Stories

Harassed when Walking Home

I was walking along the wash trail that runs with Bonanza to go home when this older black male on a bike came up to me. He asked me personal questions like ” don’t I know you” ” what’s your name” ” where’s your boyfriend” “where are you coming from” ” what school do you go to” ” why are you dressed so good late at night (it was 7 pm and still day light out)”. Of course I didn’t answer any of his questions and told him to leave. But he didn’t. So I told him a lie and said that I was going to my boyfriend’s house. He asked if he could escort me there and I told him no. While all of this was happening I made sure that I was being obvious that I did not want him around me and walking faster. After I told him to leave for a second time, he left. I then walked around out of my way home to make sure that he wasn’t following me again. And he wasn’t.

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News, Resources

HeartMob: Reclaiming the Internet from Harassers!

HeartMob, a new online platform where you can report harassment, receive support, and end online harassment, launches today! Sign up for an account now to become a #heartmobber and join the fight to reclaim our space online! iheartmob.org/

If you’ve experienced online harassment, HeartMob has your back!  HeartMob has officially launched, a platform where you can flood the internet with positive messages to counteract the negativity. If you need more than #goodvibes, ask for help documenting your harassment. You can even ask people to confront your harasser. It’s your story, you decide what you need. Sign up for an account now to become a #heartmobber and join the fight to reclaim our space online!

iheartmob.org/

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Stories

Anonymous Story-Harassment at School

I go to school with 3 boys who tell me transphobic, racist, homophobic things to upset me and call my partner a tranny among other things. I dont feel safe at school because theyre so aggressive.

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Stories

Anonymous Story – Too Scared to Say Anything

This guy just kept touching me on the bus. I don’t know what was happening but too scared to say anything. When I got off he kept making sexual remarks at me. I don’t know what happened or what to think. It just feels wrong

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Stories

Monica’s Story – 20% of women in college… 1 in 5

2013, Freshman year of college, Home game against Arizona State. My friends begged me to go, “we have to have these college experiences.” They kept saying, so we showed up to the buses that were taking students to and from Boyd Stadium; we got our free ‘go rebels’ t-shirts and loaded the bus. there were people screaming and cheering and rooting and tailgating, we get to Boyd Stadium and we go and find our seats, (which was damn near impossible) halfway through the game, of course we’re losing by a ton, I tell my friends I’m going to go to the concession stand after hitting the bathroom and ask them if they want anything. I walk up the bleachers and into the lobby and get to the concession stand and I start looking at the menu. there are people hollering and screaming of course, it’s a football game, I decide to start walking to the bathroom, I’m almost there when a guy grabs me pushes me against the wall pinning my arms down to my side and shoves his face in my breasts I scream and some guys pulled him off of me he starts yelling and hollering saying that why would I wear such a low cut shirt if I didn’t want to share my goodies. I decide at that point to text my friends and let them know that I was going home I was uncomfortable and just upset about the whole situation. So I go outside cross the street and wait for the shuttle bus; tons of people, huge crowd all waiting for the bus. we bored and get back to school. I hadn’t noticed that the same guy and his friend that had harassed me at that game were also on the bus, I guess they had been escorted off of the premises after he grabbed me or something. As I’m walking away I hear him scream “what a fucking tease, look at her showing off what she has and expecting us not to touch,” I start to walk fast and then I start to run they chase after me. when he, when they caught me he pushed me on the floor and said “this is what happened to a tease like you.” his friend didn’t help me, he didn’t stop him, he just watched.

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News, Resources

New Version of Hollaback App Launches Today!

Have you ever wanted to Holla on the go? Well you can now with the new, improved version of the Hollaback App!

Our updated smartphone app gives you the ability to do more than ever before. As always, you can share stories of experiencing and witnessing harassment right after they happen, without having to wait until you can get to a computer. Now, you can also see a history of stories you submit (and even share it via social media if you choose), look at the map for your city, read other folk’s stories, and let them know when you’ve got their back! You even have the option to choose between making a speedy report to get an incident on the map, or taking time to include the details of what you experienced.

For more details on how, and why, to use this awesome tool check out the FAQ below!

 

New App FAQ

What is street harassment?

How did the new app come about?

How is this app different from the old one?

How do I use the app?

Can I share my story anonymously?

What happens after I share my story?

Why should I share my story?

What happens with the information collected in the app?

I haven’t experienced street harassment. Can I still use the app?

What platforms is the app available on?

What if I don’t have a smartphone? Can I still tell my story?

 

What is street harassment?

Street harassment is a form of sexual harassment that takes place in public spaces. At its core is a power dynamic that constantly reminds historically subordinated groups (women and LGBTQ folks, for example) of their vulnerability to assault in public spaces. Furthermore, it reinforces the ubiquitous sexual objectification of these groups in everyday life. At Hollaback!, we believe that what specifically counts as street harassment is determined by those who experience it. While there is always the classic, “Hey baby, nice tits!”, there are many other forms that go unnoticed. If you feel like you have been harassed, Hollaback!

 

How did the new app come about?

After launching our app in 2010, we noticed that over time more and more people were using it to share their experiences with harassment, but that most people were only using it to report some of their harassment and rarely their complete story. We also heard from users that they wanted to be able to explore their personal history of harassment in addition to being able to see it in the context of their community. We built this new app with that feedback in mind.

Development for the app started in Summer 2014. With the first draft of our new app in hand, we went through several rounds of feedback with our site leaders. We also had an opportunity to use human-centered design with a network of global students to improve upon the apps in Fall 2014. The designs were locked in by the end of 2014, and development started. The new app was funded thanks to our generous partners at Voqal and Catapult.

 

How is this app different from the old one?

Through this new app, it takes under 5 seconds to report and sharing a narrative of your story is optional (but encouraged). We’ve also added the ability for users to track their personal history of harassment. You’re able to see a comprehensive view of where you’ve been harassed and you have the option to share this information with your social networks via Facebook, Twitter, and email. By telling your story and sharing it with people in your community you can help raise awareness and encourage your community to have your back.

 

How do I use the app?

To login:

1. Download the app from the iTunes Store or Google Play.

a) The first time you open the app you’ll need to create an account or login through Facebook. To create a new account, enter your email address and a password that contains 8 characters with at least one capital letter and 1 number or special symbol.

b) Using the drop down menus select your language and local Hollaback! site. If there are no Hollaback! sites near you, click “none in my area.”

c) You will receive an automated confirmation email once you’ve finished signing up.

2. Login to the app using the email and password you just set.

To access other’s stories, provide support, and share your story:

1. Every time you login you’ll be automatically directed to the “Home” page.

a) This will show a map based on your GPS location.

b) You can tap on the dots on the map to read other people’s stories and provide support.

c) You can also search for stories in a specific location by typing in an address or area in the search bar at the top of the screen.

d) When you click on and read someone’s story you can click “I’ve Got Your Back” to let the person know they’re not alone.

2. To submit your story click “Take Action” at the bottom of the page

3. On the first screen click either “I Experienced” or “I Witnessed”

4. Next select as many boxes as you’d like to categorize what happened. Your options include:

i.  verbal abuse

ii.  sexual gestures

iii.  inappropriate touching

iv.  being followed

v.  indecent exposure

vi.  assault

vii.  homophobia

viii.  transphobia

ix.  racism

x.  other

5. After selecting the categories, click “Next” at the bottom of the page.

6. At this point, you can choose to use your first name or remain anonymous. Once you choose, you’ll be directed to the next screen.

7. On the following screen click where on the map you experienced or witnessed street harassment.

a) If your GPS is on, the app will pull up a map based on your location.

b) You can tap your location on the map, or

c) You can also set your location by clicking on “search for address” and manually typing in your location, or the location where you experienced or witnessed street harassment.

8. Click “Submit.”

9. After clicking “Submit” you can choose to tell more details about your story and/or attach a photo. If you are in NYC, you can choose to share your story with the NYC Council.

10. Click “Finish” to return to the home screen.

To view and share your personal maps:

1. On the “Profile” page you can view all of your experiences of harassment on one map.

2. By clicking on a shared story (dots) you can re-read it and see who has your back.

3. Click on “Share Map” to circulate your personal map of street harassment on social media so that your community can have your back.

4. To Logout scroll to the bottom of the “Profile” page and click “Log Out.”

 

Can I share my story anonymously?

Yes! First off, Hollaback! will never, in any circumstance, show your last name, email, or any contact information. You also have the option to remain completely anonymous by hiding your first name as well.

In order to share your story anonymously, you still need to be logged into the app. You can choose to login through Facebook or create an account. From there you can click through to submit your story, following the guidelines above. Once you have mapped your story and categorized it, you will be asked if you would like to use your first name or remain anonymous.

If you choose to remain anonymous, the story will appear on the public map and your personal map but it will not be associated with your name or user. If you choose to share your personal map with your network, only your public stories will be shared among your network.

 

What happens after I share my story?

Every story you submit will appear on your personal map and Hollaback!’s main map. If you share a photo or narrative with your experience, this gets sent to our system moderators who will check to make sure your story aligns with our posting policy. Until the moderators approve your story, only you can see it. Once it is published it appears on the public map and, if the story is not anonymous, it will appear when you share your personal map with your network.

 

Why should I share my story?

By telling your story you are transforming an experience that is lonely and isolating into one that is sharable. You change the power dynamic by flipping the lens off of you and onto the harasser. On top of that, you enter a worldwide community of people who’ve got your back. Your stories are inspiring legislators, journalists, academics, and the guy on the corner to take street harassment seriously and create solutions that make everyone feel safe.

 

What happens with the information collected in the app?

Every story that is approved through the moderation process will appear on the public map. You are able to control whether your story is shared anonymously or attached to your name. Though your story is public, we will never share your contact information with anyone.

If you live in NYC you can choose to send your street harassment information to City Council. If you choose to participate, your story will be sent to the Councilmember in the district in which you were harassed through a program called “Councilstat.” Councilstat is a NYC-specific government database that tracks all citizen issues are brought to the attention of the Council. It was launched to make Councilmembers more responsive to their communities. To ensure that these stories do not get lost in a government database, Hollaback! will issue annual reports that look at issues and trends across New York City. We’ll use these reports to advocate for policy recommendations related to education and prevention. These include, but are not limited to, safety audits, improved street lighting, educational workshops in middle and high schools, and public service announcements on subways and buses. Please note, your information and your story will not be shared with the police.

 

I haven’t experienced street harassment. Can I still use the app?

Yes!  First of all, you can use the app to share stories of street harassment that you’ve witnessed. If you’re a bystander in a situation, it’s important to learn how to intervene AND to share your story. On top of that, you can use the app to read the stories of other people who have been harassed. Once you read someone’s story you can click the “I’ve Got Your Back” button and let them know they’re not alone.

 

What platforms is the app available on?

You can find the app on  iTunes or Google Play. Over 20,000 people have downloaded the app so far.

 

What if I don’t have a smartphone? Can I still tell my story?

Of course! You can still tell your story online through ihollaback.org and our local chapters around the world.

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Stories

My Harasser Was Pushing A Stroller

As i was getting into my car a man walked by pushing a stroller (!!) and said “hi beautiful”

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Events, News

An Activist’s ABCs

In case you hadn’t heard, last week Hollaback Vegas held a very special event called An Activist’s ABCs. This free, 3-day feminist camp was opened up to young activists age 15 to 20 interested in volunteering with Hollaback Vegas (and by extension, The Rape Crisis Center). We were so excited to have 6 new people join our team!

 

The event was graciously hosted by The Writer’s Block, an independent local bookstore, in their amazing Codex space. We had a bunch of amazing guest presenters from the folks at the Las Vegas Zine Library  and Planned Parenthood, to local public speakers and writers. Here are just a few of the things our attendees learned and did:

  • Zine making
  • The connection between rape culture and the beauty standard
  • activist poetry
  • the personal essay
  • public speaking
  • patch & sticker making
  • active bystander intervention

Click here to see photos of these amazing sessions and more!

An Activist’s ABCs was so much fun and we learned so many new things, but the very best part was getting to know our newest team members. We are so excited for the coming year working together. Stay tuned here on the Hollaback Vegas blog or visit us on Facebook or Twitter and be the first to hear about all of the cool projects we have coming up – there will be lots of ways to join the movement this year!

Couldn’t make it to An Activist’s ABCs? That’s okay! You can still join the Hollaback Vegas team. If you’re between the ages of 15 and 20 and you’d like to get your feminist activism on, email us at [email protected] to find out when our next meeting is!

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