Continuing our discussion on street harassment, it is crucial to realize that every situation is different. This makes it less than ideal to have just one plan of action. Thus, it is a good idea to practice ahead of time so you can actively respond in a proper way, as well as get away safely.
The following are five ideas you can consider, practice, and remember if it ever happens to you:
Only respond if you feel safe enough and are assertive in your responses. These responses should convey that their actions are unwelcome, not appreciated, etc.
If you’re not confidant in your ability to confront the harasser, try carrying information regarding harassment in the form of flyers to give to the person harassing you. These kinds of flyers are found at websites such as Street Harassment Project, that has links to these flyers.
If you see someone else getting harassed, you can consider stepping in, just to see if they’re okay. If you’re male, you may be more powerful since men often look to other men for approval. And since most harassers are male, you might carry more weight in this situation. While this wasn’t exactly street harassment, this is a great example of stepping in to help someone.
Report the Harasser
If you happen to know where the harasser works, it may not be a bad idea to report them to their company. You can write or call the company to alert them of any employees with this kind of behavior. Another idea is to take action that will cause people of authority, such as a police officer or a transit worker to be involved.
Use a Phone App
Reporting with your phone is also a proposed way of dealing with the issue, via an app called HollaBack where you can report street harassers. There is also a new app created by college students where you can let someone virtually walk you home at night. If you’re in a particularly unsafe area or just feel uncomfortable, you can use this app to alert any friend of your choice if something happened to you.
As stopstreetharassment.org states, “there is no one “right” way to deal with harassers. Every situation and person is different and often you only have a second or two to assess your safety and decide what to do.”
Forletta Investigative/Security Consultant provides surveillance services as well as workplace investigations to help you feel safer in your daily life.