When did you start your account?
I started @catcallsofhampshire in April 2020.
Why were you inspired to start an account?
I’ve been faced with street harassment for years now (I’m currently 18) and I’d heard of my friends facing similar things and worse. I found similar “catcallsof” accounts and I was so inspired by the work that they did, it made me have hope for once about ending street harassment. I looked to see if there was an account for my city, and there wasn’t, and what was worse was that there weren’t any in my county. So I decided to make an account for the whole county, so folks can submit their experiences of street harassment and feel like they have a safe space to openly speak about it.
Why do you think “chalking back” is a good method to raise awareness? Why do you think ending street harassment is important?
I think chalking back is such a good method for raising awareness as it allows people to stop and think about how bad street harassment really is, and how much of an effect it can have on people. It breaks down the stigma of talking about harassment and allows us to start a dialogue on why it needs to be stopped. I believe that street harassment needs to end so that everyone can feel safe wherever they go, whoever they’re with and whatever they’re wearing. It creates a more peaceful world for everyone.
What’s your favorite thing about your city?
My favourite thing about my city is the warmth of it. There’s something really homely and nostalgic about my city which I really love.
How can your city better address street harassment?
I think the whole county (that my city is in) can address the issue of street harassment by taking the issue more seriously. I think as well as trying to stop street harassment actively, education of street harassment and harassment in general is so important. I was never taught about the different types of harassment in school and I wish I was. It would’ve allowed me to recognise what I was being faced with rather than brushing it aside until I was 18 years old.
What do you hope is the outcome of your account?
I created this account as a safe space for people to submit the harassment that they’ve faced, anonymously or not. Although the main outcome for this account is to raise awareness of how bad street harassment is by sharing people’s stories, my hope is that my account feels like a safe space for people to share their experiences.
What’s the most difficult street harassment situation you’ve experienced?
This is a tough one! I think probably one of the most difficult situations of street harassment that I faced was recently, I was with my best friend and this man approached us and followed alongside us, talking to us and calling us “beautiful” and asking to get closer even though we’d repetitively said no to him. He followed along for a little while and only left when we told him how old we were.
What does being a part of this campaign mean to you?
I feel honoured to be a part of this campaign and to be involved in a group of people who feel the same anger that I do and have the same passion for ending street harassment.