The evidence is unmistakable, the numbers alarming. Over 80 percent of women experience gender-based harassment from unknown men in public, including whistling, sexually-explicit comments, groping, stalking, and assault. One study of 800 women, for example, reported that 75 percent had been followed and 57 percent sexually touched.
Street harassment is generally dismissed as harmless, but in reality, it causes women to feel unsafe in public, especially when they are alone. Until this form of harassment is eliminated, true gender equality will not be achieved. The brand new book Stop Street Harassment: Making Public Places Safe and Welcoming for Women draws on academic studies, informal surveys, news articles, and interviews with activists around the world to explore the practice's definition and prevalence, the societal contexts in which it occurs, its global range, and the role of factors such as race and sexual orientation. Perhaps more crucially, the book makes clear how women experience street harassment—how they feel about and respond to it—and the ways it negatively impacts their lives.
In the second half of the book, female and male readers will find concrete strategies for addressing street harassment and ideas for how they can work to end this violation. Everyone has a role they can play to stop street harassment and make public places safe and welcoming for women. What will your role be?
Author Holly Kearl is a national street harassment expert, writer, and nonprofit professional based in the Washington, D.C. area. Her work has been cited by the United Nations, CNN, the Guardian, ABC News, Feministing, and Jezebel. In addition to her book, she runs the website Stop Street Harassment and the companion blog where people from around the world submit their street harassment stories. Holly has written articles about street harassment for Forbes, Huffington Post, Oregonian, and AOL. She also works for AAUW and volunteers with RAINN.
*To order the book, visit Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, or Greenwood.com.
*To arrange an interview, contact Holly Kearl, hollykearl AT yahoo.com.
*Attend one of Holly’s events or contact her to arrange an author talk or book signing in your area.