This article presents findings from a comprehensive mapping exercise of activist responses to, and policy advocacy for, street harassment across the US, UK and Australia. Analysis of activist groups found that the bulk of responses constituted forms of “awareness raising” and documenting the experiences of victims, suggesting that current advocacy is largely situated within the “problem identification” phase of policy development. The extent and focus of activism and advocacy efforts varied across the three locations, with the responses advocated for shaped by local concerns and politics. In particular, activist groups diverged in their support for criminal justice responses to street harassment. Where policy and other initiatives have been developed, these have rarely been evaluated, and there is a clear need to establish an evidence base to better support future policy and practice developments.
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Posts sharing individual experiences or disclosures of street harassment were coded under “story gathering and disclosure”. Although these arguably also function as a form of “awareness raising”, these themes have been distinguished in order to differentiate between the sharing of general, collated information about street harassment and the sharing of personal experiences.
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My sincere thanks to Dr Tully O’Neill for her research support on this project, and to Tully and the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive and encouraging feedback on earlier versions of this manuscript.
This project was funded through the Australian Research Council DE190100404.
Conflict of Interest
The author currently serves as a board member for It’s Not a Compliment.
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Fileborn, B. Mapping Activist Responses and Policy Advocacy for Street Harassment: Current Practice and Future Directions. Eur J Crim Policy Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10610-021-09479-2
- Street harassment
- Public intrusion
- Gender-based violence