New submission : Candace’s story!

I got off of the bus to transfer at Rideau Centre on Rideau St.at 10:05am today…stood leaning against the bus shelter, no other people around. I sensed someone behind me, a man was lingering no less than 2 feet behind me…odd, I thought so I went in to the bus shelter, leaning against the door frame about 6 feet from where I was initially standing, checked my phone for when the next bus I needed to catch would arrive.

Again I sense someone behind me (there were less than a dozen people in the shelter, none near me aside from an elderly woman sitting on a bench a few feet away) I turned around and there was the same man AGAIN less than 2 feet behind me…I scowled at him and walked out…as I did so he did not even acknowledge me but I noticed he held a camera in his hand, had his finger on the shutter release button and was aiming it up at me from his hip area photographing me! Disgusting!

I went around to the far end of the shelter, zoomed MY cell phone camera in and snapped his photo! I tweeted the pics to OC Transpo and Ottawa Police and called the non emergency line as soon as I got on my connecting bus. This all took place within the 5 minutes I was waiting to transfer.

Also, when I called the non emergency line to report what happened the man on the phone told me there is nothing they could do to help, for all ‘we’ know the man liked the smell of my hair and was getting close for that reason and that it is not illegal to take pictures! No option to further report or to send an officer down there to check the guys camera…I continued to the university to do my radio show, baffled.

I tweeted to the Ottawa Police that I called and was brushed off. After the show I had received tweets from the Ottawa Police saying to call back to report. I spoke to Nancy, she listened to my experience and after the call I emailed my photos to the Police, noting the report # for them to distribute the man’s photos to the Sexual Assault Unit officers.

I've got your back!

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New submission : Yami’s story!

I was waiting for the bus heading to orleans and this man took it upon himself to grab my ass and call me a n**ger.Nobody said anything they just watched. Shame

I've got your back!

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Happy International Women’s Day!

We’ll let Beyoncé & Chimamanda explain the rest.

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New submission: Harassed in a cab

Not your typical harassment story, but I wanted to share it so that others may avoid dealing with this guy. I’ve dealt with plenty of inappropriate customer service from this fair city’s cab drivers (from being called ‘sweetie’ to being told I’m ‘a very cute girl’), but this one was a particular treat (threat?).

I called for a taxi with Blueline around 5pm on Thursday to come pick me up at Hartman’s and bring me home with my groceries. I’d normally walk, but things were a little heavy. When he arrived, the driver didn’t respond when I said hello – he was on the phone. When he got off the phone and asked me where I wanted to go, the driver cut me off before I was able to finish, told me to stop talking, and continued to talk over me while I asked him where he was going.

He pulled a u-turn on Somerset (not unheard of), all the while talking over my protests. He wasn’t going the way I had tried asking him to go, and when he turned North on Kent, he wasn’t even going in the direction of my house anymore. I asked him where he was going, and to let me out of the car because he wasn’t going the right way. At this point the driver turned his meter off and called me a “Stupid Woman” repeatedly.

I asked to be let out of the car again, and told him I’d put a complaint in, but his ID was nowhere to be seen. It was definitely car #191 though. I ducked out of the car at the first red light opportunity, since he had already turned the meter off and was being threatening and scary.

I put in a complaint with Blueline, and put in the same complaint with the City. I still haven’t heard from either of them.

I've got your back!

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New submission : Liv’s story!

I was waiting for a late bus home, minding my own business while sitting on a bench. A man approached me and tried to chat with me. I chatted back a little politely but refused to give him my phone number. When I repeatedly refused to give him my number or go back to his room with him, he started insulting me, and said the only reason I wasn’t interested was because he was black (I’m white). I wasn’t interested for a HUGE number of other reasons (e.g. I’m not into hooking up with strangers I’ve just met, I’m not into men, I’m happily monogamous with a partner), his being black had nothing to do with it. I left when my bus arrived and was relieved when he didn’t follow me onto it.

I've got your back!

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Bystanders: This is a call-to-action.

Woman Speaks Out for First Time After Her Assault Went Viral

Elisa Lopez bravely shares her story

New York City, NY (15th December, 2014) – Two years ago, subway passenger Shasheem Smiley watched a man enter the subway, sit down next to a sleeping woman, put his hand up her skirt, and assault her. Smiley told The Gothamist “…When he started touching her that’s when I turned my camera on. My jaw dropped. I had never seen anything like this before.” The film went viral, however, despite the virality of the story, the woman in the video remained anonymous, until now. Today Elisa Lopez is coming forward with this video, telling her side of the story.

Lopez says, “My goal is to bring attention to how dangerous it is to be a bystander. I just want to tell my side of the story because all anyone saw was a drunken-skirt-wearing-Latina who ‘shouldn’t sleep on the train.’ I was a human being that was violated and no one bothered to intervene.”

The perpetrator is still at large, but today, Lopez has broken her silence and come forward with her account. She shares her story not only of what it was like to come to terms with her assault, but to have to contend with the eruption of media coverage that resulted in Smiley releasing his recording. Lopez didn’t know she had been assaulted until she saw the media explosion over the recording.

Lopez concludes the video to thank “anyone who has ever told their story because it gave me the strength to tell mine.” Hollaback!, the anti-street harassment organization mentioned at the end of the video, has collected over 8,000 stories of street harassment since their launch in 2005. Hollaback! has been working with Lopez over the past six months.

Emily May, executive director of Hollaback!, says, “What Eliza has done today in sharing her story is so powerful. We hear her, we believe her, and we are working alongside her to stand up to the harassment and assault so many New Yorkers face on a daily basis. While Eliza’s story is shocking, it is not unique. We all need to take a stand against street harassment and assault and work to make our streets safer for everyone.”

If you recognize Lopez’s assaulter, please contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-577-tips.

About Hollaback! : Hollaback! is a worldwide movement dedicated to ending street harassment using mobile technology.  By collecting women and LGBTQ folks’ stories and pictures in a safe and shareable way with our very own mobile phone applications, Hollaback! is creating a crowd-sourced initiative to end street harassment. Hollaback! breaks the silence that has perpetrated sexual violence internationally, asserts that any and all gender-based violence is unacceptable, and creates a world where we have an option—and, more importantly—a response.  Find out more at ihollaback.org


WARNING: Video is really, really difficult to watch. If you are triggered or need support, we’ve got your back. So does the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa (613-234-2266)



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Launch of new video!

We’re so excited to announce the launch of our new short doc about Cosplay =/= Consent!

We are so grateful to Jackson Couse who was our videographer throughout Ottawa ComicCon 2014 and to Jackpine Digital for editing our video!

But most of all, we’re eternally grateful that so many people felt comfortable sharing their stories with us.

We are a movement built on story telling. We’ve seen how it can change the world.

We’re also really happy with how things went this weekend as we checked out Pop Expo and hosted a workshop on cosplay =/= consent and the importance of being effective bystanders!


Chewbacca was a big fan of our message.

To check out the full gallery of photos from this weekend’s Pop Expo, check out our Facebook page!

As usual, if you want more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch! [email protected]

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New submission : Cass’ story!

I had a meeting that ended earlier than expected and I was passing some time until my boyfriend finished up work. We agreed to meet at Rideau Centre. I came through the Mackenzie Bridge side, which we all know is fairly busy between 4pm and 5pm. I feel someone grab my arm and say “Miss?”. I turn around and it was a man. I automatically assumed maybe I dropped something and he was trying to get my attention but couldn’t because it was so noisy in the mall. He said he felt the need to tell me I am beautiful and that maybe we are soul mates because we were both wearing black coats. I tried walking away and he stepped in front of me and reached his arm out, as to block me. He asked me what I’m doing and I responded with the truth: I was meeting my boyfriend. He said that was a shame. I tried to walk away again and he then asked me if we are even engaged. I replied with “some day…”. I tried to walk away again. I managed to storm by him and I heard him say something about him needing an invitation to the wedding in case things don’t work.

I've got your back!

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