Last night, Sarah Harper of VoiceTool Productions organized a rally to celebrate Anti-Street Harassment at the 16th Street BART station in San Francisco, to raise awareness and offer people resources to fight street harassment in public spaces. Why BART? A recent New York Times article “Sex Crimes Pass Under the Radar on Public Transit” stated:

Bay Area public transit riders, especially women, said in interviews that they often face unwanted sexual advances
from strangers in the form of masturbating and groping on buses, on trains and in stations. Rider advocates and others who study such behavior on mass transit say the crimes are vastly underreported and so police statistics understate the problem.

Sarah made the following comments about the event:

Meet Us on the Street San Francisco met its goal:  to make it clear that street harassment exists, is a problem, and can and should be addressed.  Our crew of activists, students, and community members spoke with a variety of passersby at the 16th St. BART station on the issue of harassment.  We engaged many in dialogue about the effects of harassment as a reality in many women’s daily lives.  We also provided fliers for passersby (in English and Spanish) so that they may share the information with others.
The fliers included quick “how to’s” for dealing with harassment in-the-moment:  effective body posturing and phrases victims and witnesses may use to remain empowered while keeping themselves safe.  The fliers also detailed what constitutes harassment, so that potential harassers may begin to identify and change their harassing behavior.
This event was a seed-planting opportunity; we are already planning upcoming events to nourish that seed.  Follow our work and get involved!  Together, we can stop street harassment.
Thank you Sarah for all of your hard work to bring awareness to this important issue!