Our Youth Advisors and Young Women’s Leadership Council created the Walk In My Shoes® Project to raise awareness about the impact of street harassment on young women and girls.
What is Street Harassment?
In general, street harassment refers to a range of harassing behaviors that occur on the street or in other public places including catcalling, sexually explicit comments, unwanted touching, and other unwanted attention and behavior. Street harassment is as an under-recognized problem with potentially harmful psychological and physical consequences for young women and girls in Atlanta (and around the world).
Why is Street Harassment Important?
We believe street harassment is an important issue to address because it is part of the larger problem of violence against women and girls in Atlanta and around the world. Even though many women and girls are harassed on a regular basis, many people do not recognize that street harassment is a problem. Some people don’t realize that their behavior is considered disrespectful, annoying, or in some cases– threatening. And some girls are disrespected so much that they think that street harassment is just a part of daily life.
What Are We Doing to Stop Street Harassment?
To address the issue, the Teen Advisory Board began by collecting stories about girls’ experiences with street harassment and developing educational materials to raise awareness about the impact of street harassment and violence against women and girls.
The Teen Advisory Board has organized summits and workshops for girls and boys ages 5-19 to raise awareness about these issues, as well as images of women and girls in the media and hip hop culture. We have partnered with male allies to help us find creative ways to challenge gender-based violence.
We are continuing to develop health education materials including web content for teen girls and an educational web site for young men and boys. The purpose of the materials is to educate harassers, targets, and allies about street harassment and combat denigrating stereotypes about women and girls that contribute to harassment and disrespectful treatment on the street and other settings (i.e., schools, shopping malls, etc.). These materials will be distributed on the Internet and at public places where youth congregate.
Our anti-street harassment initiative was featured in an article.