For months, we have been hearing about cases of sexual harassment occurring in more “controlled” environments such as in the workplace setting, in healthcare facilities, and even on school campuses, but the truth is, sexual harassment can occur anywhere and isn’t confined to the inside of a building. In fact, a person can be sexually harassed by a stranger walking next to them on the street or while pumping gas. Cleveland Scene refers to this type of harassment as “street harassment.” And it appears street harassment has become a major issue for the women of Cleveland which is why many have come together to shed light on the problem.
The truth is, many women in Cleveland have become the victim of street harassment, particularly to one form known as catcalling. According to the Women’s Republic, catcalling is “a term referring to when a man whistles, yells, hollers, or makes a comment to a woman in a sexual manner.” Now, while many men are led to believe that this sort of behavior is harmless, the definition of catcalling is very similar to that of sexual harassment. A person is said to be committing sexual harassment when they make unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks that are of a sexual nature. So, when a man sees a woman walking down the street and yells something inappropriate, it might just be a form of sexual harassment.
The reason Cleveland Scene has decided to cover this topic in their recently published article is because the summertime generally means there will be a “spike in catcalling and other forms of street harassment” as more women tend to wear less clothing to combat the rising temperatures. The source is also sharing a helpful resource for women who have experienced catcalling and aren’t quite sure how to respond when someone comes up from behind while checking them out and saying something discomforting that requires a response.
What it is this resource you wonder?
If you are approached by someone who clearly is attempting to come onto you, but you don’t want to ignore them or reject them as that has led to many women being harmed, there is a hotline number you can give a man that might help prevent them from catcalling again. The source says you can give someone this number, 267-603-1172, and when they call, “they will receive an in-your-face education about perpetuating street harassment.” And when they text the phone number, they will receive an automated response that says:
“Hello! You received this number because you made someone feel unsafe by your catcalling or harassment. It is not flattering when a man whistles at you, yells at you, or intensely stares you up and down. This makes us feel violated and scared for our safety. By making sexual comments about someone’s appearance, you are objectifying them and this makes them feel comfortable in their own body. It is rude and dehumanizing. Please adjust your behavior in the future. Thank you, and have a nice day!”
The reason this hotline was developed is
because catcalling is not an isolated issue in Cleveland, says the source. One woman shared her catcalling experience from when she pumping gas. The woman said it began when saw a man out of the corner of her eye approaching her. In her mind, she only wished he would go away but he had no intention of doing so. He began to approach her by yelling “Hey, yo girl! “I’m talking to you.” After paying him no attention, he asked her a sexual question and again, with no response from her, he went on to make some degrading comments while using profanity. She wasn’t the only woman who has had this experience.
And while many men attempt to say they were simply trying to give a woman a compliment, the fact is, “catcalling is not a compliment.” It makes many women uncomfortable and terrified and should be avoided at all times just as unwanted sexual advances and remarks should be.
And if you live in Cleveland and believe you are the victim of sexual harassment, now is the time to use your voice and combat the issue. USAttorneys.com can help get you connected with a sexual harassment attorney in Cleveland, OH who will support you and provide you with the legal expertise you will need.