Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Columbia MO, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
I don’t leave my house without headphones so I don’t have to hear what they are saying to me.
Cross-posted from Anna Kegler’s Huffington Post Blog, originally posted on 09/24/2013 11:12 am.
After writing almost a year ago about the need for a major public campaign around sexual violence prevention, I was overjoyed to hear that The Joyful Heart Foundation(headed by Mariska Hargitay of SVU fame) and No More were joining forces to create a nationwide (nationwide!) PSA campaign to address domestic violence and sexual assault. They have designed a three-year campaign that will run in local and national markets including print, broadcast, online and outdoor ads. But there’s more: You’ll also be seeing these PSA videos in movie theaters, major airports and medical facilities. This is no blip on the map — it’s the real deal. It’s actually happening.
More than 40 celebrities and public figures appear in the ads, which are designed specifically to urge bystanders to get involved. Why this approach? A major reason is the findings of the “NO MORE Study” conducted by GfK Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, and funded by the Avon Foundation for Women, which reveal thatsilence and bystander inaction are what stand in the way of effecting any real change. While this doesn’t come as a surprise, seeing the data in black and white is sobering. According to the report:
Clearly, the general public isn’t talking much about this issue. One reason for this is that the reporting on domestic violence and sexual assault is usually episodic, meaning we periodically hear about dramatic “newsworthy” incidents like the Steubenville and Vanderbilt University cases without much discussion of the greater societal reasons these things keep happening. In response to individual incidents, we easily revert to comforting, self-protective (and often victim-blaming) thoughts like, “I would never have let that happen to me,” or, “I would never let anybody treat me or anybody else like that,” or, “if I had been there, I would never have let that happen.”
As the research findings above indicate, we still have a long way to go before our silent/inactive reality catches up to our swoop-in-and-do-something intentions. Campaigns focused on bystander intervention are crucial, as they break this pattern by helping us move away from an individual framework that fosters victim-blaming, to a community framework that fosters connection and intervention.
Here are some examples of the excuses for inaction that the No More campaign highlights:
NO MORE: “He comes from such a good family.”
NO MORE: “She was flirting with him.”
NO MORE: “It’s none of my business.”
NO MORE: “Why didn’t she tell anyone?”
NO MORE: “She seems fine to me.”
NO MORE: “I’m sure they will work it out.”
NO MORE: “Boys will be boys.”
NO MORE: “Well, what was she wearing?”
NO MORE: “Hey, he said he was sorry.”
NO MORE: “But he goes to my church.”
NO MORE: “Well, he was drunk.”
NO MORE: “She was asking for it.”
NO MORE: “But he’s such a nice guy.”
NO MORE: “It’s just a misunderstanding.”
NO MORE: “She’s too smart to let that happen.”
NO MORE: “Why doesn’t she just leave?”
NO MORE: “She was drunk.”
Hearing these messages said out loud in the TV commercials by both male and female celebrities gives me goosebumps.
I still have a lot of burning questions about this campaign, which I hope will be answered as the launch progresses over the next few days. I wonder what the reasoning is behind using the phrase, “no more bystanding” instead of, “no more standing by.” I have only ever heard, “bystanding,” used in a positive light, so this sounds a little strange to my ears. I would love to know more about the process, and what other words and messages the team considered and discarded as they carefully crafted this campaign. I’m also curious about distribution: What magazines will be carrying the print ads? Will any major TV networks will be running the No More commercials during the highly-anticipated season premieres happening over the next few weeks? Will there be ads on Hulu to reach the huge audience who now consume their TV shows exclusively online? What about radio ads? This campaign seems like it would translate perfectly into radio ads, and I would love nothing more than to hear my Pandora stream interrupted by these messages.
Lastly, I’m curious to know what the evaluation process will look like. It’s not an easy task to determine whether a PSA campaign is effective, and it very much depends on what you are trying to measure. Since so much domestic and sexual violence goes unreported, it’s very likely that this campaign could cause an uptick in reports instead of a decrease, as some might expect. It’s possible that the metrics for success will focus on whether peoples’ answers to the “No More” Study survey questions start shifting to reflect an increase in bystander behaviors.
But aside from all the burning questions, I’m just really, really happy this is happening.
[Side Note: I can't stop thinking about this possibility: It has recently been reported that so many advertisers have pulled out of Rush Limbaugh's radio show that only PSA ads are left to fill the ad space. Maybe if this campaign creates a radio ad, it will choose to stay away from that show entirely (I wouldn't blame them) but imagine the glory of hearing Rush Limbaugh's misogynistic ranting broken up periodically by messages of strength and solidarity against sexual and domestic violence.]
Follow Anna Kegler on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@annakegler
City Council is having a public hearing on street harassment in Philadelphia. HollabackPHILLY will be presenting data, 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 philly.ihollaback.org. 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.
If you are able to be present, this will be a public hearing on street harassment in Philadelphia. HollabackPHILLY will be presenting the information compiled from our survey, and will be proposing that City Council sponsor a citywide, gender-based safety audit to assess the safety of our city for its women, girls, LGB, and trans* citizens.
So far we have 190 completed surveys, but would love to have 500 by the time we meet with City Council. The survey is brief, at most it will take you 3-5 minutes, many people say it took them around 2 minutes. But the information and your contribution are invaluable. Please ask others in your life (of all genders) to complete the survey as well!
For more information on the safety audit process (a United Nations best practice), visit the UN Habitat’s page on safety audits, what works, and where!
A strange man approached me in the parking lot at school, after greeting him and smiling – as I try to do with most individuals, out of courtesy. He then began asking me a series of questions: i.e. Was I a professor at the school? Attempting to make it clear that I had to get to class, he then commented on how “beautiful” I was, followed by the suggestion that “my husband must tell me that all of the time.” I left for my intended destination. Since when did a “Hi” become an invitation?
Some guy on the Media/Elwyn line began interrogating me, trying to get my number and find out where I go to school. Despite saying I was on my way home from my boyfriend’s place, he didn’t relent until we both got off the train at Suburban Station.
A man selling papers for a local homeless organization started asking me rather personal questions, like if I’m single and why didn’t I have a boyfriend. I told him it’s because I prefer girlfriends, which is both true and got him to leave me alone, but now this charity’s name is damaged for me. All of my previous experiences have been positive. Now I have to wonder if I’ll get propositioned every time I see their neon yellow vests.
Having a smoke waiting for the bus and a large white man with an Italian flag shirt on came up and asked where I was from and if I was single. I said no, I’m French and engaged. He called me a whore and walked off.
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!
Hi Fans! HollabackPHILLY is looking for some interns/volunteers to help us with some pretty exciting/huge projects we have on the horizon! Check them out and, if you want to help, email us at email@example.com!
Thanks for helping us with this revolution!! We couldn’t achieve these results without your support and assistance!
Interns will be essential in continuing the momentum of HollabackPhilly’s current projects, which include:
For the research and data analysis, publication credit is possible depending on quality and quantity of your work. For more detailed descriptions of the various projects/positions, see below!
Research: We have both qualitative/quantitative and academic research projects in the works. Depending on the applicant’s level of assistance, there are opportunities for credit in the publications of this research. Applicants with statistical backgrounds will be invited to work on analyzing the data from our user submissions, the surveys conducted in response to our 2013 SEPTA PSA transit advertisements, and the social media feedback about those ads. This data will be used to augment our public policy outreach that is currently in the works. We are also working on academic research projects, some of which are scheduled to be published, and others of which are still in the research stage.
Public Relations: Our comic-convention anti-harassment campaign is an ongoing, large-scale campaign that is focused on Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, Boston, and Los Angeles at the moment. This campaign is going to increase in momentum as we gear of for San Diego Comic Con in 2014. In addition to publicizing this campaign, we have two large events (a conference and a party) scheduled for the Spring of 2014. Publicity intern will work on press releases, contacting vendors, writing blog posts, and will learn how to create a “pitch deck” as they work on a deck to help with the event publicity.
Event Planning: We have two large events scheduled for the Spring. The first is a full day conference featuring speakers discussing Human Trafficking. This event will require reaching out to vendors for food and supplies, as well as coordinating their services. The second event is HollabackPHILLY’s 3rd Birthday Party in May, which will celebrate everyday heroes/activists in Philadelphia while serving as our kick off party leading into our San Diego Comic Con effort in July 2014. This event will require reaching out to vendors throughout the city for collaboration on the swag bag, reaching out to local artists and comic-creators to feature during the event, and coordinating the volunteers and donations.
Urban Planning/Development: We are planning a city-wide, gender-based safety audit using United Nations’ manuals and best practices as our model. We have international advisors assisting us in the planning stage, and are in talks with local government officials about collaboration. Responsibilities for this internship will involve reviewing the various United Nations manuals and compiling a shorter training manual for the 50+ volunteers that will be assisting with the safety audit. This intern will also be present and active in the planning process as we fine-tune the training and audit implementation plans. The audit is tentatively scheduled for 2014.
Graphic Design: As part of our Comic Convention Anti-Harassment campaign, we have a few publicity projects that require graphic design skills, including meme generation (for which we have the content started, just need the design assistance). There is also room for collaboration on new projects and assistance with publicizing your work to international audiences.
HollabackPhilly is the only Philadelphia organization of its kind dedicated to ending street harassment on an international level. We are non-political and non-partisan. Our model is based on giving women and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) folks an empowered response to street harassment, a “hollaback!.” We implement innovative, though-provoking, and groundbreaking work that has elevated the global anti-street harassment effort to the next level. As part of a 64-branch international network, we design all of our programming (including our comic book and our public transit ads) to be scalable for international use. So, your local assistance will have a global impact.
In addition to our work in the community, we encourage users to tell their stories, and provide a platform on-line through blogs and mobile phone apps, which allow for sharing of the harassment story as early as while it is still occuring. Each Hollaback is mapped, putting a face on the everyday harassment and assault, and breaking the silence that has perpetuated street harassment. By using data to establish the case against street harassment, Hollaback!’s social change efforts will ultimately result in significant improvements in policy and a reduction in crimes against girls, women and LGBTQ individuals.
To date, Hollaback! is in 64 U.S and International locations, with another 60+ cities on the waitlist to start their own branches. HollabackPHILLY’s programming is all designed to be scalable to those organizations. So, the work you do with our organization will have an international impact as we share the resources with our sister branches all over the world.
HollabackPhilly is committed to diversity and encourages everyone who is interested to apply. Decisions will be made regardless of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or veteran status.