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Meet Melanie

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hey, I'm Melanie, I'm 15 years old and I currently live in Lebanon.

When did you start your account?

I took over @catcallsoflebanon almost 20 days ago.

Why were you inspired to start an account?

I first saw @catcallsofnyc a year ago or so. I fell in love with the idea since there's no violence or shouting included.

Why do you think "chalking back" is a good method to raise awareness?

It's a very calm and contained way of raising awareness about street harassment. And I thought to myself, why don't we have that in Lebanon ?

Why do you think ending street harassment is important?

Catcalls objectifying women (comparing them to food ect..) is very common over here.

Turns out we did, unfortunately it wasn't that successful. I believe that we (no matter our gender, age or size) should be able to walk safely, comfortably and peacefully. Not feel threatened, nor fear getting traumatized. We deserve to live to the fullest too.

What's your favorite thing about your city?

I love how Lebanese people come together when it's needed, and don't give up. And I hope this beautiful characteristic of theirs apply to such situation.

How can your city better address street harassment?

If people stood up for eachother on the streets, I think there would be a better outcome. And if law was applied correctly without according any privileges to anyone, it would be a safer place for everyone.

What do you hope is the outcome of your account?

I deeply hope that this account motivates and helps as many people as possible. Street harassment is a terrifying reality and it should be stopped.

What's the most difficult street harassment situation you've experienced?

I'm terrified of sharing this but here goes nothing. When I was 8 years old, I was locked in a exit room and jerked off to by a male adult.

What does being a part of this campaign mean to you?

It means a lot. It means that I'm speaking up for my rights and for millions others who can't do that for themselves. It means I'm fighting for the right of younger me. It means I'm not staying quiet. It means I'm taking action.


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