Sex-Harassment App Helps Victims Voice Their Disgust
9 months ago
"Not Your Baby" generates comebacks for catcalls
Being sexually harassed? There's an app for that.
Because catcalling can more often than not be categorized as creepy instead of complimentary, a new iPhone-friendly app, "Not Your Baby," suggests quick comebacks for victims of sexual harassment who may find themselves at a loss for words while facing their tormenters. The user first selects who is doing the harassing—family member, stranger, co-worker?—then the scenario in which it occurs—street, school, subway?—and then the app recommends a response: "Would you speak to your sister that way?"
Developed by the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children, a Toronto-based nonprofit, the mobile app's creation was inspired by feedback from more than 200 participants of a survey conducted by METRAC and other local advocacy groups.
"A lot of people said they had a hard time thinking of responses [to harassment] in the moment,” METRAC communications director Andrea Gunraj told the Torontoist.
And studies show sexual harassment is a big problem. A 2008 survey by the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment found that 95 percent of 811 female respondents said they had been the target of excessive staring; more than 80 percent said they had been subjected to a vulgar gesture or sexually explicit comment; 75 percent said they had been followed by a stranger; and 57 percent reported being touched or grabbed in a sexual manner by a stranger in public.
The "Not Your Baby" app may help women regain control in situations of unwanted circumstance and attention, said Tracy Cox, communications director of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.