If you are a traveler, sometimes you have to deal with street harassment. Yes, it can be found all over the world, no matter where you are. Know how to deal with street harassment abroad and make your next trip more comfortable.
What is Street Harassment?
Street harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome attention from a stranger in a public place, like on the street or in public transportation. It can include whistling, staring, following, or yelling. Someone exposing themselves, pleasuring themselves, or rubbing themselves against another person is also street harassment.
You may have heard it referred to as cat-calling, or even the old-timey phrase “Eve Teasing.” Sometimes it takes the form of a supposed compliment, like calling someone beautiful, honey, or baby, or commenting on their physical appearance. It can also include commands, like telling someone to smile. Unfortunately, it can be found all over the world, sometimes more frequently than we’re used to, and many people downplay the seriousness of street harassment, and the effect it has on its victims.
Who gets Street Harassed?
Everyone can be a victim of street harassment, but most of the time, it’s women, gender non-conforming folks, persons with disabilities, and people of color. While overseas, if you’re obviously foreign, this could get you additional unwanted attention.
Unfortunately, the more of these identities you hold at once, the more likely you are to receive street harassment.
Straight, white men can be harassed as well, but there is a power dynamic that means they are less likely to face actual danger, and if they do, they are more likely to be believed that it happened in the first place.
How does Street Harassment Feel?
Reactions to street harassment are different for everyone, but it’s common to feel angry, scared, frustrated, and even ashamed. Many people feel like they must have done something to bring on this behavior, so …