In cities across the world, women from all walks of life and of all ages are faced with street harassment. From cat-calls, unsolicited comments, jeering, groping, public indecency  – and when women object to such degrading treatment, they’re often accused of not accepting a compliment, or having a sense of humour failure. Yes, dear reader, the mind does boggle at how whistling at a woman, like you would at a dog across the road, could ever be seen as a compliment?

Not only is street harassment one of the most pervasive forms of gender-based violence, but it is also seldom reported as few countries offer women any legal recourse, or public protection.

But things are slowly changing, due to amazing organizations like HOLLABACK and STOP STREET HARASSMENT, who have blazed a trail for women world wide to feel safe in public spaces.

 

street harassment

how about you shut your face?

While we’re often tempted to let our harassers get off the hook and ignore their comments, this lack of action condones their harassment and encourages them to continue. Simple, assertive responses like “Stop harassing me” and calm confident body language work best. Use your imagination and come up with something witty and creative.

Shouting and swearing are only going to make other passersby think you’re crazy and take the side of your harasser. Try rather to win these bystanders over by keeping calm and using sentences like, “Take your hand off my leg”, “Stop whistling at me”, or “Put your penis back in your pants and stop touching yourself”.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES do you want the situation to escalate into violence. If you are feeling at all afraid, carry on walking and report the incident.

In the mean time, check out this awesome link for some really great ways to assert yourself:

ANTI-HARASSMENT STRATEGIES


street harassment

how about you shut your face?

Had an unpleasant experience on the streets, or any other public place? Share your story with us and read others, as we get the community talking about street harassment!

“Life for women & girls in SA… harassment just seems to be an accepted part of it!”

One… just ONE story. Hmm. Ok! Last day of primary school (12 years old) and my best friend & I are walking home in Plumstead (Cape Town) when a truck passes us. As we wait on the side of the road
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“Better run faster baby, if I catch you, I’ll rape you!”

ONE story?! There are so many cases of complete strangers (usually groups of men) wolf whistling / making enthusiastic gestures at me while I\’m walking past them on the street. I suppose these kinds
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“Hey, you two girls are sexy. It’s a pity you’re lesbians.”

I was sitting in the car with my girlfriend, when a teenage boy walked past and shouted, “Hey, you two girls are sexy. It’s a pity you’re lesbians.” I jumped out of the car and confronted him (I am
Read More →

Share your story

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street harassment

how about you shut your face?

Browse our collection of media to end street harassment.

STOP STREET HARASSMENT PSA FROM SOUTH AFRICA

STOP STREET HARASSMENT CAMPAIGN Teaser

STOP STREET HARASSMENT CAMPAIGN

STOP STREET HARASSMENT Campaign from India

Anti Street Harassment Campaign from India

This video reached over 30 million viewers in India. Watch what the young man has to say, when he’s asked how he would feel if his sister were harassed!  
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“Tit for Tat” is the story about three women, who, sick of being harassed take to the streets armed with hidden cameras to catch their harassers in the act. And to confront them!

“Tit for Tat” is a tongue-in-cheek documentary that will raise awareness of street harassment as a social problem that MUST change. It will also present its viewers with real solutions to effectively dealing with harassers.

For more information on this exciting project, or to make a donation please feel free to contact us, or click on the button bellow.

street harassment

how about you shut your face?

We’re based in Cape Town, South Africa and would love to hear your comments, thoughts and opinions!

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In need of legal advice? “The Women Legal Centre is a non-profit, independently funded law centre, started by a group of lawyers.”

http://www.wlce.co.za/

For equality and justice contact Genderlinks

http://www.genderlinks.org.za/

Hollaback is an international movement to end street harassment and here is the link to South Africa’s very own Hollaback site!

http://southafrica.ihollaback.org/

 

street harassment

how about you shut your face?