Women & Bicycles Add Tools To Their Anti-Harassment Toolbox

Last month, a group of women-identifying cyclists from the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) gathered in the basement of the Petworth public library to attend CASS’s street harassment workshop.

While cycling can be fun and empowering, it can also be frustrating and even down right scary.

CASS’s workshop introduced prevention and empowerment strategies that could be used by people who experience sexual harassment in public, both on and off bicycles.

WABA Training 3

Here are 4 verbal methods you can use to engage the perpetrator:

  1. Look at the person and say “Hello”. Give them a respectful “hello” or “how are you?”This method is great for three reasons. First, It’s proactive. Second, it firmly establishes you as an agent in the space, instead of an object moving through it. Third, it opens up the possibility that there could be a community here that includes everyone. Instead of wresting power away from each other in this back and forth struggle, it opens up the possibility that we could share it, or even build it together.
  1. Be assertive and make a direct command. “Leave me alone!” “I’m not interested.” “Don’t talk to me that way.” Be sure to breathe and act calm and confident even if you don’t feel that way. When you deliver these responses, you want to do so with a strong voice, strong body language, and eye contact if you feel comfortable doing so. No “please” or “um”.
  2. Name the behavior – LOUDLY—so that everyone can hear you. “You’ve been following me for six blocks! Stop following me!” This response is good because it holds the harasser responsible for their behavior and it demands that the behavior stop.
  3. Add body language to your verbal response. Put up a “stop sign”. Put your hand in front of your chest, palm out, arm extended and look at the harasser and say “stop right there.”

We acknowledge that when you’re on a bike, harassment can happen very quickly. Either you’re zooming by the harasser or they are zooming by you. This can make it hard to respond. However, the more you practice these responses, the more quickly you’ll be able to deploy them when the time comes.

And most importantly, in all cases, you should choose the response that makes you feel the most safe and in control.

For more information on CASS’s Trainings and Workshops visit our website or contact us at workshops@collectiveactiondc.org.

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Anti-Street Harassment Workshop at Bloombars! 3/23/14

Join CASS and Bloombars for a public workshop on building a safer DC! We’ll tell stories, discuss the root causes of public sexual harassment and assault and help devise solutions — with a focus on tactics that build community, rather than divide it. More info below! 

Building a Safe City: How to Empower Your Community and Yourself to End Street Harassment

1:00-2:30 pm, Sunday, March 23, 2014
Bloombars, 3222 11th St NW (Columbia Heights)
*$10 suggested donation*

>>> RSVP on Facebook!

If you’re woman or LGBTQ-identifying in DC, you’re probably familiar with the behaviors that qualify as street harassment — lewd gestures, sexual comments, following, and unwanted touching, ranging from the humiliating to the threatening. As much as we wish they didn’t, these behaviors can have a very real effect on the way we move around in the city we call home.

This workshop will explore the emotional reality of street harassment and introduce prevention and empowerment strategies that can be used by people who experience sexual harassment in public. Focusing on tactics that build community rather than divide it, we’ll give you some tools to respond assertively to harassers, and discuss ideas for mobilizing your friends, family, and community to change the culture and end public sexual harassment and assault.

ABOUT BLOOMBARS

Established in 2008 in Washington, DC’s burgeoning Columbia Heights neighborhood, BloomBars is driven by a volunteer team of artists, educators, and community and business leaders. Redefining the perception of a bar, BloomBars does not serve or allow alcohol on its premises fostering a safe and family-friendly environment.

Not convinced? Check out photos from our most recent anti-street harassment workshop with Washington Area Bicyclist Association‘s (WABA), read coverage of the workshop by The Washington Post, or check out our testimonials!

Register for a FREE HBDC! workshop.

Join us for a free workshop on street harassment at S.A.L.S.A next Tuesday from 6:45 to 8:45.

Register HERE!

About the workshop:

Studies show that at least 80 to 100 percent of women are sexually harassed in a public setting at least once in their life. However, we don’t talk about this type of gender-based harassment when we discuss violence against women. Gender-based public sexual harassment can be anything from verbal harassment to physical, leading to sometimes fatal consequences.

Since many of us (women, LGBT, men) face this type of harassment during our daily interactions and don’t know what to do, come to this workshop! Join Holla Back DC! in a part interactive, part lecture workshop showcasing the history of anti-street harassment activism in DC, highlighting common scenarios of street harassment, and tips on how to address the harassment as an bystander witnessing harassment and an individual experiencing harassment.

We look forward to seeing you there!

HBDC! Anti-Street Harassment Workshop

We are thrilled to announce we are holding another Anti-Street Harassment Workshop at S.A.L.S.A on November 17th. Best of all, it is FREE for you to attend, so register soon!

Anti-Street Harassment Workshop 6:45-8:45pm Free
Studies show that at least 80 to 100 percent of women are sexually harassed in a public setting at least once in their life. However, we don’t talk about this type of gender-based harassment when we discuss violence against women. Gender-based public sexual harassment can be anything from verbal harassment to physical, leading to sometimes fatal consequences. Since many of us (women, LGBT, men) face this type of harassment during our daily intereactions and don’t know what to do, come to this workshop! Join Holla Back DC! in a part interactive, part lecture workshop showcasing the history of anti-street harassment activism in DC, highlighting common scenarios of street harassment, and tips on how to address the harassment.

Hollaback DC to Present at AU’s Public Anthropology Conference

posted in: CASS Event, CASS Updates | 1

Here is another opportunity to learn more about street harassment and Hollaback DC. Come see us present at AU’s Public Anthropology Conference next Saturday, October 10th. Register by October 8th online at AU. The conference is free and open to the public.

Learn to Holla Back Online and In-Person: Anti-Violence Activism On the Streets and On the Web (Mary Graydon Center, Room 200)

What is street harassment? Shouldn’t you just ignore it? What’s the big deal? These are frequently asked questions about gender-based public sexual harassment posed to the Holla Back DC! online community. Holla Back DC!  is an organization fighting street harassment in America’s capital by empowering Washingtonians to speak out against gender-based public sexual harassment. We believe that everyone has a right to use public space, including sidewalks, Metro, and cabs without being harassed. And we showcase people’s experiences through our blog, Twitter, and Facebook. This workshop will highlight the ups and downs of utilizing web 2.0, common scenarios of gender-based public sexual harassment, and tips on how to address harassers. Unlike Gwen Stefani, we want everyone, regardless of gender, to be a hollaback person.

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