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Help stop street harassment

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notacomplimentMeet us on the street during Anti-Street Harassment Week: 7 -13 April

Join tens of thousands of people worldwide using chalk, posters, street theatre, rallies and marches to reclaim public spaces.

Most women (more than 80 per cent worldwide) and LGBQT folks will face gender-based street harassment – ranging from catcalls, sexually explicit comments, sexist remarks, groping, leering and stalking, to public masturbation, and assault – at some point in their life.

Yet many people continue to downplay its seriousness.

They may say, “I don’t see it, so it must not be a problem,” or “You’re over-reacting, find something else to complain about,” or “With the way girls dress these days, what do you expect?” or “Stay home or put a bag over your head if you don’t like it,” or, “One person’s flirting is another person’s harassment.”

Seriously, these are things people say.

But street harassment limits people’s mobility and access to public spaces.

It is a form of gender violence and it’s a human rights violation.

It needs to stop.

International Anti-Street Harassment Week is a programme from Stop Street Harassment.

Its purpose is to raise awareness about street harassment through active engagement and amplification.

It is held in April because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the USA and springtime in the Northern Hemisphere.

While street harassment occurs year-round, spring is a time when there is an increase in the harassment because of the increased daylight hours and warmer weather that brings people outside.

Street harassment is often seen as an inevitable part of the change in seasons, but it shouldn’t be.

Spring is no excuse for street harassment. And we don’t like it.

On March 20, 2011, after only a month of planning, more than 2,000 people from at least 13 countries participated in International Anti-Street Harassment Day.

In 2012, it was expanded into a week, and more than 100 groups from over 20 countries co-sponsored the week and tens thousands of people participated

Want to join in this year?

Want to go to an event? On the website there are listings of events taking place around the world.

Want to conduct a survey on street harassment? There are tips to show you how.

Not sure what you want to do? There is a whole page full of ideas from street theatre to poster campaigns to pavement chalk!

On the tools page, there is a myriad of content you can use during the week: there are blank fliers that you can use to write a message on, bystander posters, logos and even pre-made fliers you can give out.

Participating can even be as easy as raising awareness about street harassment to your followers on Twitter or your friends on Facebook. It’s amazing how a little awareness can go a long, long, long way.

If you are posting to twitter, use the tag #EndSHWeek or #EndSH.

On Facebook, you can also change your profile picture to an image related to ending street harassment which can be found here.

The 2012 week was a great success. The Internet, the streets, the classrooms swelled with discussions, messages, stories, and reclamations of public spaces during Meet Us on the Street 2012. More than 100 groups from 21 countries and 5 continents participated, as did tens of thousands of individuals.

Read a wrap-up report about the week and view images.

Then join us in 2013.

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