What is street harassment?
“Gender-based street harassment is unwanted comments, gestures, and actions forced on a stranger in a public place without their consent and is directed at them because of their actual or perceived sex, gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation.”
“Street harassment includes unwanted whistling, leering, sexist, homophobic or transphobic slurs, persistent requests for someone’s name, number or destination after they’ve said no, sexual names, comments and demands, following, flashing, public masturbation, groping, sexual assault, and rape.” [source: stop street harassment]
Wildcats STOP Street Harassment campaign
What started out as a student project (SHARPP community educator) in the fall of 2016 with the intent to provide education, resources, and support for students that felt unsafe on campus because of street harassment, has now evolved into a SHARPP campaign. UNH SHARPP community educators conducted a sample survey (190 students participated) on campus that asked UNH students to describe their experience with street harassment at UNH. The results were similar to the national findings on street harassment. What happens here, happens everywhere.
Perhaps the most surprising result of the survey was the amount of physical assault that was reported. 20% of students who took the survey said they experienced sexual touching or grabbing, and 4% experienced some form of assault. This shows us that street harassment is clearly not just a verbal issue.
Why does it matter?
Our campaign aims to point out the seriousness of this issue. Like other forms of gender based violence, society has normalized street harassment and in some cases, people see it as complimentary or a 'joking' matter.
While public harassment motivated by racism, homophobia, transphobia, or classism—types of deplorable harassment which men can be the target of and sometimes women perpetrate—is recognized as socially unacceptable behavior, men’s harassment of women motivated by gender and sexism is not. Street harassment is a human rights issue because it limits a harassed persons’ ability to be in public, especially women’s. [source: stop street harassment]
This type of harassment is a human rights violation, and many types of it are illegal in New Hampshire.
Wildcats STOP Street Harassment
UNH is a community that cares about each other. Being a part of the UNH community means living by a collective standard: the standard that we relate to each other with respect and responsibility to make UNH a better, safer, more inclusive community and by believing and supporting friends and community members that have been harassed and by holding others accountable for their inappropriate behaviors. This is the culture at UNH and this is what it means to be a Wildcat.
There are things you can do to deal with harassers, for yourself or for someone experiencing street harassment.
Respond in a safe way: Calmly and firmly let them know that their actions are unwelcome, unacceptable, and wrong.
Step in to help: Intervene when someone else is being harassed and let the harasser know that their actions are not condoned by others.
Report it to someone: Report it to a police officer, your RA, a faculty or staff member. This could create real consequences for the harasser.
Take action: Reach out to UNH offices and resources to help address the issue on a community level.
Follow this link for more information on how YOU CAN HELP.
Get help at UNH:
The Sexual Harassment & Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP) | 24/7 Helpline (603) 862-7233
UNH Police Department | Main Line - (603) 862-1427
UNH Affirmative Action and Equity Office (AAEO) | (603) 862-2930
Durham Police Department | (603) 868-2324
Office of Community Standards | (603) 862-3377
Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMSA) | (603) 862-2050
Disability Services for Students | (603) 862-2607
The Office of International Students and Scholars | (603) 862-1288
Want to do something about it? YOU CAN HELP!
Volunteer for UNH SHARPP! | www.unh.edu/sharpp/volunteering
National Street Harassment Hotline: 855-897-591 | www.stopstreetharassment.org/
Meet Us On The Street: International Anti-Street Harassment Week | www.meetusonthestreet.org/
Hollaback! | www.ihollaback.org/
Stop Telling Women to Smile | http://stoptellingwomentosmile.com/
The Street Harassment Project | www.streetharassmentproject.org/
The International Center for Research on Women | www.icrw.org/
Pop to Stop Street harassment | http://poptostop.com/