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HollabackNYC is now also accepting video submissions: Catch that jerk with your video phone or do journalistic style feature on Street Harassment and we'll post it!

Email your submissions here!

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If you have questions about street harassment or about our site, consult our list of Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

For info on HollaBack's commitment to antiracism, click here.


Hollaback on the go by tweeting your street harassment stories! Add #hbnyc to all posts and follow us @iHollaback:



Want HollaBack to come and speak at your school, dorm, or organization? Email Emily at


  • Want a street harassment expert to tell you what it's really like on the streets? Email Emily May at

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Volunteer Graphic Designer and Website Developer Needed!

To prepare for the launch of Hollaback!, our new street harassment mapping service, we need a real logo. Preferably a real cool logo. We also need a whole new website.

Do you or does anyone that you know develop logos or websites? If so, send them our way. We've got no money, but we can compensate with free advertising on our site.

Monday, December 28, 2009

More to the Story: Cyan Brown

In response to the Cyan Brown story:

I used to use this train station every day to commute to Manhattan and I am not shocked at all by what happened to this young woman. These guys who hang out in front of that train station are getting more bolder by the day. One can only wonder if there's more to the story, but being that I am familiar with this train station, I don't doubt anything at all. During the summer time, while buying a metro card, I've was grabbed and told "One of my boys wants to rape you" by a group of guys hanging out in that station. Snapping a picture of these guys would probably result in physical injuries or getting your phone broken, so I unfortunately, that was something I wouldn't even think of doing. Needless to say, I no longer use that station. I walk 6 blocks to the 2nd nearest train station just to be on the safe side. I would not be surprised if the same guys who used to harass me are the ones involved in that article.

Submitted by Jasmine

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rape at Fulton Street: the Subway Violence Continues

According the Post, a man is accused raping his ex-girlfriend at the Fulton Street Station on November 13th. The ex-con allegedly pulled her hair, punched her in the face, ripped her pants off and raped her.

As station booths close and the number of underground police are on the decline, it is no accident that subway crimes have risen. Subway stations have become safe havens for violence against women.

We deserve better. Join us at New Yorkers for Safe Transit to make a difference.

One 16 Year-old Girl, 'Seven or Eight' Full Grown Men

By now the story of Cyan Brown, the 16 year old who fatally stabbed a man on Thursday, has been heard around the city. Chased by "seven or eight" men who were trying to drag her off the train and sexually assault her, Cyan had two options: fight back or get hurt.

Like all of us, Cyan had probably been harassed and maybe even assaulted before. She knew what it meant to have lewd comments made about her body. Perhaps she had been stalked before, or been the unwilling witness to public masturbation. Like all of us, Cyan knew very well what the long term emotional impact of harassment and assault felt like, and this time she wanted a different ending.

When we ask our readers why the 'hollaback,' the most frequent response is that they were tired of "doing nothing." This makes sense. Harassment and assault are on a spectrum of violence against women. A study of rape victims found that the ones that fought back - even if they were unsuccessful - were less likely to be depressed or have PTSD afterwards. Fighting back, it seems, is good for you. The problem is - we shouldn't have to.

While we at HollabackNYC do not support violence in any form, Cyan had no other options. When violence is the only answer, something is terribly, terribly wrong with our city.

We stand in solidarity with Cyan and her family during this difficult time.

J-train Jerks

A gaggle of people who wolf whistled me upon entering the train.

Submitted by Jill

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve Stalker

Around 4 AM on the 24th-- Christmas Eve-- I was coming home from a holiday party in Bay Ridge. I took the N train from 59th st to Union Square. He kept staring at me on the train; he followed me out of the 15th street exit, and 5 blocks down 15th street towards 1st avenue. I kept walking faster and faster; I could hear him panting. He must have been less than two feet away from me. I didn't know what to do, I heard him fiddling with his keys so I didn't know if he was armed. I ran across the crosswalk at 15th and 2nd Ave., and he was running after me. I half-ran all the way to my dorm, about to dial 911. When I caught the attention of the security guards there, he ran away. He even managed to say "good night!" before disappearing. Why he followed me from Bay Ridge to the East Village I don't know, but look out for this creeper!

All I want for Christmas is a gun.

Submitted by Suzanne

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

(Bisexual) Men get Harassed, too.

I am a Bisexual Asian male who has experienced extreme harassment. My neighbor, the elderly man next door-- Slandered, harassed and sexually harassed me for 2 years since I moved here from California. At first, when I got here, I was really thin and looked like a girl to most people. He told me he wanted to give me a sex change operation and rape me. For the next several months he slandered me, spread rumors I was a rapist, sex offender, child molester and people called me that in the neighborhood and on the train a few times. He was angry that I was a guy and not a girl and that I was making him gay. When I joined and come home late at night, he would wait in front of my house every night ‘til I stop going. I saw him half naked filming me twice from his 3rd floor window a few months ago when I opened my blinds in the morning and I dare not to open my blinds in the morning anymore. People gossiped about seeing videos of me naked or me sleeping, etc in my bedroom on some pervert website. I overheard people talking in Chinatown and on the set of Fordham University during my filming of the “adjustment bureau” a Matt Damon movie where I worked as an extra.

Recently, He and his friends were yelling they want to castrate me, rape me. They called me a queer, fag and chink 2 weeks ago outside my house, heckling me.

I am a victim of racism and sexual harassment. I filed a harassment report by calling 911 on December 10, 2009 Thursday around 9:45PM when 2 female police officers drove to my house and alerted me to come outside to talk to them. The two female police officers is a female Black woman and a Spanish woman. I was told to call 718-627-6611 for Precinct 61 for the status of my complaint. I called again on December 15, 2009 and the officer who answered the phone said the complaint is closed and is on record and no arrests was made because my neighbor harassed me but didn’t assault me. I wrote to NBC news but to no avail. I don’t know who to turn to for help. I am a victim of sexual harassment and video voyeurism and slander and I think he is trying to get me killed because I look feminine and because of my sexual orientation. If this happened to a woman he work be arrested by now, but I am a guy, a bisexual guy and no one cares. I want the harassment to stop.

Submitted by Michael

Monday, December 21, 2009

Thanks to you, we made it!

Thanks to the 3,780 of you who reviewed project, we were just notified that our newest project, Hollaback!, will be moving to the next round of the Knight News Foundation Challenge! Hollaback! was the third most viewed project out of 755 applications. A sincere thank you from our entire team. We couldn't have done it without your support.

The next generation of Hollaback will allow you to submit, experiences and photos through a Hollaback! IPhone app, online/mobile browser forms, and SMS texts. The submissions will make it easier to Hollaback, allowing us to collect more data which will be mapped on the site using GPS. The project is expected to cost us $20,000 for the technology alone. Thanks to our partners RightRides for Women's Safety and the Barnard Center for Research on Women, we have already secured $6000. If we are able to secure an additional $12,000 within the next few months, our new mapping system will be up and running by late Spring. From there, we will be expanding to HollabackDC and beyond to countries like India and Saudi Arabia that have expressed interest.

We would like to wish you the happiest of HOLLAdays and a new year free of harassment.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Male Allies Survey Results are In!

Thanks to all of our male allies who took the survey. The results are here.

  • 95% of men thought that having a woman in their life tell them about street harassment was an effective form of education.
  • 87% thought that messaging that indicated that women "they care about experience street harassment" was effective.
  • 82% of men surveyed said they would be willing to intervene is they saw a woman being harassed or assaulted.
  • 81% said they had seen a women being harassed before and 63% said they had intervened on behalf of a woman one or more times.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Harassment across Arab world drives women inside

We are so happy to hear there was a street harassment conference! Now we just need to figure out how to score an invite to the next one.

Our friend and fellow blogger Holly Kearl posted this on the conference. The Associated Press also published an article:

"The sexual harassment of women in the streets, schools and work places of the Arab world is driving them to cover up and confine themselves to their homes, said activists at the first-ever regional conference addressing the once taboo topic.

Activists from 17 countries across the region met in Cairo for a two-day conference ending Monday and concluded that harassment was unchecked across the region because laws don't punish it, women don't report it and the authorities ignore it."

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Police hunting subway pervert for X-rated gross-out on G train

From the New York Daily News today:

Cops are searching for a subway pervert who they say exposed and fondled himself in front of an 18-year-old woman in Queens.

The sicko sat across from the teen on a Queens-bound G train at the Woodhaven Blvd. station in Elmhurst on Nov. 7 at about 3a.m., cops said.

He allegedly stared at the victim and pleasured himself.

The woman bolted from the train when the doors opened and boarded a Brooklyn-bound train out of the station, police said.

Monday, December 14, 2009

There is Nothing Sexy About Sweatpants, Sir.

I was on the 7 train going into Manhattan a few weeks ago. The car I was in wasn't very crowded, and there was plenty of room for people to sit, or at least not have to crowd each other while standing. I was sitting on the train playing on my iPhone when we suddenly went underground so I put my phone down and decided to look around the car and people watch. When I looked to my left, I noticed a man in his 30s standing in front of a girl who was sitting on the train. At first I didn't think much of it, but when I looked a second time I noticed his sweatpants were pulled tight against his crotch. I looked again and saw that he was purposefully standing in front of the girl, pulling his pants tight against his erection. She was trying to look down at her phone to avoid looking at his thingy. I regret not taking his photo because I'm sure he's done this to others.

Submitted by Alexandra

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hollaback Cited in a Report on Transit Safety for Women!

In a recent report on women's safety in public transit (found here), author Loukaitou-Sideris, a professor of urban planning at the UCLA School of Public Affairs, was quoted saying:

"The perception that a bus station, train car, parking lot or particular neighborhood is dangerous forces many women to alter their travel patterns. This limits their access to the most basic of rights — to move freely in the public sphere. The situation is worse for low-income and minority women, who may reside in high-crime areas, travel back from work at odd hours, and lack the resources for private transport, such as cars and taxis."

The report cited HollabackNYC as one of the grassroots groups organizing for improved safety in public transit for women. To read an article in Metro Magazine on the report, click here. To read an article in Physorg, click here.

Co-Founder Sam Carter Holla's in the Washington Square News

Co-Founder Sam Carter recently published a Letter to the Editor in the Washington Square News.

"While Jenny Tai's reporting was a welcome contribution to the evolving debate on subway and street harassment in this city, unfortunately she did not dig deep enough to uproot some data and details that reveal just how widespread and pervasive this problem is in this city, and, indeed, around the world.

Hanging her reporter's cap on one unreliable (and MTA-collected) statistic — that 587 sexual offenses on the subway system have been reported — was a poor choice for this complex issue."


Thursday, December 10, 2009

HollabackNYC is one of top ten Feminist Blogs!

Ok, so I realize that this happened a year ago: but no one told us! We are proud to be listed as one of the top ten feminist blogs by Take Part.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Male Allies!

Here is a short, informal, anonymous survey from Holly Kearl where men can share their thoughts specifically on how best to reach men on this issue and engage them in ending it.

Male allies, please take a few minutes and share your thoughts on this topic:

Holly will be incorporating these comments into her upcoming book!

Be Part of a Focus Group on Subway Safety!

Do you feel safe riding NYC's public transit system? Give yourself and others a voice, by sharing your mass transit experiences.

In mid-January, New Yorkers for Safe Transit (NYFST) will be hosting two focus groups for survivors of gender and discrimination-based violence and harassment on New York City’s public transportation system. We're seeking focus group participants for two 2 hour sessions (6-8 pm). We are interested in hearing first-hand accounts from women, people of color, LGBTQGNC individuals, youth, and low-income individuals.

With your help, we will be able to raise public awareness on this issue and continue progress towards eliminating harassment and violence on mass transit.

Please spread the word and contact us at to sign up and more information on dates and location.

Light refreshments will be served and $4.50 MetroCards will be provided.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

No Such Thing as a Safe Commute in this City

Just want to share my recent episode of street harassment there are so many to share. I was walking down the street (of course) and a gypsy taxi driver ask me if I needed a taxi. I said no thank you. Of course he took this opportunity to make a slick remark about how sexy I was to him. I ignored like I didn't here anything.

Then I went into the store. He watch for me to come out. and I purposely avoided going back in his direction. he then started yell things like "sexy" and then he yelled "champion" I kept walking like I didn't hear him I guess he got angry any then yelled out "Big Draws." I maintained my composure although I wanted to say some thing back.

Then to add on more embarrassment I called 311 to complain about the gypsy taxi drivers and their constant street harassment. They then referred me to 911 and told me they would have to send a police officer to my home in order to make a complaint.

Submitted by Teisha

Monday, December 07, 2009

A Hotline Success Story: (212) 267-RAPE

This is an update to the post "I didn't think he'd be able to get one past me" from December 4th.

WOW. I just wanted to write and give an update to my story. As I said, I was so shaken up that I didn't have the mind to get off the train after the assault and find a police officer. I knew that I would definitely report it but the man was pretty non-descript and got off amidst hundreds of other people so I didn't think it would matter if I reported it right then or the next day.

It happened on Wednesday evening during rush hour and I found the number for the NYC sex crimes hotline (212) 267-RAPE finally yesterday and called. They were so nice and called me back after having spoken with the transit precinct in my area that would handle the situation. She asked me if I would be willing to go out there and look through some mugshots and press charges. I was beside myself--I felt grateful someone had even answered the phone, let alone that they were taking the situation seriously. I said absolutely and took the train straight out to the precinct, which is actually located in the Van Wyck Blvd. subway station in Queens.

The officer was expecting me and got some initial information and had her partner take the full report. I described the guy to the best of my ability--I gave estimates of his weight and height and I could remember some of the details of his face and what he was wearing. She asked if I would be able to pick him out of some photos and I said sure I would try. She asked why I didn't report it after it happened because there had been an officer on that platform at that time and it could have facilitated the process. I just told her because I was shaken up and didn't think it would make a difference. I just wasn't prepared for something like that to happen and didn't want to get off at the same stop as the creep, either.

The two detectives I needed to speak with had gotten called out to something so she said unfortunately I would need to come back to look through the photos and I said that wasn't a problem and her partner offered to walk me out to the train. As we were walking out the two detectives walked up and I was elated. I couldn't believe the good fortune. They took me into their office and apologized for having me repeat the story but they needed to get as many details as possible. They set me up on a computer and offered me water and asked if I needed to use the phone since there wasn't any cell phone reception down there. We entered some search parameters in the database and I began clicking through dozens of pages of criminals. There were whole pages of people who looked nothing like my assailant and I just clicked through. Given the nature of the crime I wasn't so sure he would be in the system--because he hadn't committed a rape or outright exposed himself and I know that "smaller crimes" like public groping and indecency are reported, let alone prosecuted, with much much less frequency.

I asked how advanced the system was and if I could set aside certain photos that were more similar than others just to kind of give them a more general idea of what he looked like but unfortunately that wasn't really possible. There were thousands and thousands of photographs and so another detective entered some more specific criteria and revised the search while another brought out a new binder with print outs of criminals that have been arrested more recently. I was pretty sure the mugshot efforts would be futile but I was so grateful for the incredibly respectful and smooth experience I was having with reporting such a gross and heinous, albeit sometimes shrugged off, crime. I really couldn't believe it.

I opened the binder and started flipping through a few pages while the detectives pulled out even more binders that I could look through next. I had maybe flipped through about 10 pages and I turned a page and my heart just nearly stopped. My legs went absolutely limp and I could feel the adrenaline coursing through my body. My heart started racing and my hands were shaking and I said "omigosh--my heart is racing and my legs are limp and there's adrenaline pumping and I don't know why I would have this experience if this weren't him" And the female detective laughed and said "Well that's a pretty good sign." And I said "that's the guy." And the male detective asked me with what percentage of certainty I could say that it was him and I felt so surreal, couldn't believe I was actually picking someone out of a book of mugshots and that out of a city of 8 million people, this perp was actually in the book, and I said "100% that is the guy." He had been arrested only once before, three years ago, within a week of the crime against me, for something similar. His physical statistics matched what I had given them in my report almost to a T. In the report I had remembered some freckles on his nose and we zoomed in to the photo and sure enough-little brown freckles.

So there's a search warrant out for this guy and one of the officers had just seen him on the train the day that I went in. He's definitely out there and no stranger to NYC's pervy little world. They said that if and when they pick him up they'll bring him in and I'll stand behind a glass window and I'll pick him out of a lineup. I have no idea what to make of the situation--filing the report for my own personal sanity and reponsibility and having an officer take it down and not shrug it off or tell me there was nothing they could do about it was beyond my own wildest expectations. That all this has happened as a result is absolutely incredible and mind boggling. If this creep is picked up and released or picked up and questioned and it makes him think twice about prowling around and spreading his misery and disease to others I will be happy. If this creep is picked up and I am able to press charges...well I have no idea what kind of effect that would have on me. But a big amount of justice took place yesterday and for that I am happy.

Submitted by Violet

AMNY: Transit cop charged with raping teen

In today's AMNY: Transit cop charged with raping teen. Thanks to Heather Haddon, one of our HOLLAheroes, for reporting this awful crime. When station booth attendants are being cut left and right, every man counts.

"A 29-year-old transit cop charged with raping an 18-year-old woman is scheduled to face a judge on Wednesday.

Shawqi Ahmed, an officer since January 2006, was arrested by the NYPD Friday. Ahmed allegedly met the woman at a Brooklyn club on Thanksgiving and raped her in an apartment later that night, according to published reports. The NYPD would not confirm the details of the incident yesterday.

“It’s particularly a travesty considering this was someone people depend on to keep them safe,” said Emily May of Holla Back, a Web site documenting harassment and sexual abuse in New York City.

The case will go to a grand jury at Kings County Criminal Court, a DA spokesman said."

Sunday December 6, 2009 6:28 PM By Heather Haddon

Friday, December 04, 2009

"I didn't think he'd be able to get one past me"

I've lived in NYC for five years and felt very fortunate that I had not yet experienced a sexual assault on the subway, as most of my friends have. I feel as though I am a very alert person but these perverts are just too good at being perverts and it snuck up on me.

A five foot tall man with a cap got on the W train at 59th St/Lexington during evening rush hour without any bags and carrying nothing. I was standing right by the door and I got a bad feeling about him as he got on, especially seeing the sideways glance a middle school age girl was giving him as she backed away from him and moved onto the train. I didn't think he'd be able to get one past me so I carried on, reading my book and keeping a sideways glance on him.

The car was packed and he was so sly--inching closer and closer as I silently questioned if he was too close. His face was getting all contorted and he was breathing weird but out of the corner of my eye I could see that his face and torso were facing forward, so it didn't appear he was pressing himself up against me. But I'm wondering where his body is and so I look down to see how he is turned and I see his big giant erection. This is when I flip out and start shoving him and hitting him away from me, pushing myself to the other side of him and shouting YOU FUCKING PERVERT GET THE FUCK OFF ME. I have always been prepared to be very loud and vocal if this happened to me and so I said very loudly "THIS FUCKING CREEP IS RUBBING HIMSELF UP AGAINST ME, THIS FUCKING PERVERT."

I don't think anyone flinched. The doors opened and without turning around to look at me he sheepishly crawled off the train like a fucking animal on a full moon. One woman did applaud my having vocally publicized the violation but I didn't feel I had done enough. Incredible how someone can commit a sexual assault and leave the situation with the victim feeling as if they had done something wrong. There are some very sick and diseased souls in this city and I can only hope that this experience will allow me to help another victim cope in the future. I knew about Holla Back NYC before the assault but I honestly was so shaken up that I couldn't collect my senses enough to take a photo or try to follow him and call the police. I just wonder what he did on the platform before he got on, and where he went next.

Submitted by Violet