What can you do to tackle Street Harassment?

  • NQ reporter Lydia Reynolds, gives some advice and tips when it comes to tackling street harassment

When confronted with tackling street harassment, it’s difficult to know how to respond. There is no right or wrong way about this, the only important matter is your safety.

If you decide to address the harasser, make sure to take into account these 4 tips:

  1. Be strong: Remain calm and be firm, denounce their behaviour with a stern clear voice
  2. Think: Make sure you know what you want to say before responding, and make sure that you are not apologetic in your response so that they know it is NOT acceptable behaviour.
  3. Don’t engage: Harassers may retaliate and carry on abusing to cause a reaction. Don’t react in a verbal war, the attention may feed their offensive behaviour.
  4. Leave the situation: After you have clearly stated that their behaviour was out of order, remove yourself from the situation.

Some tips on how to tackle Street Harassment:

  • Report it – Always report if you have been a victim of harassment. The more we report it, the more we can fight against it.
  • Educate – Educate yourself and others on the issue, and find ways of how you can make a change
  • Relax – Try to remain calm if you are being harassed, the worst thing you could do is physically or verbally retailate and make the harasser angry. Focus on your breathing to manage your adrenaline response.
  • Protection – Carry round an item with you that makes you feel emotionally safe, and have it in your bag or pocket for easy access. This could be a personal attack alarm.
  • Practice awareness – Being aware of your surrounding is key. You may feel more in control if you have a good understanding of what’s around you, incase you needed to escape to somewhere safe.
  • Always seek support – Speak to someone. Ring someone. See a counseller. Hang out with your friends or family. Surround yourself with support and you’ll find solidarity in the fact you’re not alone.
  • Self defence Classes – It may sound crazy, but take some self defence classes. It will make you feel more prepared but will also make you feel more confident.
  • Share your experience – Bring awareness to the issue, you’ll find out that you’re not the only one. Social media is a great way to spread your story.
  • Confide in someone – if you have been a victim of harassment, speak up. It will feel better to get it off your chest, and then you can find out how to deal with the situation.
  • Take action – if you see someone being harassed, step in for support. There is no harm in asking if someone needs help getting out of a sticky situation.
  • Speak up – keeping quiet will not help resolve the issue. Respond to the harasser, and let them know their behaviour is not appreciated. #ItsNotNice