For many women, street harassment is a reality of daily life. While some detractors minimize the effects of the harassment these women face – claiming it is “just a joke” or actually a compliment – street harassment is one of many forms of gender violence that makes public spaces unsafe and unwelcome for women.
Next week, women worldwide will unite in local events and actions to speak out against street harassment and reclaim public spaces. Find out if there is an event in your area at Stop Street Harassment, the week’s sponsoring organization: http://www.meetusonthestreet.org/participate/
The organization’s site also provides a list of ways victims of street harassment may choose to respond to their harassers.
by the Stop Street Harrassment Blog
Six suggestions for how to talk to a harasser:
- Use strong body language. Look the harasser in the eyes; speak in a strong, clear voice. Using your voice, facial expressions, and body language together, without mixed signals, show assertiveness and strength.
- Project confidence and calm. Even if you do not feel that way, it is important to appear calm, serious, and confident.
- Do not apologize, make an excuse, or ask a question. You do not need to say sorry for how you feel or what you want. Be firm.
- You do not need to respond to diversions, questions, threats, blaming, or guilt-tripping. Stay on your own agenda. Stick to your point. Repeat your statement or leave.
- Do not swear or lose your temper: This type of reaction is the most likely to make the harasser respond with anger and violence.
- Decide when you’re done. Success is how you define it. If you said what you needed to say and you’re ready to leave, do so.