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Hollaback to end sexual violence

April 23, 2010

Street harassment is violent. It does not leave visual bruises; it leaves emotional ones, creates unsafe communities, and denigrates women. When I imagine what Williamsburg would look like without sexual violence, I feel instantly safer. I see sunshine and smiles. I see respectful, equal interactions between community members. I am not tense walking down the street; I am not waiting and preparing for the next comment to be thrown my way. I am not hesitant to be kind or helpful or grateful. Kindness is merely kindness; I do not wonder about anyone’s motivations. This world is the one in which I want to live.

Hollaback has been working on the grassroots level to end street harassment. Women and LGBTQ people send in their stories with pictures of the harassers. The personal is political, and these stories are powerful. Currently, they are fundraising to upgrade their work. They need to raise $12,500 by May 28th in order to fund the creation of an iPhone app. Hollabacking will then be possible through 3 portals: the site (which is being revamped), the app and the text form. From the campaign page:

The Hollaback! 2.0 platform transforms girls, women and LGBTQ individuals into open-source activists with the touch of a button. Participants can submit photos and experiences of harassment through three easy portals: a) the Hollaback! mobile app, b) a text form, and c) directly to the Hollaback! website, which will also be accessible to other smartphone users through their mobile browsers, and will link to our dynamic mapping system. We’ll track street harassment through data points to quantify and communicate its impact to legislators. The Hollaback! app creates a safe, action-oriented response to street harassment, and with powerful reporting features, it will finally put a face on everyday harassment and assault. By using data to establish the case against street harassment, Hollaback!’s social change efforts will ultimately result in significant improvements in policy and a reduction in crimes against girls, women and LGBTQ individuals.

So get over to Kickstarter, make a donation, and start hollabacking. The deadline is May 28th, and that date will arrive faster than you think. Together we can end sexual violence.

Donation page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hollaback/hollaback

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