In The News



It’s been a crazy week for Hollaback! Toronto, thanks to the vile “prank” that blew up on video and ended in a Hydro One employee being fired for breaching his employer’s zero-tolerance anti-harassment contract. Here’s a timeline of where we had the chance to discuss the #FHRITP incident, as well as the broader issue of harassment in the streets and the workplace:


  • On May 12, 2015, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne tweets about the #FHRITP incident CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt caught on tape and questioned, mentioning Hollaback! TO in the process:





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In public spaces, “it’s about putting women back in their ‘place.’ It’s a power thing: it’s about bullying and intimidation,” said Alicia Versteegh, co-director of Hollaback Toronto, an organization that fights street harassment.

Versteegh said that for women who have suffered sexual trauma in the past, street harassment or being yelled at while you’re on the job, can be a triggering experience. Even though the slurs can fill women with rage, many will stay silent for fear of escalation: “They do a mini-risk assessment every time it happens.” She says everyday sexism like this has been normalized because it’s so regular. Her fix? “You really need to start in the classroom and talk about consent.”

  • Alicia speaks with John Moore of Moore in the Morning on NewsTalk1010 about the #FHRITP incident and street harassment. Check out the 17-minute mark for Alicia’s interview on May 13, 2015.



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Versteegh hopes something positive comes from the public reaction, that a dialogue and real conversation starts.

“It’s something that we need to talk about and discuss how we treat each other as human beings with respect in public places.”