It's Not My Problem Street harassment is everyone's problem. Even if you’ve never been a target, the odds are that your loved ones, friends and co-workers have been. Ask them. If you care about making the world safe for them, it’s your responsibility to do something when you see it happening.
Nobody Else is Doing Anything It's that kind of thinking that allows a whole crowd to wait for “someone else” to act. It takes courage to the first to speak up for what's right.
I Can't Make a Difference For targets of harassment, the response of bystanders makes a HUGE difference in their day. While your inaction or reluctance to get involved could magnify the effects of harassment, support the target and help prevent future street harassment.
But it's a Cultural Thing Street harassment might be normalized in certain circles, but it's never okay.
It's Harmless, Right? Verbal harassment can make targets feel uncomfortable, threatened or in danger and can quickly escalate to violence or physical assault. The effects are very real, to everyone who lives their life aware that they are not safe in public
I Don't Know What to Do We've got you covered. Read on.
5 Ds OF BYSTANDER INTERVENTION Fortunately, there are many ways to help in situations of harassment. Research by Cornell's International Labor Relations school found that as little as a knowing glance shared with the target can reduce the trauma associated with harassment, while the presence of bystanders who do nothing can actually increase the trauma. The key to successful bystander intervention is knowing that you have options and using them. Below are Hollaback!’s 5 Ds of Bystander Intervention.
Distract Creating a distraction can help de-escalate the situation by bringing the person doing the harassment “out of the moment.” Examples include asking for the time, dropping your coffee cup, pretending you're lost—really, anything.
Delay Intervention doesn't always need to happen while the harassment is happening. Afar the harassment is over, ask the person if they are okay, or if there is anything you can do to help. This one is powerful because it puts control of the situation back into the hands of the person who was harassed. It makes them feel less alone, and reduces trauma.
Direct Intervention Calmly let the harasser know that what they are doing is wrong, but do not escalate the situation. The focus of this intervention is to usher the person being harassed to safety. This can be risky and is not always the safest bet for everyone as the harassment can be redirected at the bystander, but there are some people who can do this.
Delegate Ask a third party to help, since there is strength in numbers. We've heard stories of people finding support in someone else standing near them, or from a transit employee, a teacher, or a manager.
Document Use your phone to take video or photographs of the situation. Although this tactic can be incredibly useful in building awareness about harassment and catching the perpetrator, it can also be disempowering, and even dangerous, for the person being harassed if you share the footage you take without their consent. Be sure to share the footage with the person being targeted immediately after the incident and respect their wishes if they do not want anyone else to see it.