Whistling, insults, inappropriate remarks… Street harassment is very common in France. Affecting 81% of women in France, it can even lead to physical violence. Recently, L’Oréal Paris with the NGO Hollaback! and the Women’s Foundation have created a training course called “Stand Up” to learn how to react to harassment in public spaces.
It is not uncommon to see women victims of sexual harassment in public spaces (on the street, on public transport, in gyms, in restaurants, etc.). However, very few people know how to react to this kind of situation. Stand Up training is aimed not only at victims, but also at witnesses of this type of harassment. Developed by the NGO Hollaback !, this training has been tested on American campuses. It is based on the 5D rule: Distract, Delegate, Document, Lead and Dialogue. However, the way in which these tools are used varies according to the position of the person concerned (victim or witness).
With regard to witnesses, it is advisable to show support for the victim, not to hesitate to ask for help from those around him, to discreetly film the scene so that the victim has proof to provide if she wishes to wear complaint and indirectly distract the harasser. As for victims of harassment, it is advisable to ask the stalker to stop and walk away, to ask for help from those around him and to take a picture or ask a witness to do so.
This training is fast, free and accessible to everyone. It has been available since the beginning of the year on the official Stand Up website. As of this writing, more than 50,000 people have already learned how to deal with harassment through this site.
In France, street harassment is very common
To better fight against street harassment, L’Oréal Paris, Hollaback! and the Fondation des Femmes carried out an international study on this subject, in partnership with Ipsos. As part of this study, they interviewed 15,500 people in eight different countries. Research has shown that 81% of women in France have already been victims of sexual harassment in public places, 20% of them have been helped by witnesses and 86% of people do not know how to react when they are witnesses. of harassment.
It should be noted that France is the first country to have verbalized street harassment. In France, this offense may in particular be worth a fine of up to 750 euros. Many countries have passed laws to combat this act before France. However, the sanctions introduced in other countries do not concern flagrante delicto. Victims must file complaints and provide evidence if they want justice. According to the NGO International Women’s Initiative, “ it is extremely difficult for a victim to claim some kind of damage and file a complaint ” in these countries.