Compliment or street harassment?

Street harassment is a real problem in cities across Canada. Every day, women and girls are made to feel scared by strangers who follow, catcall or assault them.

You probably saw this viral video about street harassment in NYC. In the video, a woman walking down the street is approached, catcalled and followed by men despite her not speaking to them at all.

Street harassment refers to any unwanted actions, comments or gestures from a stranger. It includes catcalling, following, insults, sexual comments, requests for your name or number, sexual assault and more.

Street harassment is a form of gender-based violence and is never, ever okay. Even if the stranger intends to compliment you, his unwanted actions, comments or gestures more often make you feel scared, embarrassed, offended, intimidated or unsafe. It can make you feel afraid to walk outside alone and interfere with your day-to-day life.


You can respond to street harassment by:

  • Talking about street harassment with your friends and family. Talking to your guy friends is important as well.
  • Sharing your experience on a website like Hollaback!
  • Responding directly to harassers, but only if you feel safe doing it. Click here for some helpful guidelines.

Have you or your friends ever experienced street harassment? How did it make you feel? Comment below.

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