Campaigns, Events, Resources, The Movement

Human Trafficking in the USA: Dr. Mary Anne Layden, The Permission Giving Beliefs of Male Sexual Demand

Join us February 27, 2014 from 12:30 to 5:30 pm for a TEDx style event discussing the complexities and nuances of human trafficking in the United States. Learn about the extent and scope of the human trafficking happening right here in our own backyards, the warning signs, what you can do to help. Coffee and light refreshments available during event, and cocktail hour with speakers follows event for all attendees. TICKETS REQUIRED.


Introducing Speaker: Mary Anne Layden

Dr. Mary Anne Layden, Ph D, is a psychotherapist and Director of Education at the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the Director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program. She specializes in the treatment of victims and perpetrators of sexual violence and sexual addiction.

Dr. Layden has appeared on television, and is a highly respected commentator on the effects of prostitution and the international trafficking of women in prostitution. Dr. Layden has testified before the U.S. Congress on five occasions in relation to issues of sexual violence, the sexual exploitation industry and the media. She has also lectured extensively both in the US and abroad on Cognitive Therapy, Personality Disorders particularly Borderline Personality Disorder, childhood sexual trauma, sexual addiction, sexual exploitation industry and imagery techniques. She has written numerous chapters on Cognitive Therapy especially on treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Layden’s focus on the demand side of sex trafficking is based in her clinical work with johns (the men who pay for sex). We are proud to introduce her talk about the beliefs surrounding male sexual demand and their contribution to the commercial sexual exploitation of sex trafficking in the United States.

For more on her work and her perspective on treating the demand side of the issue, read her special feature at News Weekly, “The human cost of sexual exploitation.”

Campaigns, Events, Resources, The Movement

Sex Trafficking in the USA – Speaker Series 02/27/14, 12:30pm

Did you know you don’t have to be transported anywhere to be “trafficked”? That human trafficking happens all over the world, to people from countries all over the world, including right here in the United States? Visit the event page for full details on tickets! And join the Facebook event page to receive updates and speaker profiles!

Join usfor a TEDx style event discussing the complexities and nuances of human trafficking in the United States. Learn about warning signs, what you as a good samaritan can do, and the extent and scope of the human trafficking happening right here in our own backyards. Coffee and light refreshments available during event, and cocktail hour with speakers follows event for all attendees. TICKETS REQUIRED.

Date: February 27, 2014

Time: 12:30 to 5:30 pm 

Location: Shusterman Hall, Temple University (1801 N Broad Street)

Food: coffee, light refreshments, and cocktail reception after the event

Tickets: $10 at door; for continuing legal education credits, $100 ticket.

The talks are designed to discuss various aspects of human trafficking in nuanced detail and from multiple perspectives. Some talks will indirectly converse with one another and provide for fruitful discussion during the discussion breaks, at which speakers will be present, mingling with the audience members.

Visit the event web page for a full schedule, and stay tuned for posts introducing each of our speakers, their fields of expertise, and the topics about which they will be speaking. But, grab your ticket today!

Experts from service professionals, survivors of trafficking, to attorneys and law enforcement officers, will provide compelling and engaging talks about their work. This conference will focus exclusively on domestic human trafficking within the United States, including perspectives from survivors, clinicians who work with the johns, and law enforcement officials detailing the investigative side of these cases and the overlap in content and issues with other gender-based violence issues. Speakers will also delve into nuances experienced in the LGBTQ communities and the trafficking of native women.

Sponsored by

 Temple University Beasley School of Law  

kapow logo

 Tickets must be purchased in advance of the event. Discounted rates available for students. Attorneys seeking CLE credit must buy the CLE ticket, non profit and government attorneys can pay the discounted CLE rate. This conference will provide 4 substantive CLE credits, and no ethics credits. For CLE questions, please contact Farlistcity T. El at (215) 204-1073 or email at All other questions, please contact HollabackPHILLY at




  1. Rochelle Keyhan (Director, HollabackPHILLY and Director, Feminist Public Works)

  2. TED talk: Margaret Heffernan, The Dangers of “Willful Blindness”.


  1. Jen Horowitz: Women’s Way: Human Trafficking: the extent of the problem and attempted solutions in the United States

  2. Jack O’Neill: Philadelphia District Attorney: How They Got There: dispelling myths about prostitution and sex trafficking

  3. Lynly Egyes (Staff Attorney, Sex Workers Project, NYC): The Hidden Truth: How Our Policies and Practices are Hurting Trafficking Victims

  • 20 minute refreshment and discussion break


  1. Tina Frundt (Founder of Courtney’s House, Service Organization): Sex trafficking in the US: a survivor’s perspective.

  2. Maryanne Layden (Director of Education, Center for Cognitive Therapy, University of Pennsylvania): Clinical perspective and experience working with Johns.

  • 20 minute refreshment and discussion break


  1. Daniel Velez (Assistant United States Attorney, Eastern District of Pennsyslvania): The Federal Response to Human Trafficking –This talk not available for Livestream.

  2. Jen Long (Director, Aequitas: The Prosecutor’s Resource on Violence Against Women): The importance of an effective response to gender-based violence that sees violence against a woman in prostitution as just as worthy of a strong response as a victim of human trafficking.

  3. Sarah Deer (Victim advocacy legal specialist, Tribal Law & Policy Institute, St. Paul.: Trafficking of Native Women and Tribal Court Systems.

  • 20 minute refreshment and discussion break


  1. Jen Horowitz: Women’s Way: Organizational and Policy Responses to Human Trafficking in Pennsylvania.

Campaigns, Events, Resources, The Movement

Streets To Call Our Own Kickstarter and Call for Participants

A new documentary is in the works on street harassment activism, and HollabackPHILLY is a guest star! The director of the documentary is looking for people to interview for the documentary – check out her message below and be a part of history!
Streets to Call Our Own
From Kara:
Hi everyone! My name is Kara Lieff and I am working on my senior thesis film at Temple University, a short documentary called Streets To Call Our Own.  My documentary focuses on the anti-street harassment efforts in Philadelphia and people’s personal experiences with street harassment.  I am currently seeking participants (of ALL genders, sexual orientations, backgrounds, races, ages, etc.) for interviews and on-location filming of street harassment spots.  Has a particular experience of street harassment really stuck with you?  Was there a time when you were really scared or spoke up as a bystander? Did an incident significantly change your route or your life?  If you would like to be a part of my senior thesis film, please e-mail me at  Please also check out my Kickstarter campaign and share with people who are interested in this topic or want to be involved!  You can view the campaign here:  Thank you so much! – Kara Lieff, Temple University ’14

Campaigns, Events, The Movement

State of Our Streets: A Report on Street Harassment in Philadelphia

The report of our survey results is finally here! Check out the results below and stay tuned for a recap after today’s City Council hearing! If you can be there, it starts at 10 am in room 491!

Edit: Below the survey results is the compilation of written versions of the testimony delivered today!


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Campaigns, Events, Pop Culture, The Movement, User Submissions

Cosplay =/= CONsent: Costumes aren’t an invitation for Harassment.

HollabackPHILLY released another CNN iReport, this one about our Cosplay =/= CONsent efforts at national comic cons. The below video was pre-screened on October 19 at GeekGirlCon 2013, and now it’s officially available in Site Leader Rochelle Keyhan’s iReport:

The above video is part of HollabackPHILLY’s effort to work with national comic conventions on improving the scope and efficacy of their anti harassment policies and procedures. Sexual harassment at comic conventions has been documented online for the better part of a decade, but most mainstream convention circuits still do not have formal and thorough anti-harassment policies. In the above video, you can see cosplayers’ visceral reactions to our question about how they would feel about conventions adopting formal harassment policies: some loosening the tension in their shoulders, even smiling, at the thought of a convention setting that was set up to be an inclusive and safe space for all fans.


To read the full post about our efforts and the scope and impact of cosplayer harassment, click through!


I've got your back!

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Campaigns, Events, Resources, The Movement

HollabackPHILLY’s public policy agenda: Safety Audits and UN Best Practices



Preliminary data from the 357 people (above) who have filled out the survey so far indicate that 334 of them have experienced street harassment in our City in the past year.

City Council Public Hearing on Street Harassment with HollabackPHILLY. Nov. 7, 10 am, City Hall Room 404.

City Council is hosting a public hearing on the problem of street harassment in Philadelphia. HollabackPHILLY is presenting evidence about the scope of the problem in Philadelphia, the type of behavior, and how that behavior impacts the mobility of women and LGBTQ Philadelphians. The goal is to collaborate with City Council on a city-wide, gender-based safety audit to determine what does and does not make Philadelphians feel safe, and what the City can do to improve the conditions for women and LGBTQ folks on Phliadelphia’s sidewalks and streets.

HollabackPHILLY will be presenting data from our survey, user submissions of street harassment, and live testimony of peoples’ experiences with street harassment in Philadelphia. If you are interested in testifying, or being on the list of people present, please email us at If you haven’t yet completed our survey, please do so! If you haven’t shared the survey with your friends and acquaintances, please ask them to take the few minutes to contribute to lasting change in the experience of walking our City’s streets.


Our end goal for this public policy work is to conduct a gender-based safety audit of Philadelphia, to determine what factors contribute to making women and LGBTQ folks feeling unsafe, and what could be done to make them feel safer. Safety Audits are considered a “best practice” by the United Nations for considering gender-based safety in public and urban spaces.

We have been advised by the Huairou Commission, a United Nations affiliated NGO, and HollabackPHILLY Director, Rochelle Keyhan, spoke at their parallel meeting to the United Nations 57th Annual Commission on the Status of Women this past March 2013. For more information on Safety Audits visit the UN Habitat page on safety audits. We will be using the Jagori Handbook for the safety audit.


Have you been street harassed, or witnessed it? If you have, share your story today and help break the silence surrounding gender-based violence. Help us re-write reality so we can change it!


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Campaigns, Events, News, Resources, The Movement

3 Minute Survey – Helps Us Partner with Local Officials for a Gender-Based Safety Audit of Philadelphia!

We are gearing up to meet with local officials about planning a city wide safety audit to improve the condition and safety on our streets for women, LGB, and trans* Philadelphians! Gender-based safety audits are a United Nations best practice for assessing and responding to safety concerns in public spaces.

Please take three minutes to fill out this survey and help us make this audit happen!




Events, Resources, The Movement

Calendar Alert! Upcoming September/October Events!


  • Our Etsy shop is now live! Get your copy of the comic book, a HOLLAHero kit, and other Hollaback: Red, Yellow, Blue gear!
  • Baltimore Comic Con September 8, 2013! Keep an eye out for Anna and Rochelle cosplaying as Wolverine and Mariko — or any of the volunteers with clipboards that have hot pink “COSPLAY =/= CONSENT” posters on the backs!
  • Saturday, September 28, 2013: March to End Rape Culture, 11am at Love Park in Center City, Philadelphia.
  • Saturday, September 28, 2013 Mice Expo: Meet our sister-site leaders of HollabackBOSTON as they bring the street harassment and cosplay =/= consent movement to Boston!
  • Saturday, October 5, 2013 Locust Moon Festival: We’ll be tabling at this local festival, with all our gear, swag, and exclusive goodies for attendees! You won’t want to miss it :) .
  • Saturday, October 12, 2013 New York Comic Con: The HollabackPHILLY team will be outside the convention hall with the leaders of our sister-site HollabackBoston and members of the Hollaback! Mothership, talking to cosplayers with swag and cameras in tow!
  • Saturday, October 20, 2013 GeekGirlCon (Seattle, Washington): Rochelle is presenting a panel on comics for social good, culture jamming, and a more inclusive geek culture. She’ll have comics in tow, and simple ways for you to get involved in changing the tide of harassment at cons.

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Events, News, Pop Culture, The Movement, User Submissions

Launch Party Harassment, at the event and online afterward, and Locust Moon’s stellar response.

While our launch party this past May seemed like a fun, festive occasion, with a great outpouring of local support for our comic and our CONsent project, some people were harassed by someone who was not only at the event, but who purchased a comic and showed support for the anti-harassment cause. Our entire comic-con anti harassment movement is geared towards shifting the culture of conventions and comic book stores to be inclusive of more than just straight male fans. Part of that inclusive culture means firm responses and zero-tolerance policies toward gender-based harassment.

Now that things have settled down from the release party, and we have brought the issue to the attention of Locust Moon who reiterated they have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment, we want to share the story with you all from beginning to end.

Anonymous’ Story: First off, I had a great time at your event last night. You all were so pleasant and your cause is one that has my full support. Oh, and the comic is awesome! It really exceeded my expectations.

Unfortunately, that’s not why I’m contacting you. I’m contacting you because a friend sent me this: which is clearly about me. [Anonymous requested the post be removed, which Craigslist actually honored. So we’ve attached a screenshot]

Creeper (1)

At first, I thought it was really funny, maybe a joke. But the more I think about the sad irony of attending an event to end harassment and winding up on Craigslist’s missed connections, the angrier I get. If it’s the guy I think it is, I literally spoke one sentence to him. He seemed harmless enough at the time. To think that in those brief seconds he made my heart go pitter patter is insulting to me and the serious relationship I am in. He clearly mistook my excitement of purchasing your comic for “something very real.” And the end? How creepy is that?

This is exactly what Hollaback stands against. He reduced me to “a killer set of tits,” made vastly exaggerated assumptions about me, and removed my choice in the matter. And to top it all off, I am now hesitant about returning to that amazing comic book store.

Locust Moon seems a very woman-friendly store. That’s why I was so upset about this guy practically saying he’d be waiting for me there. Locust Moon is by far the most welcoming comic store I’ve found since I moved to the area, and I definitely plan on visiting whenever I can. But, of course, I want to feel safe.

I assume he is only a regular customer, not an employee. I realize this is completely out of your control and appreciate your support as well. I mostly just want to feel comfortable when I visit Locust Moon, and him to understand his behavior is totally unacceptable. I’m not entirely sure how to even handle this. I certainly don’t want any contact with this creep. But I would really like to feel comfortable the next time I visit Locust Moon. Any suggestions?

We’ve had nothing but excellent, supportive interactions from Locust Moon, so we sent them this information, including the name and photograph of the offender, and asked for their opinion on what they were willing to do as a store that seems to pride itself on being inclusive and welcoming. We also sent Anonymous an email letting her know how we planned to respond.

Anonymous response reminded us why we do this – because you should never be made to feel that you are overreaction when harassment upsets you; because you deserve support and a community that has your back.

Anonymous: Thanks again for getting back to me. I hope I didn’t blow this out of proportion, like some friends accused me of. I’m just very tired of the onus being on the victim though, not the aggressor. And I hate when people use the Internet as a way to anonymously threaten others. That’s why I want to take a stand alongside groups like Hollaback.

And Locust Moon’s response reminded us that men are often allies, and we if we trust them enough to talk to them about these issues, we give them the opportunity to be equally horrified enough to stand alongside us as we speak out against harassment.

Chris from Locust Moon: We’re glad you brought this to our attention, and only wish we had gotten this information sooner. We definitely want Locust Moon to be a welcoming place for everyone, and take the safety of our patrons seriously. This guy  has no idea how to deal with women, and I’m sorry this had to happen at our store, and that such a good night was sullied by such ignorant and childish behavior. Unfortunately (or fortunately), this guy DOES NOT come to the store often. While currently there is nothing we can do (none of our staff even recognize him), but he is no longer welcome at Locust Moon. This guy will NOT be allowed into the store if he tries to come by again. We will keep his photo on file and try to look out for him. This applies to more than just this one man: any person who harasses or makes threats against any of our patrons is not welcome here, and we do want to be made aware if any such behavior occurs again.

Please let Anonymous know that we’d love for her to come back and see the kind of place we are. We’d hate for some random creep to ruin her, or anyone’s, perception of Locust Moon.

While we were heartened by this response, and appreciated the re-affirmation that they strive to be a comic book shop that breaks the “boys only” mold, what was more important, we wanted to be sure Anonymous was comforted and supported. Happily, she was!

Anonymous: Comic book stores can be kind of intimidating to women, what with the whole “fake geek girl” thing many of us have to overcome. Dealing with some creepy guy who swears his love to me because we made eye contact is just one more hurtle I don’t want to jump. All I want is to enjoy some good literature. I’m very pleased with Locust Moon’s response. They clearly care about my happiness and safety.

So, if you are looking for a women/LGBT friendly comic book shop in Philadelphia, look no further than Locust Moon. And know, if any harassment is to occur, they will have your back!

I've got your back!

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Campaigns, Events, News, Pop Culture, The Movement

HollabackBoston kicks off our Northeast Comic Book Tour today at Boston Comic Con!

In case you missed the big announcement, we released the Fall Schedule for our Comic Book Tour (see below)! Meet us at the cons, or let us know if we left off your local con so we can try to add it to the tour! While we prepare for Baltimore and NY Comic Cons, HollabackBoston is taking our comic book, “Hollaback: Red, Yellow, Blue” to Boston’s con as they talk to people about the “cosplay =/= consent” movement to raise awareness about cosplayer harassment.


To get the tour started we want to link you to some ballbusting feminist heroines. Check out Buzzfeed’s “23 Times Lady Superheroes Were 1000% Done. This shit, they’re over it.” A couple of our favorites are posted below, but reading them all definitely got us in the spirit to kick some ass, superhero style!


Wonder Woman is turned on by justice. Storm has no time for sass.




COMIC BOOK TOUR 2013 Schedule

Keep an eye out for our teams at the following comic conventions on the East (and one on the West) Coast throughout Summer and Fall 2013! We’ll have comics, swag, and information on our next steps! Share your stories with us to get some swag, and your stories will help the movement to create formal and comprehensive responses to cosplayer harassment, so conventions are safe and welcoming places for everyone.

  1. Boston Comic Con: Meet our sister-site leaders of HollabackBOSTON as they bring the street harassment and cosplay =/= consent movement to Boston! Saturday, August 3, 2013.

  2. Baltimore Comic Con: The HollabackPHILLY team will be outside the convention hall with the leader of our sister-site HollabackBMore talking to cosplayers, with swag and cameras in tow! Sunday, September 8, 2013.

  3. Mice Expo. Meet our sister-site leaders of HollabackBOSTON as they bring the street harassment and cosplay =/= consent movement to Boston! Saturday, September 28, 2013.

  4. Locust Moon Festival: We’ll be tabling at this local festival, with all our gear, swag, and exclusive goodies for attendees! You won’t want to miss it :) . Saturday, October 5, 2013.

  5. Tentative: New York Comic Con: The HollabackPHILLY team will be outside the convention hall with the leader of our sister-site HollabackBMore talking to cosplayers, with swag and cameras in tow! Saturday, October 12, 2013.

  6. GeekGirlCon (Seattle, Washington): Rochelle is presenting a panel on comics for social good, culture jamming, and a more inclusive geek culture. She’ll have comics in tow, and simple ways for you to get involved in changing the tide of harassment at cons. Saturday, October 20, 2013.


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