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December 7, 2011 (San Luis Obispo) – The movement to end street harassment takes another impressive leap today as an additional 11 Hollaback! sites launch internationally, including one in San Luis Obispo. The San Luis Obispo site is run by a team of local activists who are deeply committed to working on-line and off-line to end street harassment in San Luis Obispo.
Hollaback! San Luis Obispo Co-Director, Jane Lehr, said that “Street harassment is one of the most pervasive forms of social violence in this country, and one of the least legislated against. It is rarely reported, and is too often accepted as the ‘price you pay’ simply for being a woman, a person of color, an immigrant, dis/abled, a poor person, or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer in this community.”
“The Hollaback! project makes patterns and instances of street harassment visible using mobile- and web-based technology,” said Lauren Monn, the second Hollaback! San Luis Obispo Co-Director. Monn, a Cal Poly student, added that, “We believe that street harassment is a gateway crime that normalizes gender, race, class, dis/ability, religion, and sexual orientation-based violence. Our goal is to use the knowledge gained about where and when local street harassment happens via real-time reports to our site – slo.ihollaback.org – to facilitate community-wide efforts to end this type of violence.”
“Hollaback! isn’t just an app or a map – it’s a movement,” said Hollaback! Board Chair, Samuel Carter. The organization is now in 45 cities and 16 countries, with leaders speaking more than nine different languages.
Local Hollaback! site leaders run their local blog and organize their communities through advocacy, community partnerships, and direct action. Site leaders are as diverse in their backgrounds as they are in their experiences of harassment. Hollaback! reports that 44% identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer, 26% identify as people of color, 76% are under the age of 30, and 90% are women.
Hollaback!’s international sites are already having an impact. In Querétaro, Mexico, site leaders have developed a workshop to promote cities free of harassment for all people. In the last two months, 600 young people have taken part. In Croatia, site leaders are creating a survey that will allow them to collect data on street harassment that will then be used across the Hollaback! network, giving Hollaback! an ability to compare street harassment across national contexts.
About Hollaback! Hollaback! (ihollaback.org) is a global movement dedicated to ending street harassment using mobile technology. Launched in 2005 as a New York City blog, Hollaback! has expanded and now has iPhone and Droid apps that give victims a real-time, crowd-sourced response to street harassment. New locations include Bogota, Colombia; Boston, MA; San Luis Obispo, CA; Chennai, India; Düsseldorf, Germany; Minneapolis, MN; Montreal, Quebec; Palo Alto, CA; Portland, ME; Santiago, Chile; and Winnipeg, Canada.
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