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#AskingForIt Blogathon: Let’s Create Safe Spaces Together!

Posted: May 1, 2015

The #AskingForIt initiative is about not just standing by when street harassment of girls happens: Take a stand and inspire more people to stand up!

90% of women reported being harassed or abused in public places. Not a statistic to be proud of. Many of us will remember, especially, being harassed as girls, on our way to school or college.

Research by Breakthrough, a global human rights organization, shows that public places such as bus stops and railway stations are among the places where schoolgirls feel most unsafe.

In most cases, we stay quiet…watching, being afraid, or even think that this is how things have always been.

But it doesn’t have to be this way!

What is #AskingForIt?

Sexual harassment of girls in public places is seen as ‘normal’. In many cases, people even believe that a girl was ‘asking for it’ by being out in the first place or wearing clothes of a certain kind. This problem can be solved only when we make it everybody’s problem!

#AskingForIt is an initiative by Breakthrough to mobilize communities and get every individual, both online and in the ‘real world’, to speak out and not take sexual harassment as ‘normal’. #AskingForIt is about asking for each one of us to speak out and take responsibility.

In the ‘real world’ as well, the campaign will be mobilising for action at bus stops, which are among the worst places today for girls on their way to school or college.

Great! What do I need to do?

More girls will speak up and fight back againt harassment on the street when they know they have support and others are not just watching!

Show your support and inspire others also to act against any harassment on the streets by writing a post on Women’s Web. If you are a registered contributor on Women’s Web, simply log in and submit your post. If you don’t have a contributor account at Women’s Web, but would like to participate, use this form to send us a guest post on the topic.

Here are some suggestions on what you can write about:

  • Your own experiences with street harassment as a girl and your thoughts on what the community or people around can do to help
  • What can enable women and girls to travel safely at late hours/night or travel freely in general?
  • Victim blaming – the culture of holding women and girls responsible when they are harassed
  • Your own experiences as a bystander – did you speak up? Why/Why not? In what ways can people intervene?
  • How can bus stops, railway stations and other such places be made safer?
  • Any inputs or suggestions you have on seeking a legal/ police response

All May, we will be focusing on the topic and working to inspire eveybody to speak up and act!

How will this help?

Most often, we stay quiet because we believe the problem is too big and we are too small. “After all, what can one person do?” is a common response. Let’s not forget that all change starts with one person, followed by another, and another!

Your post can share experiences, examples, resources or inspiration for others to act as well. Let’s remind ourselves that we are not alone – and we can work together to create safer spaces for our girls!

A few points to note

  • By submitting a post for this initiative, you confirm that you are the writer and own the copyright to the post
  • All selected posts will be published on Women’s Web and at a later stage, may also be published on Breakthrough, with appropriate credits to the author
  • You can submit a post written afresh on the campaign theme, or re-submit a relevant post written earlier on your own blog

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