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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 and throughout the world. For example, studies conducted show that between 80-90% of women have been harassed in public. While legal recourse exists to address harassment that happens in schools, workplaces, and homes, streets remain one of the final frontiers in addressing and affirming basic, guaranteed civil rights.
Street harassment teaches us to be silent, that taking action will only escalate the situation. While this isn’t bad advice (and we STRONGLY encourage you to always make decisions about responding to street harassment that prioritize your safety), it has led us down a dangerous road. Ultimately, perpetrators realize they won’t be held accountable and continue to harass. Hollaback! was designed by a group of young folks who were tired of being silenced and sought a simple, non-violent response. What has emerged is a platform where thousands of stories of street harassment have been told.
We believe that by continuing to tell and map these stories, our voices will chip away at a culture that makes this type of violence OK. Together we have the power to end street harassment, one Hollaback at a time.
Local resources are listed below. For other resources, please see the menu to the right.
Gender Equity Center
Men & Masculinity Programs
P.U.L.S.E. (Peers Understanding Listening Speaking Educating)
Safer – Cal Poly’s sexual assault and relationship violence risk reduction program
Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County
GALA of the Central Coast (Gay & Lesbian Association)
North County Women’s Shelter
Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura & San Luis Obispo Counties
San Luis Obispo County Victim and Witness Assistance Services
San Luis Obispo County Mental Health Resources Awareness and Stigma Reduction Campaign
San Luis Obispo Women’s Shelter
SARP Center (Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention)
T.H.E. Center (Teen Clinic)
Transitions Mental Health Association