Lawmakers review street harassment in NYC
As common as “no smoking” signs have become, “no catcalling” could be next.
A City Council committee said Thursday it will ask either the health or education departments to survey female New Yorkers about their experiences with street harassment.
Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) said she wanted to hold the hearing after learning about young girls in Queens being harassed on their way to school.
“Some of the behaviors are aggressive and menacing to those who are the targets,” said Ferreras, adding that harassment can range from car honking to groping.
The committee also will look at the cost analysis for a public awareness campaign and creating harassment-free zones, similar to drug-free zones around schools.
Among those who testified included 14-year-old Brian Bradley, of Brooklyn, whose rap video, “Stop Looking at my Mom,” has more than 400,000 views on YouTube.
He told the packed committee room that he has seen his mother being leered at by men – and it’s impolite.
“I’m not asking (men) to not look at women … I’m only asking them to be more respectful in their approach,” he said.
The New York-based anti-street harassment group, Hollaback, told the council it will release a smart phone app so that users can share where in the city they’ve been targeted.Hollaback Executive Director Emily May said street harassment “is poised to be the next big women’s issue of this decade, in the same way that workplace harassment was in the 1980s.”
Should there be a law banning catcalling on the streets?