Street Harassment is unwanted and unwelcomed public attention, most often directed at women, which is demeaning and damaging. It’s not a private matter but one that concerns us all.

    Examples include catcalls, leering, whistling at a woman walking down the street, or yelling from a moving car. Street Harassment is behaviour that is not a compliment.

    Don’t walk on by. You can help play an important role in addressing and stopping street harassment. 

    Be the one to help make a difference if you witness harassment on the street or anywhere. This is not about being a hero to the rescue but finding the role you can play to help out! Some things you can do include actions that distract the harasser (ask for the time or directions), ask if the person being harassed is okay and if you can help. The video below provides some great examples (language warning!) of ways to address the situation.

    It starts with you. Question your own language, attitudes and behaviours and how they may disrespect or harm women and girls.

    White Ribbon conducted a survey of men in Ontario, Canada and found most men think it is important to speak out, educate their sons or intervene. Most men also acknowledged that violence against women is important to them and recognize there is a key role they can play in ending it. Sexist language and street harassment all contribute to a culture of violence. Consider ways in which you can be part of a solution!

    It stays with him. Talk to your family, friends and co-workers and the young people around you about treating women with dignity and respect.

    Challenge men and young men in your life to make a difference! Take time to talk to your friends or colleagues about harassing behaviour. White Ribbon asks you to consider what you can do: create a space to discuss the issues and raise awareness by organizing a workshop or presentation at your school, workplace, place of worship, or sports club.

    This video from Jeremy Loveday is a great call to action for men and boys to speak with other men and boys about violence, rape & harassment. 


    Demeaning and offensive jokes, comments, and behaviour can be challenged. Don’t participate or laugh along. Help hold men accountable.

    While some have become ‘desensitized’ or think it’s just a part of everyday life, Street Harassment can be stopped if men help by speaking out and speaking up against it. Confront the behaviour and not the person by saying things like “Hey, that’s not okay.” or “Come on, stop harassing folks.”

    Assess the risk, and challenge the behaviour in a way that will help defuse the situation safely. If you need to,ask for help. Check with the victim and offer support. Tell her you don’t support what happened; ask her if she is okay; tell her that men don’t have a right to treat women that way.

    Engage in way that defuses the situation and does not escalate it. Remember, Street Harassment can be a competition amongst a group of men or a man wanting to assert his power, seeking interaction with someone outside of their deemed ‘social status’ or a man without an understanding of how to interact with women and others around him.

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