Hollaback! Nottingham launches to tackle harassment

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Media captionHollaback! was behind a YouTube video called 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman

A movement that aims to end street harassment has launched a branch in Nottingham.

The movement, Hollaback!, was behind a YouTube video of a woman being repeatedly catcalled as she walked around New York City for 10 hours.

Rose Ashurst, one of the Nottingham members, said she decided to take action after personal experiences.

Others have shared their experiences in a website which launched on Monday.

A "chalk walk" will take place as part of a launch event on Saturday, where women will write slogans around the city in chalk and highlight where they have been harassed.

Image copyright Hollaback! Nottingham
Image caption People have submitted their experiences to the Hollaback! Nottingham website
Image copyright Hollaback! Nottingham
Image caption Rose Ashurst (right) took part in a Reclaim the Night walk in Nottingham last month

Ms Ashurst said: "I came back to Nottingham after being at university in London and kept experiencing being shouted at on the street or being groped or being followed home.

"From speaking to people, everyone has got a story of being followed home or shouted at or feeling uncomfortable, or people pushing themselves against you."

The YouTube video promoted by Hollaback! has been viewed more than 37 million times.

Image copyright Rob Bliss/Hollaback!
Image caption Hollaback! said there were more than 100 instances of street harassment during the filming of the video
Image copyright Rob Bliss/Hollaback!
Image caption One man followed actress Shoshana Roberts for five minutes

Some viewers were shocked and said the woman's treatment was unacceptable, while others suggested she should have been grateful for compliments.

But Ms Ashurst said this behaviour is "a way to exert power", and is particularly a problem when it happens repeatedly.

"When I was younger, like 19, I was like: 'Oh, that's a compliment', I used to enjoy it, but it got more and more," said Ms Ashurst, who is now 24.

"I can't even leave the house without someone saying something to me now.

"People think that's OK, it's fine, you are being complimented on, but you don't know who I am, you have turned me into an object."

Image copyright Hollaback!
  • The movement was founded in New York City by three men and four women in 2005.
  • It began as a blog to collect women's and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals' stories of street harassment.
  • Since January 2011 Hollaback! has trained more than 300 people in 79 cities and 26 countries to be leaders in their communities, including Birmingham, Bristol and London in the UK.
  • Site leaders are trained to operate their own blog, documenting people's experiences of street harassment and bringing attention to what Hollaback! says is a "long-ignored issue".

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