Clare’s Story: Why am I changing my behaviour when this man is wrong?

**HB Bristol edit: This happened on the morning of 9 July 2014***

Walking through Broadmead by Debenhams and a guy shouts “‘Ere love, looking good.” I ignored him and then he lifted up his top to show me his chest and said, “Who wouldn’t want a bit of this?” As I walked past he tutted loudly and called me “stuck up.” I was wearing a vest top and immediately put on my sweatshirt even though it was hot, then thought to myself “Why am i changing MY behaviour when this man is wrong?”

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4 Powerful Reasons to Share Your Street Harassment Story on Hollaback

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At Hollaback!   you have the opportunity to share you street harassment story, as anonymously (or not) as you wish. Why do this?


1. It Will Make a Difference 

Each and every story is valuable and helps make a difference to end street harassment. We need as many stories as possible to act as evidence and backup material when persuading local authorities to take action on street harassment.


2. It Helps Victims Be Taken Seriously

One of the most common derailment techniques in discussions about street harassment is “Well it doesn’t happen to me, so it must not happen.” With a database of stories on Hollaback, we can prove that harassment does happen, and go some way to showing how widespread it is.


3. It Helps Other Victims Feel Less Alone

Other people who experience street harassment will read your story and realise they’re not alone. They may even feel empowered to Holla Back next time, and to start sharing their own stories.


4. It Shows Potential Harassers that It’s Not OK

Any potential harasser reading the collection of stories on a Hollaback! site receives a powerful message about what street harassment is and why it’s not OK. The fact that the details of their behaviour and possibly even a photo of them could end up online holds them to account for their actions, and serves as a deterrent.


Important notes!

1. You don’t have to Holla Back at your harasser to share your story. There is no “right way” to respond to street harassment and we think you’re rad, however you responded, or didn’t respond.

2. You can be as anonymous (or not) as you like. Use a pseudonym if you wish. Share a photo of your harasser or the place it happened – or don’t – just tell your story. If you’re worried about being identified by the details of the story, just tell us “I was harassed here.” This is still useful in the fight to end street harassment.

3. Our badass comments policy does not allow judgement or hater language of any kind. We strictly pre-moderate comments so the only messages you’ll see are ones of support.

4. You can share old stories of street harassment – they’re still important to the overall picture. Just add the approximate time and date in the body text.

So go ahead and share your story on Hollaback! Bristol UK.

If you’re in a different city or country, find your nearest Hollaback

Have questions before you’re ready to share your story? Email us at




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Sophie’s Story: A group of men drove past and shouted.

A car full of young men drove past the bus stop and one shouted “I’D DO YOU!” at me, they all the sniggered looking at each other very pleased with themselves.

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Vinnie’s Story: I now feel worried about walking past there again.

***UPDATE… 2/7/2014. The company, Easy Access Scaffolding,  have not replied to Vinne regarding the harassment***

I’m a 38 year old woman and today I walked past a group of constructors erecting scaffolding. As I walked past two of them whistled, shouted out repeatedly for me to say hello and talk to them. They weren’t being offensive in their language but I felt very ‘on show’ to others walking down the street and choosing to ignore them led to them carrying on longer and shouting more loudly. It felt disrespectful and as the scaffolding is near my home, I feel worried about walking past again.

I can’t remember the last time something like that happened, I’m new to Bristol, having moved from Sheffield recently, and nowadays am more used to construction firms sharing their community respect ethos than experiencing whistling!

Their van was clearly labelled with the firm’s name and address and I have emailed a senior manager to ask for feedback. I attached a link to Hollaback Bristol. Org and have said I would love to share that the firm had responded positively to my comments. I’ll not name and shame them ( unless they don’t reply or take this seriously !) . I really hope others don’t have to face misogyny or harassment walking along Alexandra Road.

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How big do my headphones have to be?

Bristol-based writer Olga Alexandru has written a poem about street harassment, which I’m sure many will identify with. Read it here.

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BristolBlue’s Story: I told him that was harassment and he told me to keep my voice down

Earlier today I was walking from the bus stop to my flat when a passer-by leered at me and said “hello gorgeous.” I asked him to repeat himself, he said “hello gorgeous.” I told him that was harassment and he told me to keep my voice down. He started to try and make excuses to passers-by.

There were a lot of people around but no one tried to help me. Due to the number of times I’ve been harassed in the area I’m now scared to go out and am considering whether it will be possible for me to move house.

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Following/Stalking, Verbal

BristolBlue’s Story: Followed along St Mark’s Road

It was about 9pm and a man followed me up St Marks Road in his car, moving at a crawl. He wound his window down and asked if I wanted a lift. I told him to go away and he continued to follow me and ask me to get in the car, only speeding off when I got my phone out.

I am frustrated because I feel like as a woman I can’t walk around Easton on my own after dark without it being assumed, by certain men, that I am a sex worker.

I've got your back!

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Street Harassment: Women and the Dangers of Public Spaces

For women (and members of the LGBTQ community), stepping outside sometimes feels like walking into a soft war zone, an incessant battlefield.”  Read more here

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