Sharing Stories to Combat Sexual Assault and Street Harassment
Posted on April 4, 2014 by Matisse Bustos Hawkes
We have long focused on supporting survivors of gender-based violence to tell their stories as part of campaigns that catalyze change in behaviors, policy or laws. That’s why we’re happy to see how much attention activists are generating around these issues as part of Anti-Street Harassment Week and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Here are a few activities happening this week/month. Many of them focus on sharing personal stories. Please share other actions and resources you know about in the comments section.
Al Jazeera America launched a #TrackingAssault this week in an effort to highlight stories of assault and efforts to prevent assault and bring justice to survivors. They’re asking viewers to contribute personal stories and resources. The series will air on its evening news program “America Tonight.”
The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the U.S. has a list of five actions you can do and share this month on their website. One of the easiest is to share information on social media, using the hashtag #SAAM, where “you can educate your networks about sexual violence prevention and recovery!”
Hollaback!, the international empowerment organization working to end street harassment, has just published research from 16 of its affiliate offices globally. “Comments from “You’d look good on me” to groping, flashing and assault are a daily, global reality for women and LGBTQ individuals” according to the organization. But:
“[S]treet harassment is rarely reported, and culturally accepted as ‘the price you pay’ for being a woman or for being gay. The long-term impacts include depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as a reduced sense of safety that can limit earnings, decrease mobility, and interrupt their ability to fully engage with civic life.
They’re organizing their efforts to share information online and fight back with the hashtag #EndSH this week. You can also read and share your own story of harassment on their website.
Our Human Rights Channel has also featured videos from organizations across the Middle East participating in the discussion.
Here is a video from the collective blog network Nawaat in Tunisia with interviews of young people in the capital of Tunis about attitudes towards women and harassment:
And in this video from Egyptian organization, Dignity Without Borders, we hear what young boys think of harassment of women in their communities:
We recently produced the Guide to Conducting Interviews with Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in both a written format and a video series. The written guide is free and downloadable in three languages: English, French and Spanish. Arabic is coming soon.
The videos are also available in those three languages. Click the ‘cc’ button on YouTube to access the captions.
RAINN, who was an ally on our Guide, has an extensive Get Info section filled with information ranging from statistics on sexual assault in the U.S. to resources designed to help survivors report their assault to police and steps for self care or care for loved ones after an assault.
Follow the conversation #SAAM #TrackingAssualt #EndSH #Harassment:
Tweets about “#saam OR #trackassualt OR #EndSH OR #harassment”
Featured image from Hollaback!’s website