I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

HOLLA On the Go: Followed

When I was 13 a group of about 5 or 6 creepy men (late 20s maybe early 30s) were screaming at me from across the park about my “tits” and I was walking away and they started following me.

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HOLLA On the Go posts are those submitted through Hollaback!’s mobile apps – learn more here!

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Bikes, I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

“Get off the street you dirty whore!” | Amy’s Story

I was riding my bike through the intersection of Beech & Elm near Davis Square when a car almost hit me when turning right. The driver screamed out his window “You fucking cunt!” I was SO shocked that I had no response. As he drove down the street, he yelled out his window again “Get off the street you dirty whore!” I started crying because I was so stunned and shocked to be called those names. I’m pissed because now I ride even MORE carefully than before in fear that I will be screamed at by another angry man who thinks because I’m a woman, he can use that language.

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

“When I start to reply with “No, I’m…” he then runs his hand up my arm and then cops a feel of my breast.” | Mary’s Story

I was visiting the Boston area for the first time on a business trip where I was training new employees. The training ran late, and for dinner I went straight to a bar near my hotel without changing, so I was still wearing work clothes. I was in a strange city, so I purposely made sure to sit at the bar where the bartender would always see me, immediately next to the wall, thinking no one would bother me there.

As I’m finishing dinner, a man walks up to me, claiming he’s the owner of the restaurant/bar, telling me I’m beautiful and wants to buy me a drink. I decline, saying I’m not drinking anything, but thanks. He then tells me “well, if you change your mind, I’ll be here…” and walks away. Thinking that’s the end of it, a few minutes later, I get up to use the restroom. The earlier guy is now preoccupied with another woman but his friend has now taken interest in what I’m doing. “Let me buy you a drink” he says. When I start to reply with “No, I’m…” he then runs his hand up my arm and then cops a feel of my breast. I immediately pull my arm away and go off to the restroom, where I call my best guy friend, even though he’s a thousand miles away. I tell him what has just happened, followed by “If you don’t hear from me in 15 minutes, saying I’m safe in my hotel room, I need you to call the police in Billerica and tell them what just happened.” My “friend’s” response? “Well, what are you wearing?” I groaned and said “Does it really f***ing matter, never mind” and called another male friend instead.

I leave the restroom with a scowl, and the groping man sees me and, grinning, says “hey, there you are, don’t be mad” and I just keep walking. Behind me, I hear someone (I’m assuming him) say “Bitch”. I ask for my tab, with the ugliest look on my face I can muster, then once I’ve paid it, storm out of the restaurant to my hotel, holding all of my keys between my fingers. I made it home safely, but immediately cried in the hotel room.

I was wearing what I always wear to work, with 12 hour old makeup that had probably worn completely off. I wasn’t *trying* to look glamorous. I simply wanted my first food in 10 hours at 10 PM and to be left alone.

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

HOLLA On the Go: Creepshots

Middle aged man on the BU bridge was taking creepshots of young women with his digital camera.

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HOLLA On the Go posts are those submitted through Hollaback!’s mobile apps – learn more here!

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Hollaback! Boston, Local News, Noteworthy

Our MBTA Campaign Is Finally Here!

HOLLA friends, we are so excited that our transit ads are finally a reality. It has been a two-year labor of love and frustration to bring these ads to the MBTA, but it’s all paid off. These ads are the result of grant money from both Mass NOW and the Pollination Project, and would not have been possible without the hard work of former intern Kayla Hogan. Also, a huge shoutout to HollabackPHILLY, who paved the way for us with their own ads and shared their designs with us.

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Our press release from last week is below, followed by images of the three different ads that are currently on buses and Red Line trains. If you see an ad on your commute, snap a photo and send it our way! You can tweet it at @HollabackBoston and @MassNOW and tag it with #endSH and #MBTA. Let’s show the city and the MBTA how crucial these ads are and how much we’d love to have even more of them!

Hollaback! Boston and Mass. NOW ads featured in MBTA Red Line Trains (September 8, 2014)

Boston– Appearing in MBTA buses and Red Line trains today, a series of ads is highlighting the issue of street harassment in Boston. The ads are the work of Hollaback! Boston and Mass. NOW, funded through a Mass. NOW Feminism in Action Grant awarded to former Hollaback! Boston intern Kayla Hogan, and a Pollination Project Seed The Change grant.

“This anti-street harassment ad campaign is a collective labor of love between Mass. NOW, Hollaback! Boston and myself. We chose to display the ads on MBTA busses and trains because we believe that public transportation, and all public space, should be safe for everyone. Busses and trains are often sites of harassment, but we can change that,” said Kayla Hogan. “My hope is that these ads instill a sense of community and support in Bostonians, dismantling the mindsets of harassers and transforming passengers into active bystanders. The messages in the ads are both informational and motivational, hopefully helping to shift our culture from one that asks, “Can we stop street harassment?” to one that asks, “How can we stop street harassment?” It’s certainly something worth thinking about during our daily commutes.”

“We’re excited to bring Hollaback! Philly’s transit ad model to the Boston area through this partnership with Mass. NOW, and are so grateful for Kayla’s hard work over the past year to make the ads a reality,” said Kate Ziegler, Co-Director of Hollaback! Boston.

Hollaback! Boston works to combat street harassment in Boston through workshops, support groups, advocacy and education, as well as collecting and mapping individual stories of street harassment on their site.

“One in five stories submitted through Hollaback! Boston’s site or mobile app are experiences of harassment on the T, or while waiting for the T; we look to our story submissions to identify hot spots of harassment and focus our work, and it has been very clear that transit harassment, and an ad campaign highlighting the behavior, were priorities for us. When we conducted our State of the Streets report last fall, we found that 63% of respondents that had been harassed had experienced harassment on the MBTA,” Ziegler said. “Many people still don’t know that there is a term for this behavior, or that it makes people feel vulnerable and unsafe and is a problem. We hope that the transit ads will help change that.”

Ads will run on MBTA buses and on Red Line trains, and highlight common harassment faced by both women and LGBTQ riders. They are also a call to action for potential bystanders; many victims of street harassment on transit express embarrassment and frustration when witnesses say nothing during or after the incident, despite their proximity.

“Even simply asking a victim if they’re okay can be a huge relief, an acknowledgment that the harassment wasn’t imagined and that the community has their back,” Ziegler said, but notes that safety should be the top priority when facing harassers.

“Mass. NOW is so proud of Kayla’s vision and hard work that made this project a reality. The purpose of the Feminism in Action Grant is to empower young feminists to educate the public on one of our six issue areas. We believe this project will be immensely powerful in bringing awareness to the violence and harassment women face every day in public spaces,” said Katie Hayden, Policy and Operations Manager of Mass. NOW. “We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Hollaback Boston to bring awareness to the issue of Street Harassment and are eager to continue the legacy of young activism by awarding this year’s grant on September 20.”

hey sexy

have her back

boy or girl

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

“Thanks for making my lunch break uncomfortable, buddy!” | Caryn’s Story

One of many…I could post to this site everyday! I think I’m going to.

Tuesday while I was out to lunch I was walking to the deli. I’m coming around the corner out to Broadway when I hear “oh my god you’re gorgeous!” coming from traffic, so I shoot a dirty look, a death look actually, over my shoulder to the car of the cat caller, to which he then responds “you’re beautiful!”. I threw my hands up in the air and just screamed “STOP IT!” in the middle of Everett Sq full of people because it was voting day. Thanks for making my lunch break uncomfortable, buddy!

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Hollaback! Boston

Sometimes We Get It Wrong

Supporters, we are so grateful to you for rallying to support safe public space for survivors of sexual violence, and for everyone in Boston!

Before going public with our Change.org petition this week, we reached out to American Apparel on Newbury Street several times by phone and email for confirmation and clarification, but received no response; since we published the petition, we have been able to confirm with the store that the portait in question is, despite the resemblance, actually Dov Charney’s grandfather.

We want to apologize for jumping the gun in this particular case, but we appreciate the outpouring of support for our work to create safe public spaces in Boston and throughout New England. Some campaigns, like our current MBTA ads, are years in the making; others come up in a flash, and we respond as best we can, as quickly as possible, in support of those who share their stories with us. In this case, we got it wrong.

Thank you for understanding, and for all that you do!
-The Hollaback! Boston Team

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

“I passed by, trying to make myself look confident and not attackable/approachable, as I often do now.” | Kaitlin’s Story

Walking to the train from my first workshop on street harassment, I had to pass next to a line of men sitting and standing around benches, or else walk in the street. An older man said “hey beauty” as I passed by, trying to make myself look confident and not attackable/ approachable, as I often do now. I really had to catch a train, so all I said was “fuck yourself,” as I passed. Not the best phrase in my experience, as far as the comebacks that particulay saying incites, but it was the first thing I thought of. I don’t need some guy in a group I’ve never met commenting on my appearance out of nowhere at eight o’clock at night, as I’m just going about my business.

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