Here are some of the stories relevant to street harassment I’ve read the last two weeks:
“OC Transpo will launch a new online tool to make it easier to report harassment on its buses next week — nearly two years after promising it.
The goal of the new tool is to collect reports from passengers and witnesses, some of whom may choose to remain anonymous, about incidents of sexual harassment or other “unacceptable or illegal behaviours,” OC Transpo says in a report prepared for the transit commission.
According to OC Transpo, it will be the first transit agency in Canada to permit such anonymous reporting when the reporting tool goes live on June 17.”
“This workshop can empower women to assert their boundaries and defend themselves if needed, but it’s not only about self-defense. It’s also about teaching women to recognize and respond to common dangerous situations, which more often involve people they know—not strangers in the bushes.
Known as the “red zone”, women in university are at heightened risk for sexual assault in the fall semester of their first year. A new poll by the Washington Post found 20 percent of women and five percent of men who attended college in the past four years report being sexually assaulted.
Historically, society has placed the onus on women to prevent sexual assault: Don’t walk home alone at night, don’t wear short skirts and all that. In recent years, public pressure from rape survivors and their allies has forced universities, police and politicians to look at the issue differently.
Slowly the onus has begun to shift away from women to prevent attackers from raping them and instead onto attackers to not rape women.
Consent and bystander intervention programs are also on the rise on college campuses.
It’s in this context that Senn and her co-authors researched the efficacy of a resistance program to prevent sexual assault.
The workshop they developed is one more tool in the rape-prevention toolbox. “
“This Ramadan, spliced into the TV soap operas that are popular during the fasting month, Egyptians will also be seeing some confrontational ads about sexual harassment. The ads launched in early June by HarassMap خريطة التحرش الجنسي, a local Egyptian organization, is part of a campaign that began last month called “Harasser = Criminal.
The public service announcements, each about a minute long, show how women are harassed in public spaces. One clip, which shows a man touching a woman on a bus, has gathered nearly 100,000 views to date.”
“It is seven in the evening and a girl is standing at a bus stop. Few boys whistle at her and pass comments. But the bystanders are mute. Why? Apparently the girl was asking for it. Will she tell anyone about what happened?
These are the questions Breakthrough India, a global human rights organisation, is asking people around the country. Their campaign #AskingForIt, which began in March this year, coaxes people to act, and stop sexual harassment in public places.”
Latin America: “Latin American women fight back against harassment”
“Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru have passed laws against street harassment that include, in Peru`s case, prison sentences of up to 12 years for the most extreme offenders.
Lawmakers in Argentina and Chile are considering similar bills.
In Chile, nine in 10 women have experienced some form of sexual harassment in public, and 70 percent say they have been traumatized by it, according to a 2014 study by the Observatory Against Street Harassment.
An Argentine study found similar numbers.
In a sign of the growing indignation, the Observatory has spread from Chile, where it was founded, to Colombia, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Uruguay.”
“With growing incidents of children, girls, and women trafficking on various pretensions following the April 25 quake and subsequent aftershocks, Dhading police have maintained special surveillance over such possible criminal acts in the district….
Policewomen from various police cells have been deployed to inquire about the destinations of travelling children, girls, and women, reasons for travelling, their relation with the persons accompanying them, besides other information, said Area Police Office Gajuri Inspector Hemanta Bhandari Chhetri.
As many as 46 children who were rescued from Nagdhunga while being taken to Kathmandu were handed over to their parents. Police had arrested seven persons in connection with the incident.”
“Community organizing group Brooklyn Movement Center is launching its first “Anti-Street Harassment Bike Patrol” in Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights aimed at calling out people who hassle women on the street. Once a week, volunteers will bike in groups of four to intervene in situations sparked by unsolicited remarks….
[The] patrol aims to change the culture around street harassment instead of criminalizing the behavior, Arellano said. Organizers see the patrols as a “building tool” to educate the community….The group held its first orientation on Wednesday and will host another meeting in the coming weeks, organizers said. For more information, contact the Brooklyn Movement Center at (718) 771-7000.”
“Researchers have documented the link between concerns about physical safety and psychological harm. Consider, for example, that before puberty, boys and girls experience depression and anxiety at similar rates, but, upon puberty, when street harassment, awareness of physical vulnerability and rape begin, girls are up to six times as likely to suffer from anxiety as teenage boys.”
“New York lawmakers have voted to establish the crime of improper touching or other sexual contact aboard the subway or other public transportation after an increasing amount of complaints from young women…The misdemeanor also applies to public buses or trains and carries a penalty of up to one year in prison.”
“Hey, ladies: On your way to and from work, you might want to think about dropping a few pounds—or maybe getting a boob job or butt injections. Those are just some of the messages advertisements for plastic surgery or diet products send to women who ride public transportation through signs that commonly line the interiors of buses and subway cars. It seems some feminist activists in New York City have had enough. They’re slapping stickers that proclaim “This Oppresses Women” on body-shaming promotions on the Big Apple’s mass transit systems….
“It’s hard to ignore [the advertisements] when you’re sitting on the subway and a guy is like, ‘Hey, baby, what’s up?’, and then you see these pseudo-naked women for the plastic surgery ads, and you’re like, ‘OK, this has to be connected,’ ” Munger told MTV News. “But then you realize the ads are contributing to how men treat you all the time, especially in New York, because it’s such a pervasive part of your life. You see these ads every single day in your face on the subway, on the street; it’s kind of ridiculous.”
“Most victims will freeze, if only briefly. Some will fight back, effectively. Some will resist in habitual, passive ways. Some will suddenly give in and cry. Others will become paralyzed, become faint, pass out or dissociate.
Few who have experienced these responses realize that they are brain reactions to attack and terror.
They blame themselves for “failing” to resist. They feel ashamed. (Men especially may see themselves as cowards and feel like they’re not real men.) They may tell no one, even during an investigation. Sadly, many investigators and prosecutors still don’t know some or all of these brain-based responses.
None of these responses – in women or men – entails consent or cowardice.
None is evidence of resistance too insufficient to warrant our respect and compassion. They are responses we should expect from brains dominated by the circuitry of fear (just as we should expect fragmented and incomplete memories).”
“Sgt. Scott Gaarde said between May 27 and June 8, the police department took five reports from women who described being accosted by a man in or near Willow Creek Park. The victims reported the suspect would ride past the women on a bicycle, then approach them from behind and grab them…
Based on their investigation and cooperation from the victims, Long was charged this week with four counts of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor. He was taken into custody on Wednesday and transported to the Johnson County Jail.”
“The researchers note that while women may display a similar dynamic when it comes to femininity, in general, the anxiety about not meeting gendered expectations is likely more severe among men since gender norms have expanded more for women — as the study puts it, “masculinity is more easily threatened than femininity.”
And the ways in which it may be reasserted when threatened are also way more harmful. This study joins a huge body of research on the dangers of threatened masculinity. While the overcompensation in this case is pretty benign — lying about their height, avoiding stereotypically “feminine” products — other research has hinted at how damaging it can be. In one study, men whose masculinity was threatened were more likely to hit a punching bag and, in another, to sexually harass a female interaction partner, and, in another, to blame the victim in a rape case.”
USA: “Anti-Street Harassment PSA”
“A music video inspired by Bollywood depicts a woman walking down the street. This short public service announcement makes a statement about street harassment in New York City through a re-appropriation of the lyrics of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”.
“Whether the legislation provides the culture change or the culture change spurs the legislation isn’t clear. There does, however, appear to be a real link between the two, and an ability for each to lean on the other as a means of building into our social fabric some kind of awareness of the damage wrought by street harassment.”Share on Facebook