Know Your Rights: Street Harassment and The Law
Stop Street Harassment released a Know Your Rights Toolkit today.
WASHINGTON, DC – To mark the U.N.’s Human Rights Day, Stop Street Harassment (SSH) released a comprehensive Know Your Rights Toolkit detailing the laws in each state that regulate unwanted sexual behaviors in public spaces, including, but not limited to, obscene comments, flashing, up-skirt photos, following, and groping. It also covers how to report these crimes to the police.
Sexual harassment in public spaces, or streetharassment, is a human rights concern, yet this harassment is not specifically criminalized, despite negatively impacting at least 80 percent of women and countless men, especially in the LGBQT community.
Many common street harassment behaviors, however, are already illegal under state laws such as Disorderly Conduct, Invasion of Privacy, and Sexual Misconduct.
The Know Your Rights Toolkit details what those laws are in each state and how people can report streetharassment using them.
“While laws will never be THE answer—and in some cases they can be problematic when they are applied disproportionally to low-income people and persons of color—they can influence societal attitudes about what is and is not okay. Additionally, laws can create consequences to deter harassment and, as many harassers are repeat offenders, reporting incidents may prevent future crimes,” said Holly Kearl, SSH founder and Executive Director.
A State-by-State Guide:
The online version can be found here on the SSH website.
From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW