This web site was founded in the summer of 2010 as an Israeli extension of Hollaback, after one of its founders has experienced a gender-oriented physical assault. Hollaback is a world movement that uses technology in order to end gender-oriented and sex-oriented street harassment. We aim to break the myth according to which yelling, whistling, groping and other forms of “light” sexual assault are a social convention, a price all women and LGBT members have to pay when in the public sphere. At Hollaback we believe women have the right to go anywhere feeling safe – and not as a moving target. Here we create a safe space where you can comment, share and holler back every “little” crime that is not reported, and raise awareness to the true extent of street harassment in Israel.
If the public sphere is completely different for men and for women, then we do not live in the free pluralistic society as we would like to think. If we avoid certain routes in certain times of the day, if we adjust our wardrobe accordingly – something is wrong. If groping is legitimate, more severe violence will soon be accepted as routine. For many of us, it already is. We have gotten “used” to taking it and keeping our mouths shut. We take it from all men, of all ages, races and religions. We do not respond because we are not taught to respond: The advice we get is usually “Don’t go there”, “Don’t walk alone after dark”, “Don’t make eye contact and don’t react in any way – it would just get worse.” There is much to say about these “solutions”, but we cannot say they work. Sexual harassment not only teaches women to shut up. Moreover, it teaches men it is acceptable, and no one would hold them responsible for it.
The most advanced law against sexual harassment was accepted in Israel, covering a wide variety of street harassments under section 3(a)V: Degrading or humiliating a human being regarding his or her gender or sexuality, including their sexual orientation. In addition to Hollaback web sites, this site draws from the spirit of the law, and hopes to influence the reality in Israel so that women would be able to protest street harassment because they are a part of a free society. The Internet, for us, is a virtual public space , in which we hope to influence the non-virtual public space. Meanwhile, all women and transgenders are welcome to send us reports, holler and work alongside Hollaback websites to create gender equivalence in the public sphere. With every report, every holler, we get closer to put an end to street harassments, here and everywhere.
You are welcome to send us reports and tell us your own harassment stories (even anonymously) – on Hollaback we don’t have any statue of limitation, and it doesn’t matter where or when it occurred. You can send us stories in your mother tongue. With your permission, we will translate them into Hebrew. Please make sure your reports are written according to our site policy: unfortunately, sexism is often repaid by racism. It is important to remember all boys and men can street-harass, regardless of their skin color, their accent, their race or their religion. When a report presents a specific characteristic as a justified cause for harassment, the real problem is dissolved: the fact that this phenomenon exists in every socioeconomic level of society. We will gladly accept reports pointing to harassment as the main problem, and not to a certain ethnic group. Therefore, please avoid mentioning any specific characteristics of the harasser and focus on the act itself and your feelings about it.
For reports, queries, questions and complaints, contact us at [email protected]