Outraged by New York street harassment video? There's legal help available
By Magdalena Mis
LONDON, Oct 31 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A video which went viral of a woman being accosted and verbally abused by men in the streets of New York has sparked outrage at the lack of laws to protect women from harassment.
The two-minute video of Shoshana Roberts, dressed in a black T-shirt and jeans, was recorded with a hidden camera by Rob Bliss, a videographer who recruited the actress to highlight the harassment women routinely face walking through the city.
The video, published by advocacy group Hollaback!, has been watched over 22 million times since Tuesday - prompting disbelief, anger and even threats of rape directed at Roberts.
"What's up beautiful have a good day", "Hey baby", "If I give you my number, would you talk to me?" are just some of the comments Roberts was addressed with.
Emily May, co-founder and executive director of Hollaback! said wishing a woman a good day or calling her beautiful might not be as innocent as it seems.
"Often words like 'good morning' or 'hey baby' escalate into words that are much more violent," May told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview.
"I had experiences when people said 'good morning' to me and I responded 'good morning' and they used it like I had somehow invited them to then follow me down the street or say much lewder, more disgusting comments to me and I think that street harassment really ruins it for the nice guys," she added.
What might be a daily occurrence for some women could have serious consequences for the perpetrators and there are options available to victims if they want to take a legal action, May said. Continuación...