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We receive a LOT of stories about harassment on the T, and fortunately, the Transit Police are working very hard to combat this particular brand of street harassment. Their SeeSay app allows your to report harassment or assault from your phone, and they encourage riders to report incidents to Transit Police so that they can address them, and track them.
All of this work is terrific progress, but there are still many reasons that a victim of harassment or assault may not wish to involve authorities, and whether those reasons are personally rooted or community focused, we recognize the need to have other options. Not all street harassment is illegal, nor should it be—but that doesn’t mean the behavior can’t be threatening, instrusive and have serious impacts on how we move through public space over time. Hollaback!’s mobile app also allows story sharing on the go, annoymously, and the incident can be recorded without involving police. If a victim feels, after the fact, that they now wish they had reported their experience, our site allows you to do just that.
Why is reporting harassment and assault so important? Sharing your story helps Transit Police and organizations like Hollaback! Boston understand the problem, hear what’s really happening and focus our work accordingly. If you feel comfortable reporting to Transit Police, they are prepared to take your experience seriously and offer support; if for whatever reason you do not want to involve authorities, there are still other ways to make your voice heard and let us know what’s happening in our city.
Hollaback! Boston believes in community solutions to street harassment, not criminalization; we can’t build communities of active bystanders, ready to step in on the T and support victims of harassment, without first talking about experiences and reporting and sharing stories.
Inspired by Global Guardian safe transit week and HollabackPhilly’s recent transit ads, we put together some quick flyers to help identify harassment and provide tips to safely intervene as a bystander.
What common catcalls and harassing statements have we left out? Let us know in the comments! Click through the flyers for larger images to print and share on your own.
image credits: Hollaback! Boston
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