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 tell us your story 

 We want all voices to be heard.  

 As the amazing @yrfatfriend put it ‘We so often hear the harassment   stories of such a narrow slice of people’. 

 

 We’re on a mission to change that by collecting and sharing as many   stories as possible so please add yours here. 

 

 MEET THE TEAM 

 
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The fact that we don’t all enjoy our time in public space equally, without fearing harassment, is unjust. 

Public sexual harassment is an incredibly threatening thing to experience. It makes us feel powerless, objectified, hurt, and angry.

 DAZED, 2020 

 When people say, ‘you should take it as a compliment’, I think they have absolutely no idea of how graphically sexual and frightening a lot of these comments are. 

 Sisters campaign against gender-biased street harassment. 

 BBC, 2020 

 You can get fined for dropping litter, but not for harassing a schoolgirl. 

 THE TIMES, 2019 

 Street harassment of young girls should not be normal.

 

I won't rest until it's illegal. 

 THE GUARDIAN,

2019 

Girl Catcalled when she was 11 launches bid to make it illegal.

 METRO, 2019 

 GURLS TALK, 2019 

 We deserve to feel safe on our streets. 

 STYLIST, 2019 

 Why you can get fined for dropping a cigarette on the street, but not for harassing women. 

ON the RADIO

 Stopping street harassment with the Tutton sisters. 

 GINA'S GAME CHANGERS

 Period sex, women and insomnia, street harassment. 

 WOMEN'S HOUR, BBC 

in the PRESS

 If you would like to get in touch, learn more about our campaigns and feature us, please fill in the contact form at the bottom of this page.

We need to make sure that the next generation of children in the UK understand the prevalence and impact of public sexual harassment. 

 GLAMOUR, 2020 

A generation of children's sex education will be incomplete if schools prioritise exam results over students’ wellbeing. 
by our Co-founder Gemma Tutton.

 HUFF POST, 2020 

The fact that we don’t all enjoy our time in public space equally, without fearing harassment, is unjust. 

 HUFF POST UK, 2020 

Public sexual harassment is an incredibly threatening thing to experience. It makes us feel powerless, objectified, hurt, and angry.

 REFINERY 29, 2020 

 DAZED, 2020 

 When people say, ‘you should take it as a compliment’, I think they have absolutely no idea of how graphically sexual and frightening a lot of these comments are. 

 Sisters campaign against gender-biased street harassment. 

 BBC, 2020 

 You can get fined for dropping litter, but not for harassing a schoolgirl. 

 THE TIMES, 2019 

 Street harassment of young girls should not be normal.

 

I won't rest until it's illegal. 

 THE GUARDIAN,

2019 

Girl Catcalled when she was 11 launches bid to make it illegal.

 METRO, 2019 

 GURLS TALK, 2019 

 We deserve to feel safe on our streets. 

 STYLIST, 2019 

 Why you can get fined for dropping a cigarette on the street, but not for harassing women. 

ON the RADIO

 Stopping street harassment with the Tutton sisters. 

 GINA'S GAME CHANGERS

 Period sex, women and insomnia, street harassment. 

 WOMEN'S HOUR, BBC 

 Our StANCES Now 

 

Abortion and reproductive
rights

We believe that bodily autonomy is a fundamental human right, and that this includes full and free access to all forms of reproductive healthcare. We also acknowledge the colonialist history of contraception and reproductive healthcare, as outlined by the Decolonising Contraception Collective, and support all work towards ensuring that reproductive healthcare is safe, accessible, affirming and based on principles of bodily autonomy and consent.

 

We believe that abortions are healthcare, and should be free, safe, decriminalised and easily accessible to everyone who requires one. We believe that there should be no stigma surrounding abortion.

 

We believe in the rights of all people, including young people, to access contraception, abortion and reproductive healthcare. We believe that young people know their own medical requirements, and condemn any and all attempts to undermine Gillick Competence.

 

We believe that reproductive rights also include the right to conceive and to complete a pregnancy, safely and with full social support. We are aware that many marginalised groups have been denied access to this kind of healthcare (for example, lesbian couples who wish to access IVF, Black women being five times more likely to die in childbirth than white women, disabled people being stigmatised for wishing to become parents, and trans men and non-binary people who risk misgendering during antenatal care). We support all actions that address these inequalities in reproductive healthcare.

Police abolition and
criminalisation of PSH

Our overarching goal has been and always will be to end violence against women and girls. The way we contribute to achieving that goal is by campaigning to end Public Sexual Harassment (PSH); one of the most common forms of violence against women and girls.

 

In order to reach this goal, we have to harness the tools of the society in which we reside- our current means of doing so involve education (link Our Schools Now), publicity and awareness (link IG, Twitter, FB), and in the UK we are aiming to introduce legislation to make PSH a criminal offence (link petition).

 

Let’s be clear about one thing: OSN is pro-defunding the police and ultimately pro-police abolition.

 

In our changing world we aim to adapt our means of ending PSH to the processes of society; meaning if abolition is achieved then we are prepared to shift the actions of the campaign to fit that model of society (for example: invoking the concepts of community retribution, and amplifying our efforts in education and awareness).

 

For now, however, one of the most effective routes we can take to end PSH is by making it a criminal offence which challenges not only perpetrators but the culture which normalises this behaviour. In a society structured by law, the absence of legislation around PSH is notable. It is a direct product of the normalisation and passive acceptance of violence against women and girls in our society.

 

Women, girls and marginalised genders deserve to feel safe and be safe in public.

Trans-inclusivity

Our Streets Now is a trans-inclusive campaign.

Public sexual harassment (PSH) is carried out because of gender discrimination and/or power dynamics. The reason the campaign employs gendered language (eg violence against women and girls) is to demonstrate how PSH is fundamentally an issue of misogyny and men’s entitlement to women’s bodies. This applies to anyone who faces misogyny because of their actual or perceived gender. Trans women and femme-presenting non-binary people face high levels of misogyny. Their experiences must be at the centre of the work to challenge violence against women. Of the 350 transgender people murdered in 2020 because of transgender violence, 98% were trans women or trans feminine people. Black and migrant trans women of colour are even more likely to face violence because of the intersecting forms of discrimination they face. 

 

There is a disturbing trend of transphobic movements appropriating narratives around gender-based violence to justify the exclusion of trans people from public spaces. Our Streets Now strongly opposes transphobia or trans-exclusion in any form, and supports the rights of trans people to access public and/or single-sex spaces.
Finally, Our Streets Now supports the campaign to reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA). The requirement for trans people to live in the ‘role’ of their new gender for two years before gender recognition is degrading and further exposes them to discrimination. We support the rights of trans people, including trans youth, to access affirming healthcare, including puberty blockers. We believe that removing access to healthcare, in addition to being against recommendations from medical experts and organisations, is against the principles of bodily autonomy.

 

Our Streets Now welcomes suggestions, criticism and feedback from the trans community on improving the inclusivity of the campaign.

PSH terminology

Public Sexual Harassment (PSH) comprises unwelcomed and unwanted attention, sexual advances and intimidating behaviour that occurs in public spaces, both in person and online. It is usually directed towards women, girls and gender diverse people; however, it can be experienced by all. PSH is carried out because of gender discrimination and/or power dynamics. It perpetuates an environment and culture that disregards historically vulnerable and oppressed groups of people, diminishing their sense of self-worth and denying equal access to public space. 

 

PSH is an intersectional issue. How a victim’s identity characteristics intersect, for example through race, disability and sexuality, can compound their experience of PSH as perpetrators exploit the many vulnerabilities in a victim’s identity. Not all experiences of PSH are the same. However, they are tied together by the core power dynamic in which the harasser seeks to dominate the harassed.

 

Making sure the language we use when talking about violence against women and girls (VAWG) translates its true nature is paramount to effecting a culture change. We cannot euphamise this violence. This is why Our Streets Now does not use the word ‘catcall’ or ‘wolf-whistle’. We are not animals, we are human beings seeking to exist in public spaces without feeling unsafe. We believe this term trivialises, normalises and silences victims’ experiences. It takes away from the damaging nature of PSH, making people more likely to ignore the problem and even worse, victim-blame. 

 

The term public sexual harassment also highlights the intrinsic link between all forms of VAWG, such as workplace harassment and domestic abuse. These are not separate issues; they have a common root, namely power over marginalised people and male violence. We strongly believe in the continuum of gender-based violence (Kelly, 1988) and that tackling sexist comments and the objectification of women in society will reduce all forms of VAWG.

BLM Support Statement

We wholeheartedly support the Black Lives Matter movement.
We condemn the killings of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and so many others as a direct result of systemic racism. We recognise the deeply embedded structures of anti-Black racism across the world and in the United Kingdom.

Black people are discriminated against at every level of society, and racism exists not only on an individual level, but is structurally and systemically embedded into our society. As a UK-based organisation, we feel it is especially important to recognise the role of the British Empire in spreading violence and oppression to a quarter of the world’s territory.

We must also highlight the history of slavery. These histories live on in and through our institutions and collective consciousness. We support efforts to decolonise the curriculum both at school and higher education levels.

Standing with
Sex Workers

Our Streets Now stands with sex workers.

We believe we should listen to sex workers and their demands, including the call for full decriminalisation. Sex workers deserve equal access to justice, health care and other services. Both SWARM and the English Collective of Prostitutes call for decriminalisation, for reasons you can read about here. As SWARM clearly states: “we assert that no one can label us victims and use our experiences to silence us, because we’re resourceful, resilient and the experts on our own lives.”

We recognise Amnesty International’s
statement that sex workers face high rates of human rights abuses, which are due to factors from gender-based violence to discrimination to criminalisation. Multiple forms of intersecting discrimination are often at play, from transmisogyny to racism to migrant or other status, combining to deny sex workers full human rights and resources. We must listen to sex-worker led organisations and work together to end gender-based violence.

 

Our Streets Now welcomes suggestions, criticism and feedback from sex workers on improving the inclusivity of the campaign.

Anti-Racist Statement

We live in a structurally and systemically racist society.
Our Streets Now recognises this and commits to doing all it can on an organisational and individual level to highlight and challenge the racism embedded in our society.  

 

As an organisation working in violence against women and girls, we must recognise the dual discrimination that women of colour face. In VAWG, we are aware of the continual exclusion of women of colour, and Black women in particular. We recognise that the #MeToo movement was started by a Black woman, Tarana Burke, whose work and contribution has been consistently erased. 

 

In the specific context of public sexual harassment, women of colour experience not only higher rates of public sexual harassment, but the type of harassment is often more targeted and more damaging. Racial language is coupled with sexist remarks. The process of adultification also means that Black women in particular are sexualised at younger ages. We must centre these experiences of harassment in our work.

 

In terms of Our Streets Now in particular, we recognise the role of white privilege in the campaign’s reach. Our two co-founders being white is central to our demands being challenged less and listened to more. We have a duty to recognise the privilege which the white members of our campaign hold. We must also do more to consider how this privilege operates in and through our organisation. Studies show that performative white allyship can actually lead to burnout in anti-racist activists of of colour. Those who hold white privilege within the organisation must therefore not only recognise their privilege but actively work to become anti-racist allies. Holders of white privilege must listen to people of colour and platform their words. 

 

Our commitments are: 

 

  • To centre the disproportionate violence that women of colour, and in particular Black women, face
     

  • To highlight the intersecting discrimination of both sexism and racism that women of colour face when publicly sexually harassed, as well as other forms of discrimination they may face (ableism, Islamophobia, anti-semitism).
     

  • To ensure that women of colour are key members of our organisation across all teams 
     

  • To make specific types of anti-racist work mandatory for all those who identify as white within the organisation 
     

  • To support anti-racist activists and work across our social media platforms, particularly work by people of colour and especially Black people 

 

We firmly commit to these actions, and make them public with the explicit aim of being held accountable. Our Streets Now welcomes suggestions, criticism and feedback from people of colour on improving the inclusivity of the campaign.

Political Affiliation

Our Streets Now is not affiliated to any political party.

We believe that violence against women and girls should not be a partisan issue and welcome support from any and all democratic representatives.

BAME Statement
(in progress)

Here at Our Streets Now, intersectionality is integral to everything we do. Part of that includes recognising nuances in language, which is why do not use the acronym BAME.
 

BAME stands for “Black and Minority Ethnic”, and is a term widely used, especially in the UK.
 

However, we feel this term can be harmful and dismissive, as it homogenises the experiences of an incredibly diverse demographic of Women, Girls and Non-Binary people.
 

Black, Muslim, East Asian, South Asian, Latinx and every intersection of these women/nb people face different types of PSH and gender based violence. Grouping these people together under an umbrella term like BAME is doing them a disservice, as it disregards the diversity of experiences these groups face based on this aspect of their identities.

Read more here.

Activism and commissioning our campaigners

Activists have changed the world on a whole range of crucial issues, from obtaining the women’s vote to making gay marriage legal, yet we are among the lowest paid workers, often not paid at all. What’s more, it is often oppressed people who engage in activism, people who are less likely to be in better paid jobs. Therefore, if people want to collaborate with us and commission someone from our team, we believe that if they have the means, they should pay us! The Our Streets team is a group of volunteers who pour their hearts and souls into changing the world, so it is a safer, better and fairer place for all. 

We must remember that activism is only needed in the face of struggle and oppression, and sometimes it feels like we are fighting for bare necessities. It’s incredibly empowering but we should not have to spend so much time and energy in educating, sharing and justifying our traumas, especially not for free.

 

CONTACT US

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OUR STREETS NOW

A movement to end Public Sexual Harassment in the UK by making it a criminal offence and changing the culture that allows it. Join the movement, sign the petition.

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