com Ebony Magazine | 2 Feministing.com HuffPost Live Campus Progress | 2 Philly.com Policy Mic | 2 Women’s Media Center NY Daily News Gothamist NY NBC Minnesota Daily Bitch Magazine Blog | 2 Sadie Magazine The Star Brooklyn Ink Huffington Post | 2 GPB.org The Daily Illini (University of IL) The Spectator (University of WI) Area New York

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • •

PreventConnect EcoSalon The Root The Link Newspaper BlogHer Latina Lista Amplify So Feminine Co UK Philly.com Fem2PtO The Broad Side DNA Info (NYC) Bliss Tree Secular Woman Women’s Views on News Ms. Magazine Winter 2013 issue National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s 2012 FallWinter issue of The Resource College Candy A Celebration of Women RH Reality Check Progress Women Washington Square Park Blog

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International Efforts!

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Argentina Despite floods cancelling a few activities, Hollaback! Buenos Aires and Tierra Violet were still able to host self-defense workshops during the week. Hollaback! Buenos Aires leader Inti Maria wrote, “I led a postponed self defense workshop at Tierra Violeta with an emphasis on street harassment for women and girls. We did a lot of sharing and some theater work as well with a mix of young lesbians, professional women and 12-year-old girls in attendance. The latter were really excited and asked us to go to their schools to talk about this so we feel like it was a really encouraging lead!�

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MELBOURNE, Australia Hollaback! Melbourne organized a week long collection of photo submissions of people holding signs against harassment and in favor of respect! They also posted an article per day on their blog about how to deal with street harassment. On April 9, co-founder Alanna Inserra spoke at Melbourne Free University Seminar ‘Inequality: Men, Women and Power on the Streets.

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On April 13, the Hollaback! Melbourne team organized a Sydney Road Chalk Walk. Participants drew and wrote anti-street harassment slogans on the pavement. People were also invited to have their photo taken for the Photo-Wall. They received a very positive and supportive response from passers-by and local business owners.

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Australia Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) was active in speaking out against street harassment via social media.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh The Participatory Development Action Program (PDAP) organized a street harassment rally and discussion with the community people in Mirpur, Dhaka, on April 13. Teachers, NGO workers and community leaders attended both activities.

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Brussels, Belgium Hollaback! Brussels hosted a #SharetheStreets initiative during the week. Online, they posted a series of bystander stories, showing examples of people in Brussels reacting and helping out their fellow citizens – in the form of – thoughtful gestures, acts of kindness, of bravery, of standing up for victims of street harassment, sexism, racism, homophobia and violence. On April 13, they held a #ShareTheStreets Walk. They walked around Brussels, leaving “gifts” for the city, gifts for lucky finders, in trees, in alleyways, on doorsteps, on squares, on benches, and window sills. These gifts were small pieces of ‘art’, plants or flowers. They were left for strangers to find and had messages attached to prompt conversation and to suggest that people can rise up and help each other out. They also write sidewalk chalk messages. Participant Anna Claire Weber wrote, “We began by looping yarn around trees, tying mobiles in their branches. We stuck notecards attached to bobby pins in the bushes and placed the plants on empty benches. We taped the poetry to flat surfaces. Out of the Mont des Arts, we created a veritable, living, breathing mountain of simple, creative, positive art. And even while we were decorating the park, people were touching the mobiles, reading the cards, taking pictures…They would read the front of the card, flip it over to read the longer message, then nod their heads in agreement. I overheard one guy say to his girlfriend, “That’s so cool. That’s a really good idea.”

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“Because of this positivity, I experienced a feeling in the streets of Brussels that I’d never felt before, or if I have, it hasn’t been for any longer than a few minutes…I felt like myself. I felt like I could walk where I wanted, do what I wanted…I didn’t spare two seconds’ thought to what male passersby might do to me... It was, plain and simple, that hopefulness, that belief in the citizens of Brussels that we are mostly good, we are inherently good, and we just need a little nudge to show it….The streets belong to all of us… Even getting one person to think differently about street harassment, or making a victim’s day a little brighter–that’s still one person whose day you affected, and positively.” - Anna Claire Weber

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gent, Belgium Hollaback! Gent hosted six chalk walks in their city. They said, “We've gotten some responses from passers-by, mostly positive, and our local city television station came by one of the days to film us. I think we definitely managed to get more attention for the subject in our city, so I think we can call the action week a success!�

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Montreal, Canada On April 11, Women in Cities International worked with a group of six girls and one boy from a local school to create postcards and t-shirts with pictures and slogans on topics such as racism, homophobia and freedom of speech, issues they had identified as important in their community and school. The postcards were distributed to their classmates and friends. On April 12, a group of 34 youths from another high school in Montreal organized a flash-mob in their school to raise awareness around sexism, cyber-bullying, homophobia, and other issues faced by the students of the school. Hundreds of students saw their performance.

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Montreal, Canada Hollaback! Montreal hosted a bystander intervention workshop at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute.

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Ottawa, Canada Hollaback! Ottawa chalked the streets of Ottawa with Holla! love and promoted Talking Back! A Community Dialogue about Safety on Transit.

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Toronto, Canada Calling Out Cat Calling created and hung up posters around their community, including Ryerson University, during the week.

Rachel Kellogg wrote, “I was thrilled when my friend discovered that this Week exists. We found out about it after we had launched our anti-street harassment awareness group, Calling Out Cat Calling. It motivated us to work even harder to join the movement to fight back against the mentality that makes so many people (frankly mostly men) think that public sexual harassment is OK.�

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Colombia AtrĂŠvete BogotĂĄ Hollaback held anti-harassment signs throughout their community.

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Croatia Hollaback! Croatia held a presentation about street harassment on the Zagreb campus.

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Egypt Harassmap works to end the social acceptability of sexual harassment in Egypt. During Anti-Street Harassment Week, two of their volunteer groups took action on the 5th and the 6th of April, in Giza and Alexandria respectively, reaching about 70 people. They targeted bystanders and conducted successful campaigns to turn their neighborhoods into safe areas. Safe areas are not necessarily free of sexual harassment but are spaces where, if harassment happens, there are consequences. The Giza team conducted its outreach campaign in a bus stop. Reactions varied from aggression to complete understanding and changing perceptions. They wrote graffiti saying, “Be a man; protect her from harassment instead of harassing her" and “No to harassment.”

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The Alexandria Harassmap team conducted its campaign around Alexandria's biggest shopping mall. A sexist graffiti message of violent harassment was erased by the volunteers and they wrote "Love" instead.

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Fiji Islands The Emerging Leaders Forum Alumni created a Facebook group called “Take Back the Streets Fiji” where people shared stories and resources.

They also created tag cards with messages against street harassment on it and they pinned them on their clothes and bags. Leader Roshika Deo said, “We have been receiving a lot of responses [to them].”

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Berlin, Germany “Street Harassment Dress Code� held a chalk walk and handed out flyers and stickers.

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Darmstadt, Germany The group Gender Equality Germany distributed leaflets and started conversations throughout the city. “We enjoyed it lots! Hopefully more people want to take part in our next actions- we are open for everyone!“ they wrote.

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Dresden, Germany Hollaback Dresden used colourful chalk and slogans to take action against sexual harassment in public on Saturday afternoon. They wanted to "win back the streets“ because they believe everyone should feel save and comfortable in public areas!!

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Dortmund, Germany During the week, Pro Change distributed cards against sexism and homophobia to people displaying those behaviors. They also handed out informational beermats to let people about street harassment and how to take action.

Pro Change also created a “Stop Street Harassment Germany� Facebook page where they shared information throughout the week.

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HeidelBerg, Germany AK Gender hosted a range of anti-street harassment action in their community.

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Chandigarh, India Hollaback! Chandigarh shared bystander intervention tips and ideas across the week on their blog, FaceBook page and Twitter account. They made posters with safe and creative intervention ideas that could be used in harassment situations. Along with that, they shared various other pictures and stories looking at the impact of bystander intervention.

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Kolkata, India Blank Noise held a #SafeCityPledge event in Kolkata on April 13.

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New Delhi, India The campaign Must Bol tweeted throughout the week, put up information and resources on their Facebook page, and held online discussions. Offline, they hosted a leaflet campaign to highlight the role of citizen bystanders to intervene in harassment. Twenty volunteers led the action and they reached 300-400 people at a busy market place in Delhi. They talked to them about taking responsibility when harassment occurs. They also discussed sexist and apathetic attitudes that lead to victim blaming, increase safety risks, and offer immunity to perpetrators. They also launched a study about sexual harassment on campus. It looks at factors that make young women feel safe or unsafe on campuses.

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New Delhi, India Bell Bajao and Blank Noise met with men at Nehru Place, New Delhi, to talk to them about street harassment and sexual violence in public spaces. The men made #SafeCityPledges and promises to “Ring The Bell� against violence and harassment.

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New Delhi, India Across the week, Jagori/Safe Delhi undertook several initiatives in Delhi. 1) They presented recommendations from the women safety audit tool to the Chief Secretary of the Government of Delhi in a multi-stakeholder meeting and suggested gender sensitive urban planning. 2) They held discussions with women from the low income settlements with a population of over 3000. 3) More than 70 youth participated in workshops. 4) Youth passed out information and held banners in Connaught Place, reaching 800 people.

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Patiala, India The Women’s Studies Centre (WSC) at Punjabi University, in Patiala, led by Dr. Manju Verma, Director of the Centre, organized a series of events with the assistance of Dr. Amandeep Kaur, Dr. Parveen Balgir, Dr. Ritu Lehal and Dr. Ravneet Kaur. They held a workshop before Anti-Street Harassment Week to sensitize the Security Personnel of the University to the issue. They held a second workshop during the Week and Senior Wardens, Girls Hostel Wardens, Prefects and Head Girls of the six Girls Hostels of Punjabi University participated and discussed the various types and causes of street harassments. They also considered some feasible and practical solutions to minimize the problem and stressed the need for socialisation of both boys and girls in curbing this menace.

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A poster making competition was held on April 11 and the posters were presented before the panel of judges headed by the Mrs. Jagjit Kaur, President of the University’s Womens’ Club. These posters were also presented before Dr. Jaspal Singh, Vice-Chancellor of the University, who applauded the efforts made by WSC in highlighting this issue. In the evening, a Poster Walk was organised from the WSC up to the Girls Hostels and the Peer Group then addressed the gathering of the hostellers about the causes, effects and solutions. Concrete suggestions were made by participants of the activities that week and sent to the Office of the Dean Students Welfare, Maintenance Office and Security Cell of the University, including better lightening of the streets, installation of CCTV Cameras, deploying security at the sensitive points, and providing easy access to the authorities at the time of emergency.

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DuBlin, Ireland Hollaback! Dublin held a chalk walk, despite the rain. Photos by Aidan Murray.

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Rome, italy The creator of “Princess Walnut� and a friend distributed pamphlets about street harassment throughout their campus, Roma Tre University. She also created a shareable graphic for the week for social media.

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Milan, Italy Hollaback! Italia held a chalk walk in Milan. They wrote, “Questa è la settimana internazionale contro le molestie in strada. Hollaback Italia è andata per le strade di Milano a lasciare dei messaggi ai passanti con i gessetti su quei marciapiedi dove passiamo tutti i giorni. Dove siamo state molestate. In inglese si chiama Chalk Walk. Con la Chalk Walk vogliamo le strade per noi, vogliamo la nostra libertà di vivere lo spazio pubblico. Con la Chalk Walk diciamo al mondo “Ho il diritto di essere qui. Di essere me stess*. Di camminare come, dove e quando voglio.”

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Baneshwor, Nepal YUWA and Youth Activists Leadership Council (YALC) launched a new discussion series “Khula Aakash” during International Anti-Street Harassment Week and focused on street harassment in the session. Khula Aakash is conducted in an open place to talk about and address issues openly and youth from diverse backdrops come together to share their thoughts, experiences and stories regarding a chosen topic. On April 11, more than 30 youth from various sectors “with strong determination and enthusiasm” discussed street harassment.

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Mr. Kanchan Kharel, the General Secretary of YUWA, gave a short introduction and shared the objective of Khula Akash and invited everyone to talk about street harassment. Participants shared their stories and discussed the various places where harassment has happened to them, from home to public places and public transportation, where the girls and women said they have to resist a lot of harassers. Participants brought up the lack of proper legal protection by the state, inefficient practice and implementation of limited provision on Gender Based Violence, and gaps in levels of awareness among the society. To conclude the event, participants developed a consensus that first and foremost action to be done to end harassment is to discuss these issues openly, to share their experiences, and to get insight and learn from others. The next day, YUWA held a successful screening of the documentary "Miss Representation.“ Read more.

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Kathmandu Valley, Nepal The Safe City Nepal campaign team (comprised of several groups) has been working with various community members and both government and non-government bodies for more than a year to make public spaces safe for women and girls. They undertook many projects during Anti-Street Harassment Week. On April 8 and 11, groups of 18 and 16 people, respectively, “took back� two pedestrian bridges (Baagbazar and Bhotahity) where a lot of street harassment occurs. Each awareness-raising event took place from 4:30-5:30 p.m. and combined, reached about 500 people. At each bridge, participants wrote messages with chalk, held up signs, and passed out flyers.

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Some of the slogans written on the sidewalks of the overhead bridges were: “I take back this overhead bridge” | “Women are human too” “Make this overhead bridge safe for women and girls” | “I want my city to be safe” “Street is a public space but I am not”

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Some of the comments passersby said included: “Good job girls, you should keep doing it.” – an elderly man “Wow! What a dialogue. It’s great.”- a teenager when he read “Mero luga chhoto ki timro niyat khoto” (Is my dress short or are you short of good intention?) “You think you are so much oppressed, huh?” - a man around 20 years old “Wow! Keep it up! My full support and solidarity to you.” – a man in his 30s “This is good work but I don’t think this will bring any change.” – many people “If we do not tease & call you then you might feel bad, you know.” – a man in his 30s “Girls themselves wear short dresses to attract men.” - many men and women “You girls are doing a great job. We need it” - a woman about 40 years old

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On April 9 and 10, Safe City Nepal held discussions and distributed information to the members of the child clubs of the Manohara slum community (46 people) and the Badikhel VDC (12 people). The interaction gave children a way to share their experiences. They were able to build their understanding of harassment in public spaces and alternatives towards addressing such behavior. Community members appreciated the initiative and requested similar discussions with other children groups. Chandrakala Chaudhary, Manohara, “I understand harassment as an unwanted and bad behaviour.” Kalpana Giri, Manohara, “I get harassed when I fetch water in a public tap.” Sulochana Lamsal, Manohara, “My teacher touches me on my back when I make mistakes and when he praises me. I complained it to my female teacher but was scolded instead.”

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On April 11 and 12, Safe City Nepal showed a documentary and held a street harassment discussion with groups of 25-30 people in four locations, Badikhel, Chapagaon, Banshighat and Bungmati. The participants shared their experiences of harassment and how they had stayed quiet about it. The participants expressed that harassment was trivialized as being common, but they learned they were in fact a crime and they would speak against it in the future. Many of the women participants were street vendors and they shared their stories of harassment by male buyers.

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On April 10, 62 youth from 22 districts came together for the “National Youth Forum 2013� and at the end of the forum, they held an anti-street harassment march from Gyaneshwor to Sundhara, stopping for 15 minutes at two major bus stops along the way for a silent demonstration. Each youth made a sign to carry and at least 400 people saw them during the march and demonstrations. Their messages were largely met with positive comments from members of the public.

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On April 12, a member of the Safe City Nepal team and two college student volunteers organized a campus event at Megha College. The 26 student participants made a safety map of the college and shared their observation and experiences of sexual harassment and how they have been responding to it. On April 13, five coordinators of the Safe City Nepal team conducted a safety walk in New Baneshwor from 7 to 8:30 a.m. It was a pre-observation ahead of a safety walk to be conducted later with community members. They noticed that some streets adjoining the main road were unsafe apart from the area where it was unsafe due to crowd. There were lots of men loitering around the area chatting, drinking tea and reading newspapers. Some were waiting for a vehicle. Only few women and girls were observed in the area.

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Belfast, Northern Ireland Hollaback! Belfast took to the streets on April 13 and wrote awareness-raising messages with sidewalk chalk. The Student Union at Queen's University in Belfast let them use their grounds to chalk and discuss with passers by the idea behind Anti Street-Harassment Week. One in particular passerby argued that they were making the place ugly with their slogans. His argument was that as a tax payer, he had a bigger say in what happened at the publicly funded Student Union. One participant informed him that she, too was a tax payer, as well as a alum of QUB. This placated him, and while he disagreed with the method, he said he agreed with the message. Other local cafes and business' around the city let them write messages on their chalk boards and discuss street harassment with customers and passersby. Nearly everyone they spoke with recognized that street harassment is a problem, but had no idea how to solve it. The team felt it was a really successful day and gave them ideas for what more they can do in the community going forward.

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Norway

The company Bipper co-branded their “BSafe” free phone app with Stop Street Harassment for International Anti-Street Harassment Week.

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Lima, Peru In Lima, the Asociaci贸n Apala and Paremos el acoso callejero hosted a multi-day street harassment conference. Around 80 people attended.

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Poland Hollaback! Polska participated in a live radio broadcast on April 7 as part of a weekly Sunday series titled “Enough with violence.” They discussed the definition of street harassment, ways to react to it, what should be done to end it. They also focused on legal issues, especially the Polish anti-discriminatory law and its flaws. They also participated in a debate in Warsaw on April 12 titled “NO to harassment in school and on campus” focusing on student safety and what should be done to better safety measure.

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Coventry, UK Coventry Women’s Voices and Coventry Feminists co-hosted a street harassment discussion at the Coventry Transport Museum. At the event, they shared the final report of a survey they conducted examining the harassment women experience in public spaces in Coventry. The survey found that 61% had experienced sexual harassment in the last 12 months, experiencing incidents which included unwanted sexual comments (37%), wolf-whistling (32%) and being groped (12%). At the event, they also launched the Coventry Harassment Project. People will be able to share their experiences of harassment in two key ways: 1) People can follow, and submit their stories via the Twitter account @CovHarassment and Tweet with the hashtag #CovHarassment. 2) People can submit longer anecdotes to the email address CovHarassment@gmail.com. These submissions will be posted on a regular basis on Coventry Women’s Voices’ blog. Coventry Women’s Voices will collect and share these stories to create a fuller picture of what happens in Coventry, and where. This information will add to that collected in the survey and begin to map where, and how frequently people experience harassment in the City. It is the intention of the project to regularly collate the information submitted, identify patterns and share the information with local government & police to help inform policy making.

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London, UK Rape Crisis - South London organized a “London Landmarks� project where people took photos of pro-respect or anti-harassment messages by London landmarks and shared them on social media. The women who participated said they found it fun trying to think of ways to get the message into particular spaces. One woman left her signs where she put them up (in a phonebox) to create on-going awareness.

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London, UK The London Chinatown TaeKwonDo company incorporated information about dealing with street harassers into their classes during the week. Chief Instructor Neil R. Hall also wrote an article. Here is an excerpt: “In many societies, for a period over the past 50 years or so, calling out, following, laughing at, making sexual comments, or just plain sexually assaulting women in public places came to be frowned upon, and at last the streets seemed to be becoming safer for women. Sadly, over the past few years things haven't continued to get better, but have returned to being worse than ever. The horror of recent events in India has shocked the whole world, but here in the middle of England it would be very wrong to think that it is someone else's problem, and not ours. In the streets near where I live, women that I know have been harassed simply because they walked down the street and one of my own students – a twelve year old girl – needed to use her martial arts skills to fight off a physical attack from a man. Far from condemning this sort of behaviour, we can see every single day people using social media to encourage it – and I've heard it described this week by one such person as "just a bit of banter.“ It's not banter. Whether or not it develops into physical assault, this behaviour makes women feel unsafe. If you don't know how that feels, just take a moment to imagine it. Don't want to go to visit your family, afraid to come home from work, can't go to the shops. Surely, it's time that this ended. In our classes this week where I teach at LCTKD we will be talking about street harassment with our students. 40% of our students are female, and talking about how to deal with harassment, both physical and verbal, is a regular part of our work, but this week we will be making it a keynote topic, and engaging the male students in the discussion. It's everyone's responsibility to see that what some call "banter" is seen for what it is – just plain bullying. Time to end it. Join us.

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Sheffield, UK Hollaback! Sheffield wrote, “We had an absolutely fantastic week of events. We met some wonderful people and put on some ridiculously fun, empowering and inspiring events including a discussion workshop, zine making, a craftivism session, a film screening of Cairo 678 and a Chalk Walk around the City Centre. All of the events drew diverse crowds, and the Chalk Walk especially attracted a lot of positive attention from people who may not have stopped to think about street harassment before.�

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Hollaback! Sheffield’s craftivism session

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Yemen In Yemen, the Safe Streets campaign launched a Hotline for street harassment reports and posted photos on social media of people holding anti-harassment signs. Director Ghaidaa Alabsi wrote: “The aim of the Hotline is to monitor and document the crimes of sexual harassment on the electronic map of the campaign to deliver the suffering of those who were subjected to sexual harassment to the public opinion and put pressure on the decision-makers to implement a mechanism to reduce the phenomenon of sexual harassment in the streets of Yemen. The victim can report by sending SMS to the following number 772150052 and explaining the location where it happened.”

“Sexual Harassment is a form of ignorance needs to be obliterated.”

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ZimBaBwe The Zimbabwe Parents of Handicapped Children Association distributed flyers in various places within their community.

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Efforts in the U.S.A.

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Arizona The Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault held Hey Baby! Art Against Sexual Violence workshops in Tucson to educate and create art, and also collect art from community members. Reproducible art (posters, zines, buttons, etc.) was distributed at libraries and coffee shops. Art was hung at a local venue, and there was an artists’ reception on April 13. There was a photo booth where people could create their own anti-harassment messages.

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California Women in Pacific Palisades and Berkeley held signs and wrote sidewalk chalk messages in their neighborhoods.

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San Francisco, California The Little Bird Project organized people to put up posters and write with sidewalk chalk at Dolores Park. They talked to several passers-by, one of whom also chalked. They said it was “a small but effective gathering at raising awareness about the issue.�

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South Beach, florida “Men, help women feel safe in public spaces: Don’t Harass Women” & “Saying, ‘Hey Baby’ isn’t a compliment to anyone,” are some of the many chalk messages Alan Kearl and Beckie Weinheimer wrote on April 7 on sidewalks in the area of Lincoln Blvd. and Washington Ave. in South Beach. They made kits they handed out to people that included: a piece of chalk, a Stop Street Harassment sticker and literature about ways to address harassers and what the movement is about. They found people to be largely disinterested, focused on their vacation plans, etc, but as long as one of them was chalking, they had a steady stream of lookers and a few who wanted to engage in the dialogue. Alan wrote, “Since my wife’s knees couldn’t take the kneeling and writing, I mostly wrote the messages from a male point of view and was happily amazed at all of the things I came up with for men. After about an hour, we gave out many of our kits, engaged several people in dialogue and had dozens stop and read!” They made short videos about what they did: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3.

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Sarasota, Florida The Sarasota-Manatee chapter of NOW and New College held a rally and street action at Bayfront Park in Sarasota. They held signs and did sidewalk chalking, and encouraged dialogue about street harassment with pedestrians. They were also interviewed for the local evening news!

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West Palm Beach, Florida Alan Kearl went to the local Farmer’s Market area in West Palm Beach before it opened. People approach the park from three different directions and he wanted to write messages in each direction. When he was writing his third message, a police officer told him he wasn’t allowed to do sidewalk chalking in the area and would have to clean it up. Alan wrote, “Normally, when I think something is stupid, I am not very calm or polite. I was parked about a block away and had water in the car and somehow, a politer me, said, “Ok, I’ll have to get water from my car. I’ll be back.” He was ok with that. As I walked away, I toyed with the idea of leaving and not returning – I’d show him. He’d never be able to find me. Again, something inside me took over and I got the water and returned and was ultimately only crudely able to erase the messages. The police officer, was polite and said, “I’m sorry you have to erase these messages, I’m totally sympathetic with the sentiment.” He went on to reference the student who was brutally gang raped and murdered in India in December. I told him how about 1 in 4 females by the age of 12 are harassed and about 90% by the age of 19 and how awful and unequal society is when a female has to consider the route she takes, the clothes she wears, where she works, where she lives – all because of harassment. He listened. Although my message was only absorbed by one person, I was glad to have had the conversation with that person.”

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Athens, Georgia Hollaback! Athens organized three events: a photo shoot of Athens residents who support working to end street harassment, a women's self-defense class at AKF Athens Martial Arts studio, and a screening of the documentary WAR ZONE at Flicker Theatre & Bar. Additionally, they tabled at a local Take Back the Night event. All events were enthusiastically received, and their actions generated interest from the media. Hollaback! Athens director Sarah Peck told reporters, “I do think that we have the power to change this. I think in some cases, yes, people don’t understand the impact that their behaviors are having and that other times it’s definitely, you know, a powerbased issue. Street harassment is considered a point on the continuum of genderbased violence and power-based violence and overlooking it and accepting it contributes to an environment where we’re more accepting of assaults and rape and sexual violence in general.”

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Atlanta, Georgia The Georgia Working Group in Atlanta organized two chalk walks at the first and last day of the week. Many people stopped to talk to them, read the messages, and take flyers. The second day, they passed out 300 pieces of peppermint with antiharassment messages attached. The local public radio station covered their actions. The organizers felt both events were successful.

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Hawaii The BRAVE HEART Program youth and their families made signs and waved them along a road in Waimanalo, Hawaii. They wrote, “As one of our signs read, ‘The 1 time it's OK for you 2 Honk!’ so of course, a lot of people showed their support by honking, waving, throwin the shaka and stopping to ask what was goin on & telling us keep up the good work and that they were proud! It was a success!”

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Illinois The Women’s Resources Center, Campus Center for Student Services, and the University of Illinois Police Department partnered to raise awareness of the detrimental effects of street harassment on their campus. They held a social media campaign and put impact statements from students and video messages from students to the campus population. They also turned their main Quad into a contract against Street Harassment. The Police Student Patrol staffed stations to hand out pledge sheets and have students sign the Quad in chalk.

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Des Moines, Iowa Hollaback! Des Moines spread awareness over social media. On Friday, they hosted an "Anti-Hate Prom" at a local dance club where there were around 200 people. They put materials on all the tables ("catcaller forms," "creeper cards," and a pamphlet on bystander intervention) and asked the DJ to do shout-outs for them, which he did. As a result, they talked to a few groups of people about how to end street harassment and raised $70 in donations. On Saturday, they met at the Iowa State Capitol building for a chalk walk and spent an hour writing messages. Two men walking by stopped to look at their messages, then told them about some wolf-whistling and hooting that they had witnessed the night before while out downtown. The men wrote their own chalk messages, "Real Men Don't Harass" on the steps. They also talked to a few other groups walking by, and only encountered one negative response from a man who said, "Some people are so ignorant. Now we have to wait for the rain to wash this off." As a result, they wrote, "Rain will someday erase this chalk, but NOTHING will silence our voices.” They said, “Overall, we feel pretty good about how our events went.”

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Iowa City, Iowa The Rape Victim Advocacy Program in Iowa City organized a Silent Witness event on April 12. A group of about 20 people met up on a very cold spring day, and each volunteer had a t-shirt and a sign with an anti-street harassment message. They went to a busy intersection downtown Iowa City and stood silent for 15 minutes. Volunteers handed out flyers explaining what they were doing and how to stop street harassment.

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Baltimore, Maryland WILL (Women Involved in Learning and Leadership) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, hosted multiple events during the week of activism. They held multiple Chalk Outs in which students spoke out against street harassment by writing their stories in chalk on the main campus walkway that thousands of students cross daily. Organizer Maureen wrote, “Simple yet powerful demonstrations like these are needed to promote dialogue about why the issue is important and what it means for women and those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community to feel safe in public spaces.” WILL also conducted a survey that gauges how safe students feel on campus and the prevalence of street harassment. UMBC administration and the Human Relations Office have already asked for the results. On April 10, Hollaback! Bmore hosted a discussion at the Women’s Center.

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Baltimore, Maryland The Junior League of Baltimore, Hollaback! Bmore, and Stop Street Harassment participated in a rally to raise awareness of the issue concerning street harassment. Juliette Stone from the Junior League wrote about it: “Approximately 10 Junior League members along with Hollaback! and SSH representatives and a few volunteers attended the rally. Handouts were distributed to several hundred people while signs were also worn with various sayings. Several of the members also participated in chalking the sidewalks with a multitude of slogans, bringing awareness to all who passed. Many persons had questions regarding street harassment and what it consisted of. The questions were answered and many persons agreed to make a stand against this type of behavior. Overall the event was very successful as we touched many people from all different ages, sexes, races and creeds. It is up to us to make a difference in what behaviors we as women deem appropriate. Let us continue to make a stand against the wrongs of this society, and not give up until we have succeeded in making our streets safer.�

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Boston, Massachusetts Hollaback! Boston participated in Bridgewater State University's Take Back the Night and Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event by tabling and by being a speaker to discuss street harassment and its impact as a prevalent gender-based form of harassment and violence. Both men and women were present for the talk, and were very receptive to how street harassment exists on a continuum of violence against women and LGBTQ individuals.

Hollaback! Boston leader Britni Clark was on a panel during Harvard University's Women's & Gender Advocacy Career Fair talking about Hollaback! and the movement to end street harassment and how to be a "professional" advocate. She then sat at a table in the career fair itself.

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SSH Correspondent Natasha Vianna joined Hollaback! Boston for a chalk walk at the Christopher Columbus Park. She wrote: “As we all happily chalked messages to passersby, a couple stopped in front of our chalk designs and began a conversation: Woman: reading the chalk, ‘Hey baby is no way to say hello.’ Man: ‘Haha. What is this?’ Woman: ‘An anti-street harassment campaign, I guess.’ Man: ‘What for?’ Woman: ‘To stop street harassment.’ Man: ‘I’ve never been harassed on the street.’ Woman: ‘I think that’s the point. Women are harassed on the street and most men don’t realize that they’re either the harasser or that they just never have to deal with harassment. They walked off and she began telling him about all the times she experienced harassment while he listened, surprised that she felt so strongly about this issue.’ As I knelt on the ground with chalk in my hand, writing phrases and sharing experiences with the sidewalk, these very moments made me smile from ear-to-ear. Our goal was to spark conversation and stimulate dialogue while sharing tidbits of information in a positive and non-traditional way. Needless to say, it worked amazingly well. A few people stopped to ask questions, some tourists picked up a piece of chalk and joined us, while others read silently, smiled, and kept walking. It was an amazing feeling when young girls and women of all ages stopped to read and felt compelled to smile and take pictures. The message was sent and received.”

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Minneapolis, Minnesota They Women’s Center at the University of Minnesota hosted a panel discussion on campus to generate awareness of street harassment and its complexity when it collides with different identities. Panelists included: Zenzele Isoke, Assistant Professor in the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies department at the U whose research is in intersectionality and black feminist politics; Paridise Valentino, trans woman of color & Programs & Development Director/Founder of the S.P.O.T.S. Program, Trans Youth Support Network; Katie Eichele, Director, Aurora Center for Advocacy & Education, which serves all victims/survivors/concerned people of sexual and relationship violence at the University of Minnesota; and Mike Cheney, intern at the Women's Center and Facilitator of University Men’s Network & The Dude Group, housed in the Women’s Center. Panelists and participants engaged in various topics within street harassment, from how it dehumanizes its victims, how it has a different impact on women of color, LGBT folks, and even people with disabilities. They also talked about traditional masculinity and how street harassment perpetuates the stereotypical "man box." They concluded the discussion with a discussion of ways to take action in our personal lives and how that could potentially start a movement. Organizer Amber Jones wrote, “It was a very therapeutic experience. I was glad that guests were comfortable enough to share their stories and feelings towards the matter, and it even challenged my own privileges to an extent, particularly dealing with ability status. Many of the guests told me that it was great to finally have a space and guided conversation on this matter because it is often shoved away as a conversation not worth having. The panelists gave great insight and allowed their expertise to inform us and bring breadth and depth to the conversation.”

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Kansas City, Missouri During April, Sexual Assault Awareness month, the University of Missouri-Kansas City held a tabling event to promote the Meet Us on the Street campaign. They made bold flyers to grab students' attention and chalked around campus to get the word out. They also shared information on their Facebook page.

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AlBuquerque, New Mexico The Rape Crisis Center of Central New Mexico and the University of New Mexico’s Women's Resource Center hosted a SlutWalk and hundreds of people of all ages and genders participated. .

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New York City, New York More than a dozen groups in New York City organized a rally against street harassment in Washington Square Park on April 13. Public officials like city council member Julissa Ferraras and Manhattan Borough’s President Scott Stringer spoke as did representatives from various non-profit groups and students. People handed out flyers about street harassment to passerby. The rally concluded with a demonstrations of useful self-defense techniques taught by Center for Anti-Violence Education (CAE) and a Chalk Walk so participants could share and document their thoughts and feelings on street harassment throughout the park. The organizations in attendance included RAPP Truman Peer Leaders, STEPS to End Family Violence, Girls for Gender Equity, Coalition for Gender Equity in Schools, The Brooklyn Movement Center, UN Women, One Billion Rising, Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, Center Against Domestic Violence, New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, Hollaback!, Cornell University ILR School, The Center Against Domestic Violence, and Stop Street Harassment. “The Growing movement against sexual violence and harassment in public spaces is one of the most important new global movements of the decade,” said Anastasia Posadskaya-Vanderbeck, Global Manager of UN Women Safe Cities Global Initiative.

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“Street harassment is the most common way a person experiences sexual harassment around the world,” said Connie Márquez, Deputy Director of Steps to End Family Violence. “STEPS to End Family Violence is honored to stand with our national and international partners to highlight and help reduce this social epidemic and bring safety to our communities, schools and homes.” “In our 38 years of helping people prevent, counter and heal from all different types of abuse, we have seen first-hand the devastating effects of violence perpetrated specifically against women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals and youth on NYC’s streets. At CAE we believe everyone has the right to live free from violence, to walk the streets and follow our pursuits without being harassed, denigrated and traumatized,” Tracy Hobson, Executive Director of The Center For Anti-Violence Education, said. “The Brooklyn Movement Center is not here to continue the criminalization of Black men,” said Marly Pierre-Louis, Communications Organizer of Brooklyn Movement Center. “We’re here to organize women of color in Bed-Stuy to start a community dialogue about how we can make public spaces safe and free of intimidation.” “As Chair of the Women’s Issues Committee, I am very concerned about street harassment and the effects it has on many women,” City Council Member Julissa Ferreras said. “By joining in the annual rally against street harassment, I am proud to send a public message both to those who harass and those who have been harassed – this behavior is not acceptable. I will continue to work with our partners in leadership to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers on our streets…. This rally successfully embodied the message that street harassment must be stopped. As people walk the streets around the park, I hope the chalk messages left by the participants resonates with them. Everyone deserves respect.”

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“Everyone deserves the right to walk the streets of our city free from fear. International Street Harassment Week reminds us that we must continue to fight for this right by bringing the issue of street harassment into the spotlight and breaking down the cultural forces that support it. By working together, we can end street harassment and gender-based violence once and for all.” -Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer “All women and men deserve the right to walk down the street in peace,” said City Council Member Stephen Levin. “Street harassment is bullying and cannot be tolerated – there are no exceptions.” “Issues of power and the oversexualization of women in our culture are what drive street harassment. We live in a culture that perpetuates male dominance and the notion that it is somehow OK to overstep boundaries of decency,” City Council Member Darlene Mealy said. “We need to spread awareness of this very real issue for all women in New York City and combat the problem.” Nathania Fields, Girls for Gender Equity's Sister in Strength, said, “We believe that all people have the right to walk down the street without being hollered at and disrespected. We hope that our actions can help put an end to street harassment, that it will no longer be a norm in society, and that our children will not have to be victimized by it.”

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Brooklyn, New York Artist Tatyana Fazlaizadeh held her art show opening on April 12, to coincide with AntiStreet Harassment Week.

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New York City, New York Ken Simon said he retweeted/shared a great number of stories from women sharing their experiences of being harassed on the street and wrote his own messages on Twitter and Facebook calling for an end to street harassment. He said, “I thanked a guy who wolf-whistled at a woman, basically attempting to block the impact of his action in a wiseass manner and maybe the satisfaction he could get from it; however, I don't know if he even understood what I was doing….The reason I took what actions I did was…because I empathize with anyone having to deal with this kind of behavior repeatedly for a number of years and be subjected to it to the point of concern for one's safety. Basically, injustice pisses me off, and I can't think of a more silent injustice than an age-old practice that demeans people and makes them feel unsafe.”

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New York City, New York Steps to End Family Violence’s school-based program, Relationship Abuse Prevention Program, scheduled classroom presentations and events in more than 60 New York City schools during the week.

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Bed-Stuy, New York The Brooklyn Movement Center held two events during the week. Their first event was a rap session with a small group of women in Bed-Stuy. They talked about street harassment, how it impacted their lives, how they handle it individually, and what they can do collectively to combat it in our neighborhood. The rap session went really well and they had a great facilitator who helped women process their experience through story telling. They achieved their goal of engaging women around this issue and getting them interested in doing collective action. Their second event was a chalk party at Fulton Park. They wrote messages on the ground, had people (young and old) come through and write messages as well. They had some folks write messages on a dry erase board and then took pictures of them holding up their messages for social media. Additionally, they partnered with Charla Harlow of the Harlow Project. Charla video recorded both men and women talking about their perspectives on street harassment. They had really good conversations with lots of people who walked through the park. The event was a huge success and received media coverage by the Daily News, Brooklyn Ink, and DNA Info. Two women were also interviewed on The Debrief with David Ushery on NBC.

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Brooklyn Movement Center’s lead community organizer Anthonine Pierre wrote the following blog post for Anti-Street Harassment Week: “I said she looks nice today. What’s wrong with that? Why can’t she just say, ‘Thank you’?” Yesterday, I was at Fulton Park in Bed-Stuy having a conversation with a man about street harassment, and I found myself at a conversational impasse. He said something both logically and socially acceptable that I knew in my gut was wasn’t right. Street harassment is such a normalized function of our male-dominated society that we often can’t discern why it’s just plain wrong. Most people agree: rape is an abhorrent crime; following a woman home is creepy; grabbing a woman’s arm to make her talk to you is a gross abuse of male privilege. No man will admit to wanting to be that guy who scares and sexually violates women. Everyone condemns the actions of Sexual Violator Guy. But what about the guy who yells out, “Why you so mad? Smile, you beautiful!,” while a woman is minding her own business? Men — even men who proclaim proudly to never harass women — find the line is a bit blurred there. Well, what’s wrong with smiling, one might say. Nothing is wrong with smiling. Victims of street harassment are not ardent smile-haters. We are women who, like men, are just going about our lives and are not particularly interested in walking around wearing inane grins for the sake of entertaining our male neighbors and random strangers. The problem is not that women don’t like smiling. The problem is that Smile Guy, in asking a complete stranger to give him a smile just because he wants it, feels entitled to receive it. The problem is that, sometimes, if you don’t smile, this dude may call you a bitch or spit at you or push you to the ground. The problem is, when a man tells a woman to smile or “compliments” her “fat ass” or asks her if she likes it doggy style, she doesn’t know if he’s going to turn into the dude that threatens to rape her. Or follows her home and rings her doorbell at odd hours. Or takes off his shirt and chases her through the street. How do we women, walking at 10pm through a poorly lit and empty park, know that Smile Guy isn’t one bad interaction away from becoming Sexual Violator Guy? This is where we need male allies to understand: yes, dudes yelling random things at us is annoying. Most of us are not against street harassment just because we’re annoyed. We’re against it because we’ve been followed, we’ve been raped, we’ve been killed. We’ve met Sexual Violator Guy, and that motherfucker almost always starts out as Smile Guy. Hey Sexy Guy. I Love Your Juicy Lips Guy. So don’t turn a blind eye to gateway behavior. Don’t shrug, say it’s standard for men to pursue women and that it’s not harmful. It’s not harming you, but you can’t see a woman’s hand clenched around her keys in her pocket just in case she has to clock I’d Really Like To Ride That Ass Guy at 3am on her way home after a night out. What can you do when you see I’d Really Like To Ride That Ass Guy tell Scared As All Get Out Woman, “Fuck you, ugly bitch” after she doesn’t respond to his advances? Be Asked Her If She Was Okay Guy. Or even Offered to Walk Her Home Guy. We could use more of these guys holding us down instead of Walked Right Past Her ‘Cause It Wasn’t That Bad Yet Guy.

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Ohio Hollaback! Appalachia reclaimed spaces where they were harassed.

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Norman, Oklahoma Staff from the University of Oklahoma Women's Outreach Center hung up posters and passed out informational flyers to 200 students on campus. They said, “For students who were unaware about the issue of street harassment, our campaign helped inform them about the problems associated with street harassment. It went well!�

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Portland, Oregon Fernlily Healing Arts organized an awareness initiative at Pioneer Square in Portland, Oregon, on April 11.

The organizer wrote, “The event was a success, the public was thoroughly engaged, and many women joined in and used the chalk to speak out against street harassment and sexual harassment. We also had many men who were curious…We will plan more art and movement activism events around Stopping Street Harassment Against Women. The more we stand up and make ourselves public, the more we can engage and educate the general public to help make changes towards eradicating sexually harassment against women.”

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania After a lot of hard work and fundraising, Hollaback! Philly launched a series of antiharassment ads on the public transportation system to coincide with International Anti-Street Harassment Week. Hollaback! Philly’s Rochelle Keyhan and Anna Kegleranswered were the ones behind the effort. Rochelle: Our tourist bureau here, VisitPhilly.com, has an “Love, Philadelphia, XOXO” series. One of the ads was this huge billboard that explicitly street harassed everyone who walked past it, commenting “I like the way you move it move it”. We asked them to take it down, and they refused while adamantly defending the advertisement as not offensive… We realized that if we want the conversation to reflect our reality, we need to get out there and force our voices to be heard. Anna: One ad outlines various catch phrases men said to a group of high school students we did a workshop with for buildOn’s Alternative Spring Break in 2012 (in partnership with Nuala Cabral). They created a video PSA from their experiences, and the stories they recounted largely inspired that advertisement. The other ads we developed through many conversations within Hollaback Philly and through input with other activists. I did a lot of research on framing and messaging to create them as conversation starters that would encourage even the non-believers to think twice about street harassment. We tried to enter the conversation from various perspectives to engage the largest number of people, so there are three larger advertisements, and three smaller, simpler advertisements, all to get people thinking about the issue. Rochelle: I am most hopeful that men will use the ads to start conversations with women in their lives who may not share with them the harassment they experience every week. #EndSHWeek 2013

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania SSH board member and co-founder of FAAN Mail Nuala Cabral wrote about the AntiStreet Harassment Week action in Philadelphia that took place on April 13. “Respect me.” “I am more than what you see.” “I want to feel safe.” --- We chalked these messages on the sidewalk during a demonstration for International Anti Street Harassment Week in Philadelphia to resonate with anyone who has felt dehumanized, objectified and targeted while walking down the street. This was my third year helping to organize a street harassment demonstration with FAAN Mail (Fostering Activism & Alternatives Now), a media literacy/activist project I co-founded with women of color. This year several young people joined us, including Crystal, 17. “By writing these messages we are taking the streets back and helping people see street harassment as a problem,” she said. A participant of Girls Advocacy Leadership Series (GALS), Crystal, has been working on an awareness raising campaign about street harassment with her peers. This April was her first time joining the international effort.

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In conversations, we discussed with strangers that women and girls are not the only targets of gender based street harassment. Trans and non gender conforming people often encounter street harassment, and research shows that when they do - it tends to be more aggressive and violent. Crystal’s poster, “Stop Gender Policing,” provoked conversations about the ways in which gender expression and sexuality shape experiences with street harassment. Nina Lyricspect, a teaching artist who joined the community engagement efforts said her highlight was taking the message to the subway where dozens of passengers shared a “roar in applause and agreement with our cause.” Nina was gathered by community members from Hollaback Philly, GALS, FAAN Mail, the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement and several male allies. The subway ride was an opportunity to create dialogue around ads recently launched by Hollaback Philly. Already the ads have caught national attention, but we wanted to engage people on the trains about the messages…. During the week of street harassment efforts, many women of color were simultaneously resisting Universal Music Group artist, Rick Ross, who boasted on a track about date rape…. Public figures like Rosa Clemente helped galvanize public outrage which led Rick Ross to tell his fans in a radio interview that his lyrics didn’t “condone rape” arguing that his words were misinterpreted. As public outrage grew it became more organized. Ultra Violet launched a petition calling on Reebok to drop Rick Ross as their spokesperson. After 90,000 signatures, a direct action at the Reebok stores and a series of articles, blogs and video responses on the internet, Reebok finally dropped Ross on April 12. That same day, Ross issued a more thoughtful apology, affirming that his lyric did indeed promote the drugging and sexual assault of women. While the Reebok success was a small win, we are reminded that this is ultimately bigger than Rick Ross and the companies, (i.e. Ciroc) that still support him. We are operating in a corporate media landscape that routinely promotes and glorifies rape culture. When rape culture is promoted through media it reinforces the painful power dynamics that Mari talked about, where oppressed people cut each other down in order to regain some dignity and power. These harmful media messages both reflect and shape our lived experience, including our experiences with street harassment. “I need the streets and airwaves to not prey on my 6-year-old niece,” shared Nina during our community engagement efforts….” As Sexual Assault Awareness Month comes to a close, the struggle continues. We will continue to resist rape culture, and the ways in which it manifests in media and in our everyday lives. Remaining silent and patiently waiting for change is not an option. We want change now. #EndSHWeek 2013

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Another FAAN Mail co-founder, Mari Morales-Williams, also wrote about the activities in Philadelphia. For the third consecutive year, a group women of color feminists and her allies organized in Philadelphia to connect this post-industrial city to a global movement against violence: International Anti-Street Harassment Week. Once celebrated in March as a single day call to take to the streets, it now takes place during April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). One of the pivotal strengths of having groups like FAAN Mail lead the movement in a diverse city like Philadelphia, is that we intimately know the importance of naming the intersections. As Audre Lorde urges us to learn from civil rights movements from the 1960’s, there are no single issue problems because we are not single issue people. Even as there are attempts to cast us out of the history of change – as seen just weeks ago when little coverage was made for women of color regarding the pressure Reebok felt to drop Rick Ross – we are on the street. We are critiquing and loving, resisting and hoping, demanding and uplifting. We are raising up our allies even as they hesitate to be one. We are the borderland guerrillas. The waning breeze on that sunny Saturday offered a sobering comfort, as we gathered with about 30 or so youth and male allies, our signs a mix of austere demands, “Police Harass you/Don’t Harass the Sistas” ,“End Street Harassment”, and warm reminders, “I am your sister/ mother/ daughter”, “I want to feel safe.” Ever vigilant of making connections, we also had signs of memoriam: “We remember Trayvon Martin”, “We Remember Sakia Gunn.” Like countless of girls and women everyday, they too had gravely suffered, from the fear and hatred that their very bodies invoked in the White and Black heterosexual imagination. The heart of the activism work that day was in the face-to-face conversations with everyday people, women and men, girls and boys, hearing their own testimonies of street violence, their opinions on why it happens, and dialoging about how we as a community can keep our streets safe for everybody. While most women and several men seemed grateful for a space to acknowledge street harassment as a problem, there were also men, young and old, who engaged in victim blaming. If only women would respect themselves and dress right, then they would get respect. They know what they are getting when they dress like that. This was a conversation we would come to have each and every year we did street team work. Apart of what makes this thinking dangerous is twofold. One, in evoking victim blaming it justifies disrespect and violence that makes individuals into victims, and two, it silences all the girls, women, and LGBT who self-police their bodies in hopes of being respected, and are disrespected anyway.

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I want to briefly share a conversation with Jay, an older African American man in his 40’s who we met at LOVE park, a popular photo op for tourists, and a notorious gathering place for those pushed to margins - the homeless, skater boys/girls, and LGBT youth. I’m hoping to highlight one of the ways we have learned how to answer that common assumption about street harassment, and inspire men to become allies in the process. Our conversation sounded something like this: Me: “Even if you think women don’t have respect for themselves when they come out the house in a g-string, why do you think it’s okay to use abusive language?” Jay: “You can’t ask for what you don’t give.” Me: “But she ain’t disrespecting anybody else. Shouldn’t we expect more respect from our men, shouldn’t we have higher standards as human beings?” Jay: “Yea, but these young bulls don’t even have respect for themselves. They quick to shoot nowadays, they were just shooting around my way last week ” Me: “So how else can we change that if we don’t talk about respect, for everybody, not matter what you are are wearing or look like. Shouldn’t that be a basic code for the street? How can we expect these young boys to show respect when grown men don’t expect them to have any? Shouldn’t the men be teaching our boys better?” Jay: “You right about that, they won’t listen to you, just because you a woman.” Me: “Now that’s a problem in and of itself, but they would listen to you. And that’s your power in all this, they would listen to you.” He looked off and nodded, and I knew I touched a part of him that hadn’t been touched in a long time; some stranger woman, was believing in his power for good. This short exchange only captures the 30 minute back and forth that we had, but throughout it I kept pushing him to see his role in changing the problem, by acknowledging it as a problem, and agreeing to talk about it with others. We made connections between police harassment and gender harassment, community accountability and gun violence, the school to prison pipeline and our hopes for future generations. By the end of the conversation, Jay began to talk about how youth need programs and better resources to keep them off the streets. He made it very clear to say, “We can’t just talk about these problems, we have to give the youth something.” Women of color and her allies couldn’t agree more. Building allies is difficult but necessary work in the movement to end street harassment, especially when men don’t recognize street harassment as a problem or see the purpose in becoming an ally. We know that a lot of the push back and disagreement is based on faulty gender politics, and it’s in that struggle and tension that allow for breakthrough moments. As women of color organizers, we understand that apart of taking back these streets is being in them and changing what those politics look like. We believe we can take back the code of respect and rid the streets of all violence- for women and men, and for our future. #EndSHWeek 2013

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Scranton, Pennsylvania The Jane Kopas Women’s Center at the University of Scranton collaborated with the Off Campus Advisory Board to host a "pop-up event." They said, “This consisted of setting up a table in which coffee and bagels were offered by the Off Campus Advisory Board for off-campus students to have while walking to early classes. The Jane Kopas Women's Center had a tri-fold which explained what street-harassment is and suggestions of appropriate interventions. The Jane Kopas Women's Center also handed out large bookmarks with information about street-harassment and interventions. Many students were very receptive to receiving the information.” They also had a table in The DeNaples Student Center. They handed out the tri-fold and bookmarks and students could share their stories of experiencing or witnessing street-harassment. The Women’s Center also posted information on social media.

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Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania Karol K. Weaver, an Associate Professor of History and Director of Women’s Studies at Susquehanna University held a chalk walk with her students on campus (despite rainy weather). She said, “The students liked the activity. We had a discussion before the chalk the walk and after. It (street harassment) is a problem they face. I think this issue is important!”

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State College, Pennsylvania SSH media volunteer Julie Mastrine recently graduated from Penn State University. She wrote about what she did: “Fighting street harassment doesn’t have to be difficult–sometimes it just takes bold font and a few sheets of paper. Last October, I helped to organize a student sidewalk protest of street harassment here in State College, PA, home to Penn State University. I graduated from PSU in December, but as a social media volunteer for Stop Street Harassment, I still wanted a way to spread the anti-street harassment message on campus. Transitioning from student activism into a full-time job has taken up a lot of my time, so I devised a way to get the message out quickly: bold fliers. With the help of my twin sister Amy (a lady with killer InDesign skills), we created the fliers. We wanted something fearless yet simple, something big and loud that would grab the attention of tired collegiate passerby. We wanted something that would truly stand out against the mass of fliers already cluttering bulletin boards on Penn State’s campus. We came up with these simple designs, using clean fonts and bold colors to illustrate hurtful comments women often hear on the street. We made sure to couple them with fliers that spoke to our real message: “My body is not public space,” and “It’s not a compliment, it’s harassment.” Creating fliers is perfect for spreading an anti-harassment message in the streets, in buildings, or even online. Fliers won’t hurt your wallet (just a few cents per print!) and offer an easy way to engage in anti-street harassment efforts even when you’re strapped for time. Here’s to fliers, feminists, and a future free from harassment!”

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State College, Pennsylvania SSH media volunteer Julie Mastrine wrote about more activities that took place on Penn State’s campus: “Street harassment is often overlooked here at Penn State, where the lure of a Nittany Lion football game–or even a typical Friday night–often leaves the streets amassed with partiers. Too often, Penn State students use alcohol as an excuse to say or shout crude comments to women on the street. As part of this year’s International Anti-Street Harassment Week and Penn State’s Sexual Violence Awareness Week, student feminists invited their peers to share street harassment stories with the public. They shared the images in a Facebook album, which you can view here.”

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Houston, Texas All of the Houston Community College campuses participated in the week by holing a "unity march" on April 7 and by sidewalk chalking and distributing flyers on April 12.

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FredericksBurg, Virginia Hollaback! Fredericksburg hosted a series of events including chalking at Market Square on April 7, a Hollaback Hang at Hyperio from on April 10, and on April 13, an antistyle shaming photo campaign at Forage and a show at Populuxe.

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Hollaback! Fredericksburg held an “anti-style shaming/anti-slut shaming photo campaign with FORAGE. “Clothing comes up a lot in the street harassment stories people post on Hollaback. But we have the right to not be ashamed of what we wear and we certainly have the right to not be objectified for rocking our own style.

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Reston, Virginia As the founder of International Anti-Street Harassment Week, I raised awareness online throughout every day and helped lead activities in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, M.D. On the last morning of the week, I also went to a few spots near my home where I’ve been harassed to reclaim them. Almost no one was out yet, but one woman saw me write my first message. She asked me what I was doing. After I told her, she shared some of her stories and thanked me for bringing attention to the issue. It didn’t rain for several days so many people saw the messages.

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Richmond, Virginia Hollaback! Richmond did sidewalk chalking, passed out a zine about street harassment, and hosted a workshop during the week.

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Washington, D.C. On April 7, Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) and Stop Street Harassment, FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture (which rallied lots of participation for its new photo project on consent), the DC Rape Crisis Center, Defend Yourself, and fellow community activists held a sidewalk chalking event to spread anti-street harassment messages across Dupont Circle, a popular park in the heart of Washington, D.C. CASS staff member Julia Strange wrote, “Colorful chalk with phrases like, “My name is not ‘Hey Baby,’” “Street harassment is not a compliment,” “My body is NOT public space,” and “I deserve safe streets” can be found all over the Dupont Circle area. From passersby to those enjoying the beautiful day, participants received lots of positive feedback and engaged in great conversations about preventing street harassment.”

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Washington, D.C. Defend Yourself self defense instructor Lauren Taylor held a free workshop on April 7 at the Viva Center (they donated their space). Students left the class feeling energized and more empowered to be in public spaces alone and to stand up for themselves.

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Washington, D.C. In partnership with Collective Action for Safe Spaces and Stop Street Harassment, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) held an outreach day on April 10 at Anacostia Metro Station. Around 20 transit police officers and WMATA staff distributed flyers, teal bracelets with the police phone number, and tshirts to hundreds of people during rush hour.

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Washington, D.C. Every Day Feminism, It’s a Grrrl, and Stop Street Harassment handed out flyers and did a participatory art project with college students at American University on April 11.

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Washington, D.C. Self defense and anti-sexual harassment expert Marty Langelan hosted two campus workshops about street harassment at American University and Georgetown University Law Center. Both workshops were very well received by the students.

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Online Activism From tweet chats to posting images on social media to sharing stories on blogs and Tumblr, a lot of people raised awareness about street harassment online.

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Tweet Chats All week Twitter was filled with #EndSHWeek and #EndSH tweets about street harassment. There were also five specific tweet chats on five days led by different groups about various topics. They were all very well attended and engaged a lot of people in discussions about the issues. Four of the five chats were storified/recorded.

4/8/13: Street harassment of LGBQT individuals tweet chat, led by @fem2pt0, @hollabackbmore & @patrickryne 4/9/13: Male ally tweet chat led by @MenStopViolence 4/10/13: Sexualization of girls/women in the media tweet chat led by @FAANmail, @Womensmediacntr (no storify) 4/11/13: Sex segregation in public spaces tweet chat led by @bell_Bajao and @blank_noise and volunteers who live-tweeted from various modes of public transportation 4/12/13: Harassment on public transportation (& elsewhere) tweet chat led by @everydaysexism

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Twitter

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WeBINARS The American Bar Association Division for Public Education and Insights Magazine held a free Webinar with Professor Laura Beth Nielsen on April 9. She discussed her research on how courts intervene in offensive public speech scenarios. She addressed the legal distinctions between different types of offensive speech and how courts and citizens have responded. METRAC hosted a free webinar about preventing street harassment on April 10.

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TUMBLR

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Videos

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The White Ribbon Project created this graphic for International Anti-Street Harassment Week as well as a webpage where men can learn more about what they can do.

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Emily Harris in Sarasota, FL, and Elizabeth Bolton in Paris, France, were among the many people to post images on social media to spark conversations and raise awareness.

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Meet us on the street in 2014!

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International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2013 Report