While perusing through some of my archived posts, I came across a contribution to Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian’s The People Who Inspire Series that was written by Holly Kearl, Stop Street Harassment’s founder.
Among answering many other questions about her work and how SSH came to be, she also mentioned 3 things people can do to be effective allies against Street Harassment. I’d like to revisit her post and highlight those points according to Holly:
Stop Victim Blaming
Believe someone and not blame them when they share a street harassment story. After being violated, humiliated and scared, the last thing someone needs to hear when they share their story is that it was their fault because of what they were wearing or where they were or to hear their story dismissed as â€œno big deal. Offering emotional support and brainstorming ways to deal with future harassers can help the harassed person recover and feel empowered.â€
If one’s friends are harassing people, talking to them privately about how that’s not okay with you can go a long way toward preventing future harassment.
Do Whatever You Can
If one witnesses street harassment, creating a distraction, seeing if the harassed person is okay, or loudly stating, That’s harassment and it isn’t okay are examples for how to safely intervene. Just as it can be upsetting to a person who shares a harassment story to be disbelieved, it can be really upsetting to be harassed in a crowded area and have no one else say or do anything to help.
Additionally, allies are always welcome to share stories on the Stop Street Harassment blog about how they helped prevent or stop street harassment and they’re welcome to write guest blog posts about the issue in general.
Are there any ways to be an effective ally against street harassment that you’d want to add? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Be on the lookout for more notes from me regarding the issue of street harassment in the future.
â€” Relando Thompkins (@Relando_T) September 7, 2012
Grace & Peace,
Relando Thompkins, MSW
Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian by Relando Thompkins at RelandoThompkins.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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