Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, I'm Angelica! I'm 21 years old and am a full time student double majoring in Psychology & Feminist Studies at UCSC! I also volunteer on a Domestic Violence crisis line & work at an office on campus that specializes in providing support services for survivors of dating & domestic violence, stalking & sexual violence.
When did you start your account?
I started the @catcallsofSantaCruz fairly recently! I started chalking in December and have loved doing it ever since :)
Why were you inspired to start an account?
I was inspired to start an account to raise awareness in the community about how pervasive this form of sexual violence is specifically. I have been catcalled ever since I remember and am a survivor of abuse myself, this background has motivated me to advocate for others who have experienced similar things in their lives.
Why do you think "chalking back" is a good method to raise awareness?
I think "chalking back" is a way to give voices to those who are affected most by these forms of violence and street harassment. "Chalking back" brings this violence to everyone's attention and requires them to pay attention when their community members are impacted by violence.
Why do you think ending street harassment is important?
Ending street harassment provides a foundation for ending other common, egregious forms of violence such as rape and domestic violence. Ending street harassment would not only pave the way for community members to feel safer walking anywhere but would also begin a step towards the right direction in ending all forms of sexual violence in society.
What's your favorite thing about your city?
My favorite thing about Santa Cruz is the abundance of nature! My college campus is in the middle of the Redwood forest and is minutes away from the ocean :)
How can your city better address street harassment?
Santa Cruz could better address street harassment in the form of education and advocacy. Educating community members about these ever-present forms of violence could prevent street harassment as well as advocacy in the form of advocating for those who are most affected by these forms of violence.
What do you hope is the outcome of your account?
I hope that those interacting with my account become more educated about forms of violence in their community and learn how to better support those around them who have been impacted by violence overall.
What's the most difficult street harassment situation you've experienced?
I was coming back from my high school one day, unfortunately the sun was setting because I had stayed late after class to help decorate a float for homecoming and was followed by a man on his bike. The man proceeded to yell profanities at me and attempted to move his bike very close to my body as I waited for the crosswalk light to turn green. I still remember the way he looked at me and how scared I was as a 15 year old, hoping that someone would intervene. No one did. Eventually I ignored him and he rode away but I was so fearful of what he might do to me and if anyone would help me or notice this man harassing me.
What does being a part of this campaign mean to you?
Being a part of this campaign means elevating the voices of those most affected by these forms of violence within society. It means, listening to others and never judging the actions of the victims or survivors. It means not only calling on our communities to take action but calling on the world to take action against gender based violence.