We are saddened that it took an arrest in order for these stories to be told, but nonetheless, the press has maintained an interest in examining harassment and sexual assault on transit. Great news!
Kelly Egan, journalist with the Ottawa Citizen, wrote an editorial about his experience of attempting to report harassment near a transit station. His response? ‘Hollaback! has a valid complaint’.
We were also interviewed for The Ottawa Sun.
Caveats on the Sun article:
1- The print edition of the Sun article has a horrible image of a woman being groped
2- The article uses the words ‘people with alternative sexual lifestyles.’ A bizarre turn of phrase, if we’ve ever heard one. For the record, we said ‘LGBTQ folks’.
3- Lastly, as usual, do not read the comments. They are beyond horrendous.
When we appeared on Alan Neal’s ‘All in a Day’ on CBC radio on Wednesday, it prompted OC Transpo to respond. You can hear our initial interview and the OC Transpo response here.
A note, for the skeptics out there. We were contacted by CBC Ottawa today, asking us if we could identify some victims of harassment who would like to come forward. Although the story was eventually bumped, we managed to find a handful of people willing to come forward within less than an hour, using only a shout-out on social media to get the word out.
Harassment happens. The only difference between this week and previous weeks is that we are actually talking about it publicly as a community.
Create a space for people to talk about their experiences and they will. We are not exaggerating the reality of harassment, either on transit or in public space generally. What we simply do is shine a light on those experiences.