A Crowd-Source End to Street Harassment? There’s an App for That

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The fabulous, creative women at Hollaback! have launched an ingenious iPhone app that brings technology to activism (and vice versa).  We’ve blogged about Hollaback before (see, e.g., here).  Here’s the organization’s description from its website (here):

Hollaback! is a movement dedicated to ending street harassment using mobile technology. Street harassment is one of the most pervasive forms of gender-based violence and one of the least legislated against. Comments from “You’d look good on me” to groping, flashing and assault are a daily, global reality for women and LGBTQ individuals. But it is rarely reported, and it’s culturally accepted as ‘the price you pay’ for being a woman or for being gay.  At Hollaback!, we don’t buy it.

We believe that everyone has a right to feel safe and confident without being objectified. Sexual harassment is a gateway crime that creates a cultural environment that makes gender-based violence OK. There exists a clear legal framework to reproach sexual harassment and abuse in the home and at work, but when it comes to the streets—all bets are off. This gap isn’t because street harassment hurts any less, it’s because there hasn’t been a solution. Until now. The explosion of mobile technology has given us an unprecedented opportunity to end street harassment—and with it, the opportunity to take on one of the final new frontiers for women’s rights around the word.

And now there’s an app that makes it easy to post information (photos optional) about encounters with creepy harassers:

Here’s how it works:

-You have the choice to hollaback with our without a picture.  While a picture helps to tell a story, if you don’t feel safe, you don’t have to take one.

-Next, you identify the type of harassment.

-Once your hollaback has been submitted, you’ll receive an email asking you to tell the rest of your story.

-Send us back your full story so we can review it and map it on ihollaback.org, where it will inspire the world to take action to end street harassment.

Don’t just walk on…Hollaback!

The app is available on-line for download from the iTunes store.   Very impressive, indeed!

-Bridget Crawford

screenshots from http://planetgreen.discovery.com

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