Spring is in the air, and so is our social justice seeking spirit. We begin by sharing about street harassment.
Street harassment is an all too familiar experience for many, especially women and girls. Depending on what study you look to, anywhere between 65% to 99% of women and girls have experienced street harassment. 25% of men reported experiences with street harassment, with a higher percentage of LGBT-identified men reporting mostly homophobic and transphobic slurs.
Street Harassment is defined as “unwelcome interactions in public spaces between strangers that are motivated by gender/sexism and cause someone to feel sexualized, intimidated, embarrassed, humiliated, objectified, angry, or unsafe. It includes: unwanted leering and whistling, “catcalls,” sexually explicit comments, demands for a smile, persistent demands for a date or phone number after you’ve said no, calling someone a bitch, dyke, or fag, and it can escalate into following, groping, indecent exposure, and even sexual assault.”
While we are using the language “street harassment,” this kind of abuse can happen anywhere, even in schools.
What can we do do end this epidemic and make spaces safe and respectful for all?
RAPP at Truman H.S. is here to engage in dialogue, offer support and resources, and participate in community events aimed at not just raising awareness of street harassment, but what we can do to address and end it.
For more information, visit these amazing partner organizations – www.meetusonthestreet.org/action/ and www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/statistics for more information.