In a statement to the media, Help and Shelter said that the campaign is being launched as a continuation to its mission to end the cycle of violence against women and children through the use of the arts, the youth of Witness Project, an initiative of the Margaret Clemons Foundation.
The anti-street harassment campaign is titled “It’s Not A Compliment”.
“The campaign is three-fold. First, there will be a street art component where the members of Witness Project will paper participating businesses and public buildings with striking oversized posters that feature women and girls reacting to commonly used catcalls. Second, while the posters are going up, the youth will engage the public by handing out flyers and starting conversations to define what street harassment is, clarify why it is a problem and invite the public to join our online conversation about the issue,” the release reported.
‘It’s Not A Compliment’ is also an online community – a forum where victims, witnesses and perpetrators of street harassment are invited to share their stories and take part in an on-going discussion aimed at educating the public and brainstorming ideas on how to end street harassment.
“Witness Project has chosen to tackle this issue because though street harassment is seen as a minor and accepted offense (if it’s seen as an offense at all), is in reality a form of sexual harassment and the gateway to increased violence against women. We need to educate both men and women as to how street harassment is not just a compliment but how it inhibits a woman’s ability to move about freely and without fear in public spaces,” the release stated.
Rosheni Takechandra, the Project Director said that she is committed to leading the projects’ youth in this new endeavour stating that, “It’s Not A Compliment is a much needed space, tool and campaign to make a strong, firm and powerful statement in the Guyanese Society.
“Women will no longer stay silent on matters that concern their safety and freedom of expression in public spaces. This campaign is using marketing strategies and the arts to give women and girls a platform to make their voices heard. It is giving women and girls a space to work side by side with decent men to bring an end to the vile and worthless act of street harassment.”