Tell us a bit about yourself:
My name is Hanna Huguet, I am 19 years old, and from Vancouver Canada.
When did you start the account:
Why were you inspired to start an account?
I was first inspired by Sophie, the founder of @catcallsofnyc. When I first came across the account I spent hours scrolling and reading through stories, I immediately got angry that this many people have had such a horrible thing in common. I knew I had to be apart of this movement. Knowing I am not the only one afraid to walk alone in my city was an even stronger motive to create a place where others can share their stories. In high school I was sick by the way guys would talk to and about woman, from the schools to the streets every person deserves to be respected and not objectified. I want to do my part in spreading awareness about street harassment, which has become too “normal” in our society.
Why do you think “chalking back” is a good method to raise awareness?
To me it’s about paying respects to those who were harassed, and showing what was said won’t be forgotten. By marking down those words, we prove they have a greater impact on someone then most understand, and can lead more to start the conversation about street harassment. It can help others see they are not alone, and hopefully show that what you yell out to a stranger could impact their day, safety, and future situations.
Why do you think ending street harassment is important?
Growing up I had always determined my worth through the eyes of strangers. I use to be in awe of my older sisters who were catcalled in front of me because to me, it meant they were beautiful. I would be excited to one day get called on, that is until it happened and it didn’t make me feel pretty or special, instead I felt scared. Looking back it breaks my heart I use to think that way, and not be taught that it’s not okay for people to call you sexy at 10 years old, or that it is actually a form of harassment and not just a compliment I should be thankful to get. I don’t want anyone to feel like their worth is determined by others, especially those who exploit their bodies. Everyone deserves to feel safe while walking outside, whether they're alone or with friends & family. They are human beings who deserve respect.
What is your favourite thing about your city?
The nature, Vancouver has various elements. Mountains, beaches, forests, waterfalls, it’s very beautiful and serene.
How can your city better address street harassment?
It would be nice to see more people speak up when they see their friend or family member catcall, and share that it’s not okay to do that. Some people simply don’t understand that what they're doing is harmful. Also by sending in their stories, so they can be chalked and shared!
What do you hope is the outcome of your account?
To shed light on street harassment and rape culture. To create a community that brings hope to people who feel similar anxiety or fears, and can have their experiences be acknowledged.
What’s the most difficult street harassment situation you’ve experienced?
This experience wasn’t on the street it’s just one that’s stuck to me the most. I was 11 and my friend and I were at a campsite pool. Two guys a bit older then us followed us around, and one of them said “i could easily stick a banana up inside you” and they both laughed. At the time I really didn’t understand what they meant, I just remember feeling so nauseas the rest of the day. They followed us around and continued to make sexual comments. I ended up crying in the showers that night not understanding why I felt so uncomfortable and sick. Looking back on that day, I just remember feeling ashamed and dirty for hearing those comments, I thought it was all my fault.
What does being apart of this campaign mean to you?
It means being apart of the change, knowing that this could be a time where everyone is heard and validated for their experiences. Getting to physically mark down stories is empowering and give’s a sense of hope. I do believe it is possible to change, I know that people can do better, and learn respect. This movement is about bringing stories to light, and regaining our strength and power together.