This was a conversation thread on the Stop Street Harassment Facebook page about how a woman in London successfully stopped harassers at two different construction sites! She said I could post the information on the blog, too:
Jen Beaty-Love: Almost every day, I walk past a construction crew working on St. Bart’s hospital in the St. Paul’s area of central London. Almost every day, there is one worker who is aggressively creepy towards women and encourages his otherwise generally neutral co-workers to participate or smirk along. Today, he flustered a young woman so badly, she tripped, twisted her ankle, and walked away looking like she was going to cry. I noticed a comment card and took one, called the number listed and managed to get a photo of the main guy.
If anyone is experiencing the same problem, please call Skanska at 0800 028 1323.
Stop Street Harassment: i’m sorry this is happening to you, good for you for complaining! is it okay if I post your text and the two photos in a blog post so more people can see it and hopefully call?
Jen Beaty-Love: Yes, of course. I have to say Skanska is handling it very well. I dug around on their website, found the Head of External Communications, a woman named Tanya Barnes, and sent her en email. She promptly replied to me and has been passing my message and photo along to her colleagues and touching base with me along the way. I really appreciate it and feel they’re actually taking the claim seriously.
Jen Beaty-Love: Now if someone with the project at 199 Bishopsgate would do the same. Men on scaffolding shouting down at women on the sidewalk? Also not okay.
Jen Beaty-Love: ”Dear Jen, further to our earlier correspondence, I want to let you know that the investigation has begun and whilst we carry our the investigation, the individual is not currently working at our site.
Stop Street Harassment: This is great news! it’s a slow blog day because of the American holiday but I will put this on the blog tomorrow, including the correspondence w/the head of external communications, if that’s okay. well done for speaking out and doing something!!
Jen Beaty-Love:Thanks. I’m actually a fairly recent American transplant and am pleasantly surprised at the way this has been handled. In Texas (where I’m originally from) especially, it’s hard to have someone give this any real attention or consideration. I tracked down the source of the other construction site harasser (who was less aggressive and more clueless/annoying) and actually received an apology from the man himself as well as the company.
Jessica BarnOwl: Reading about your positive experiences with these situations makes me wish the U.S. would become a little more “progressive” when it comes to stuff like this. It’s almost as if it’s just an accepted part of society here. I’m glad this has been handled so well there!
Jen Beaty-Love: I hope the rest of the country (or even London) is more like this. I haven’t been here long enough to really say. It seems a bit better on the surface, but it’s hard to say in this instance. This neighborhood is the edge of the financial district and most of the people here during the day are wealthy and connected. I do think Skanska has done a stellar job regardless, but what it means for the overall culture remains to be seen.
Jen Beaty-Love: In the second location, the harasser’s boss emailed me personally to tell me what actions were taken and that the man in question was very sorry. He then asked if I felt more discipline was needed. I think in this case the man was not fully aware of how unwanted his comments really are, so I asked that only a warning be given and sent an email breaking down a few reasons why the attention is harassment and not flirtation. Hopefully this can be a teachable moment.Share on Facebook