Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Jessica and I am 21 years old. I was born in the US while my family immigrated from Cuba about 23 years ago, and I am proud of saying that I am a latina woman. Currently I’m a biology major and on the pre- med track. I hope to become a dermatologist one day. I’ve decided to go this route because I have struggled with my own skin and know what it feels like to be uncomfortable with your own body, and I want to make a difference with young adults. On my free time I love listening to music and hanging out with friends.
When did you start your account?
Feb. 26, 2019
Why were you inspired to start an account?
My best friend had mentioned catcallsofnyc and I looked them up. She also asked me if I wanted to do the account with her and I agreed because I thought it would be a good idea to spread the word because we know how it feels like and I wanted women to feel comfortable telling us their stories and making it known.
Why do you think “chalking back” is a good method to raise awareness?
It’s a good idea because people can just be walking and read what we wrote on the streets. Anyone can see it. Those who do it, someone who knows someone that does it , anyone who knows a victim and even if your a victim. Any tourist can see them as well. People become more aware about these stories and how people feel when these things are being done to them.
Why do you think ending street harassment is important?
It’s important because I feel like everyone should feel safe walking alone or with their friends without having to worry what would happen to you because your dressed “too showy” or someone screaming at you for not paying attention to them or getting things thrown at you. You should be able to do your own thing and not get whistled at or harassed everywhere you go.
What’s your favorite thing about your city?
I love that the beaches are pretty close to us, which can make it easy to have a mini vacay without having to leave our city. I also love that its very hispanic oriented with all the variety of hispanics we meet and food places. I also love that their is a variety of other cultures and how we become friends with each other. It’s always something different we’re not all the same. There are all kinds of people here.
How can your city better address street harassment?
They barely address it. Nothing is ever done and people are raised to think that if they don’t want to get catcalled not to be out there alone or to not be dressed too showy. They also say “boys will be boys” and I think we as a community need to make it known and raise the next generation with a different mentality.
What do you hope is the outcome of your account?
I hope there is more awareness and that people feel empowered and comfortable with coming forward with their stories and making it known to everyone.
What’s the most difficult street harassment situation you’ve experienced?
Same one as co-owner emily because we were together when it happened.
What does being a part of this campaign mean to you?
It means a lot to me because I know what it’s like since it’s happened to me. And I know there are other women who experience things and don’t tell anyone about it and I feel like I’m united with all these girls and we can be their motivation to empower themselves and that together we can fix this.