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USA: New Yorkers Share Their #Harassmentis Stories

In correspondents, street harassment | on 10.20.13 | by | Comments ( 0 )

By: Maggie Freleng, NYC, USA, SSH Correspondent

HarassmentIs Chalking in NYC

“#Harassmentis being called a terrorist because I wear a Hijab,” one slogan said.

This was just one of dozens written in chalk on the pavement in Washington Square Park in New York for the #Harassmentis chalk walk hosted by Hollaback!, an international organization to end street harassment.

In an effort to raise awareness of how different people are affected by street harassment, Hollaback! launched their newest publication “#HarassmentIs: An exploration of identity and street harassment.”

Proceeding the launch, Hollaback! also hosted a tweetup on Twitter, encouraging people to share their experiences with street harassment.

In addition, the chalk walk  was also meant to inspire people to join the conversation around street harassment.

“Chalk walking is a way for people to get together to express their views in public spaces and engage with community,” Debjani Roy, deputy director of Hollaback! said.

She said the chalk walk was a way to promote the #harassmentis guide while engaging the community in the conversation and raising awareness about street harassment publically.

The #Harrassmentis guide is a way to further explore how harassment affects different people. The guide is a way to make stories that already existed on the Hollaback! blog accessible and presentable to everyone.

“We wanted to put the stories in terms that everyone can understand globally,” Roy said, who also noted they were particularly trying to reach a younger generation. .

About 30-35 people showed up on Friday to participate in the chalk walk. However, Roy said she was most impressed with how many bystanders joined in.

Most people were excited to join in after reading the statements and asking questions about what was going on.

Harassment is something many people can relate to no matter who you are: race, religion, gender, etc.

“#Harassmentis trying to walk like a man for fear of assault,” another slogan said.

The chalk walk was a success and on that beautiful day in a New York park, intersectionality, harassment and the consequences of harassment were shared with the world.

“It was very interactive,” Roy said. “People showed a lot of interest.”

If you weren’t in New York and want to share your experience, hashtag “Harassmentis” on Twitter and keep the conversation going.

Maggie is a Brooklyn based freelance writer and photographer focusing on social justice and women’s issues. She currently writes for Vitamin W. Maggie graduated with a B.A in Journalism and English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2011, concentrating on dystopian literature. You can read more of her writing on her blog or follow her on Twitter, @dixiy89.

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