February 21 2018
Karen Lyons started running to escape hardship–and couldn’t stop.
One of our newer programs that launched about a year ago is a national hotline on street harassment; it’s the first of its kind in any country. We partner with the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) to run it. Anyone in the country can receive help 24/7 for free in Spanish or English. We have a phone option as well as a chat option. It allows people to talk through what happened, get advice, get emotional support, find out what the laws are in their area if they choose to report anything. That’s one of our core programs that’ll continue.
Another one is International Anti-Street Harassment Week, which we put on every April. It’s an opportunity for groups of people all over the world to do some sort of activism about street harassment in their communities. People do workshops, rallies, marches, tweet chats; art is a big thing that happens: wheat pasting or sidewalk chalk messaging. We work with groups in up to 40 countries every year, and we work with a lot of government entities, too.
The hotline is national, Anti-Street Harassment Week is international and then locally, in the Washington, D.C. area, one of our core programs is working with the transit authority. They have a PSA campaign that’s had three different waves of ads: last year, they did the first survey on sexual harassment on the transit system. We train their frontline employees, they have a specific reporting method and we do outreach days a couple times each year: flyer-ing the metro stations, letting people know how they can report harassment.