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Hollaback launch artist knows fear of harassment

Aug 16th, 2011 | By | Category: Arts/Entertainment, Latest News, News

Elizabeth de la Rey of Porcelaintoy was the most vocal musician about street harassment at Hollaback Wellington’s launch party at the weekend.

De la Rey, pictured above, has experienced street harassment, which makes her passionate about Hollaback’s cause.

“Being a musician I have to lug gear from my car to the venues I perform at, often at night,” says de la Rey, who performed at the launch of the web-based campaign at Happy Bar.

“I have experienced street harassment a lot, and I have been quite frightened at times, as well as angry,” says the vocalist and pianist.

The Hollaback website includes a mobile app which allows users to record harassment and share stories, linking to a website map of “hotspots”.

Eight Wellington locations had been marked on the Wellington map at the time of publishing – two in Kelburn, two in Lambton Quay, one in Cuba St, one in Taranaki St and two in Tory St.

De La Rey hopes the website will encourage people to not turn a blind eye to street harassment as much as they do.

An anonymous comment posted on the website echoed her views.

“I wish that more people would respond to this kind of thing when it happens, rather than thinking ’it’s none of my business’, though I know it is really scary to intervene.”

De la Rey acknowledges that ending street harassment is a big challenge to take on but she says it is important everyone has a right to feel safe and confident to walk around without being objectified.

“I think the web site will help people remember that all gender-based violence is unacceptable and will let people tell their stories which can be quite healing.”

Hollaback website organiser, Josephine Hall, pictured left, says the launch was well attended, with an even split of men and women among the 80 people.

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is a Whitireia Journalism graduate working at Presstige Community Newspapers for the Northern Courier and Petone Herald.
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