Last week I decided to go for a jog. There I was, minding my own business and humming along to Lana Del Rey, when a truck slowed down next to me. The driver decreased his speed just enough to pull the car up to where I was on the sidewalk and proceeded to bark at me before he sped off. Charming, right?
This is just one example of the many types of street harassment women and LGBTQ people face every single day all over the world. You might know it as cat-calls, whistling, or groping, but one thing is clear: if you’ve spent any time outside, you’ve probably experienced this gender-based form of violence.
This week marks the second annual International Anti-Street Harassment Week, which means groups all over the world are taking to the streets to reclaim public spaces. Want to know how you can meet them on the streets? Here are four ways you can help end street harassment.
+ Become Street Smart
Still unclear what street harassment is? No worries! You can learn more about what it is, who it affects and how you can help end it thanks to Stop Street Harassment. Brush up, become “street” smart, and you’ll be ready to pound the pavement for the cause.
+ Hit the Streets
The activists behind the movement really want you to meet them on the streets. You can find a list of local events here, and if you don’t see one in your area, don’t panic. Taking the cause to the streets is as simple as grabbing some chalk and writing your message on the sidewalk.
I know Gwen said she “ain’t no Hollaback girl,” but I think she’d approve of what the Hollaback! team is trying to accomplish. The next time someone makes a public space uncomfortable for you through street harassment, you can send a post to an international activist community via the Hollaback! app.
+ Tweet It Out
Not ready to reclaim the streets but want to take part in the conversation? There are virtual chats on Twitter happening all week long, so log on and get ready to tweet up a storm. Make sure you use the official #EndSHWeek hashtag in your tweets.
You have the right to feel safe in public. Tweet us and let us know why you’re committed to fighting street harassment.