Guest Post for International Anti-Street Harassment Week
By Sofia DiPasquale
Hollaback! is a global network of grassroots activists working to end all forms of harassment. We believe that everyone has the right to exist in public space without fear, and that bystander intervention and story-sharing are key to creating a harassment-free world. We’re hosting regular bystander intervention trainings to give people the tools and knowledge to act up and fight back against harassment when they see it happen. You can share stories of harassment or bystander intervention on our website.
Since the 2016 presidential election in the U.S., we’ve seen a spike in the amount of stories we’ve been receiving – particularly racist, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant harassment. Harassment disproportionately affects marginalized communities, especially people who face intersecting oppression. We recognize that not everyone feels safe intervening in every harassment situation, especially when you belong to the community that is being targeted. Our bystander intervention training outlines five options of ways to intervene, ranging from directly confronting the harasser to documenting the situation, so you always have a choice when you’re deciding the best way to respond.
Overwhelmingly, people sharing stories of harassment say that they wish someone had stepped in during the harassment or checked in with them after to let them know that someone has their back. We’re trying to get as many people trained up on bystander intervention as possible so we can begin to create communities where people affirm and protect each other in public space, and no one has to feel uncomfortable or unsafe. You can find out more bystander intervention resources here.
Sofia DiPasquale is a communications intern at Hollaback! If you’re in New York City, join their Anti-Street Harassment Week rally from 2-4 p.m. at Tompkins Square Park.Share on Facebook