“Safe Streets” is part of a movement to track, map, and end public harassment experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer-identified youth. From comments, cat calls and whistles, to groping, stalking and threats – all of these go into creating an environment of fear and a lack of safety in public places. Many people are harassed on the basis of their perceived sexual orientation or gender, and youth and young adults are especially vulnerable. Public or street harassment is one of the most common forms of sexual violence, but it’s rarely reported and often not taken seriously.
Everyone has the right to feel safe and to live their lives without being harassed, regardless of their perceived or actual sexual orientation and gender identity. At Safe Streets we define Public Harassment as any kind of harassment that happens in public spaces, including bus stops, public buildings (such as libraries), and on the street. Many LGBTQ individuals experience these kinds of harassment on a daily basis, and it’s considered culturally acceptable to yell sexual comments at or otherwise intimidate people in public.
This is not ok.
Harassment shouldn’t be something that you just have to “put up with” or “get over,” by virtue of your sexual orientation, appearance, or gender. At Safe Streets, we want to put the accountability for harassment back where it belongs: with the harassers. Our goal is to send the message that any kind of gender-based violence is never ok, and needs to be taken seriously.
Through your stories and reports, we can start to map and track incidences of public harassment in our community to show what a huge issue public harassment really is. We are here to provide a safe space for people to Share Their Story, Get Support, and -together- End Harassment.