Valentine Contest Honourable Mentions

As promised earlier in the week, we want to give shout outs to some of entries in our contest that didn’t win, but should still be out there, even if we don’t print them. We have prepared the files as a PDF for you to use digitally or with a second page to print double sided.  If you share online, it would be really appreciated if you can credit the artist, and give mention to Hollaback! Vancouver  !


Remember you can support our anti street harassment work, and buy printed copies of the 4 winners mentioned here and here by emailing [email protected]


Honourable Mention #1 by Allie Pehleman  File Download:  Allies Valentine!

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Honourable Mentions #2 and #3 by  Gabrielle Haynes and Kahla Lichti  File Download :Gabrielle and Kahla



We also added a special gift for you! We dug up some of our favorite submissions from last years art show, and made a page of valentines for you to print!  File Download: Our Valentine to You xox

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street, verbal

#OurStreets: Hollaback!’s Collaborative Letter Regarding the NYE Cologne Attacks

Hollaback! is a movement to end harassment powered by a network of local activists. We work together to better understand harassment, raise awareness, and provide community-based solutions. We are coming together as a global community to publicly critique the discriminatory and offensive media coverage surrounding the attacks in Cologne.


In the face of increased public awareness and media attention in Europe as a result of the attacks in Cologne mostly, but from other German cities as well, it is important to take this moment to dismantle the harmful myths that circulate around street harassment and reaffirm the right to safe and equal public spaces for all.


Street harassment – “catcalling,” discriminatory/hate speech, groping, public masturbation, and stalking – is an everyday fact of life for many women, LGBTQ individuals, and people of color. According to research from Cornell University, it can cause depression, anger, and fear. Street harassment limits our access to free and equal public spaces and reiterates existing power imbalances.


We support the individuals who have been the targets of this violence and street harassment – both in the recent attacks and throughout history. We hear you and we believe you.


However, we are disappointed and offended by how many media outlets are portraying the street harassment that occurred on New Year’s Eve in Cologne as a new phenomenon imported by “foreigners or migrants,” when the reality is that street harassment is an ongoing and pervasive issue: one that affects women, LGBTQ individuals, and people of color the world over. Street harassment is not a new problem. To report about street harassment as if it was nonexistent before one highly publicized incident, or as if it is only an act perpetrated by migrants is incredibly problematic and frankly, wrong. Hollaback! has been collecting data on harassment worldwide for over ten years. To date, we have received over 9,000 stories of street harassment from around the world. That data is made available to the public through our websites and app, as well as through publications such as “Harassment Is: An exploration of identity and street harassment.” The data shows that street harassment is most prevalent in high-traffic areas, including public transportation and subway systems. Street harassment does not belong to a specific social category. As we’ve seen from the stories of harassment that we collect daily and from the emerging research, individuals who harass come from all racial and class backgrounds. Rather, street harassment is made possible by a society of inequality that determines the freedom of some to movement and safety, leading to unequal access to public spaces.


We refuse to allow an increased awareness of street harassment to be used as a tool for racist and xenophobic policies. What has to be reaffirmed throughout the narrative is the lack of freedoms of women, LGBTQ individuals, and people of color in public space.


Just last year, Hollaback! held the largest ever global survey on street harassment with Cornell University. We found that over 84 percent of women globally had been harassed before the age of 18, and that over half of individuals responding reported being groped or fondled without their consent in the last year alone. What’s more, according to the European Union Agency for Fundamental Human Rights survey of 42,000 women throughout the EU, over 55% have experienced some form of sexual harassment since the age of 15. In Germany, where the events took place:

  • 85% of German women reported their first experience with street harassment before age 17
  • 66% of German women have been groped or fondled in the past year
  • 70% have been followed by a man or a group of men in a way that made them feel unsafe during the past year
  • 14% of German women have experienced this frightening behavior more than 5 times
  • Over half of respondents noted that they took a different route or transportation, completely avoided an area, changed the time they left an event, or avoided socializing because of street harassment (or the fear of it), and
  • A small amount of respondents even noted that they resigned from their job or skipped work – or even moved cities – because of harassment.


What we’ve seen from the overall qualitative and quantitative research so far is that street harassment disproportionately impacts young women and girls, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. Street harassment is an expression of interlocking and overlapping oppressions. It can be sexist, racist, transphobic, ableist, sizeist and/or classist. Individuals’ experiences of street harassment must be understood within the historical context, societal prejudices, and climates of inequality that inform it. Hollaback! believes that recognizing this intersection of identities and oppressions is key to implementing lasting social change. As such, we believe it is of pivotal importance to dismantle stereotypes of harassment and question media narratives that promote inequality.


Our Hollaback! Berlin site writes:


Since NYE and the subsequent undifferentiated media coverage, there seems to be a new interest in Germany regarding sexual violence. There have to our knowledge barely been that many reports on and discussions about sexualized violence, the issue or the roots of the problem are not being discussed. Rather the attacks in Cologne and other German cities leave many questions open. Up until today it is quite unclear what exactly happened there, by whom and how was that even possible?

How can in a situation with more than 1000 people present and obviously a large police force as well, how can women be groped, abused and violated without anyone – and that includes the police – intervening?

One answer to this is that German society does not have any strategies against sexualized violence. What these events brought to light is that German society, and that includes and its members and official bodies, does not know what to do against sexualized violence. The laws are inefficient and do not protect women from violence, as pointed out by several women’s rights organizations in Germany.

The same politicians that are now pretending to care about violence against women are instrumentalizing the events to pursue a racist agenda aimed at refugees.

We as Hollaback! have been working around the issues of sexualized violence for a long time and each and every story on our blogs proves that street harassment is an everyday issue – not only in Germany. Germany has a blatant sexism problem and with the ever growing openly racist movements, German society, media and lawmakers must not only learn to deal with sexualized violence, they must understand the intersections of sexism and racism.

Completely out of focus in the overtly racist and white male dominated discourse “after” Cologne are the victims of sexualized violence. Only few reports from women who were there NYE have been published. Barely no attention is given to the situation of refugee women either. The public discourse in Germany is not interested in actually dealing with sexualized violence. As a space of empowerment and community, Hollaback! invites all people facing sexualized violence to use their power and tell their stories.

What we need is not new asylum laws, what we need are safe spaces for ALL women. An open call to end violence and an effective law enforcement and support system for victims and survivors of sexualized violence.


When discussing both the realities of street harassment, as well as community-led solutions to the issue, we need to recognize the facts: street harassment is an ongoing and persistent issue that often targets individuals’ identities and it occurs most often (though by no means exclusively) in high traffic areas. It is perpetuated by individuals of all backgrounds and cultures. It is by no means a “city” problem or a “Cologne” problem — it is a global problem and it affects all of us.


We call on the public and on the media to challenge their narratives of what street harassment is and to dismantle harmful myths that promote further discrimination and inequality. We call on the public to join us during a day of action on street harassment this February 4th to chalk walk, share our stories, and map our harassment with #ourstreets. Together, we can change the narrative and ensure safe and equal access to public spaces for all.




  • Hollaback! Headquarters
  • Hollaback! São Paulo
  • Hollaback! London
  • Hollaback! Amsterdam
  • Hollaback! Ottawa
  • Hollaback! Czech / (Ozvi se!)
  • Hollaback! Bahamas
  • Hollaback! Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Hollaback! Dresden und Umgebung
  • Hollaback! Berlin
  • Hollaback! Edinburgh
  • Hollaback! Poland
  • Hollaback! Croatia
  • Hollaback! Italy
  • Hollaback! Vegas
  • Hollaback! Vancouver
  • Hollaback! Baltimore

– See more at: http://www.ihollaback.org/blog/2016/02/03/ourstreets-hollabacks-collaborative-letter-regarding-the-nye-cologne-attacks/#sthash.A5QnJsHz.dpuf

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Valentine Winners Part 2!

As promised, here are the other 2 winners in our  Feminist Valentines Contest!

Remember you can buy all four and some other goodies for 10 dollars! Email [email protected] to place your order in time for Valentines day! We will have them in a few local stores by the end of the week as well.


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Be my Cyber Valentine by Stephanie Watson
You can see more of Stephanies Radness over on the social justice site she runs – Fembotmag.com
I entered the contest because I adore anything Valentines Day themed that doesn’t conform too strictly to tradition, because V-Day should be for platonic love and not just romantic love. My font and design were riot grrrl inspired, and though I wanted the poem to be cute and funny, I also wanted it to have a feminist message to it; and fighting bigotry on social media is something we can all team up to do.





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Roses are Red…Arianna Mao

 Facebook :bellewetherart
Arianna Mao is a Vancouverite, illustrator, and sassinator who rocks her resting bitch face with pride. She’s currently working on (among many many things) a short comic about inexorably falling in love with a best friend, miniature portraits of people done in acrylic, and a series of nerdy, weird and awkward Valentine’s Day cards (see facebook page!).
She created this card so that you can have a lovely poem to give someone who demands that you show them your lovely smile.



Seriously – how much do you love these?? Like we said we received SO MANY rad entries that we are putting more up on the site to download on Friday, because there were so many skilled submissions that we want them all out there.


Remember you can buy these 4 by emailing us at [email protected] We confirm the list of stores selling them by Friday.



PLEASE BE CHILL and if you share the images of the winners  – give credit to the artists and context – so that people see the work that Hollaback! is doing to address street harassment, and maybe want to join our posse! 



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Valentines Contest Winners Part One

We don’t know about you, but we have a love / hate relationship with Valentines day. Reliant on heteronormative and outdated gender assumptions, this Hallmark Holiday says nothing about the daily realities of what it’s really like to feel love ,show love or avoid love in todays world. And when we say love we mean love in all its wonderful and terrifying versions – Love for yourself, your friends and / or maybe a special person (or a few special people). And it is set up to make singles feel like sh%t for rolling solo.

So we held a contest asking people to design us some Valentines that reflected their sentiments on the L word. 



There were a lot of great entries, and it was VERY hard to choose just four to print. Today and tomorrow we are going to announce the 4 winners, and at the end of the week we will have the honourable mentions up for download.


Printed copies of the 4 winners are available for purchase, with all funds going to support our fight against Street Harassment. $2.oo each or  get  a pack of all  4 along with some pins and other goodies for $10.00.

We will let you know which stores will carry them by the end of the week or you can email [email protected] and we will deliver (within reason) in the GVRD! 

Without further ado, here are our first 2 winners!


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No <3  by Ashley Visvanathan

About her entry, Ashley says “I was thinking about the kinds of conversations I had when I worked as a server and to negate having to give men my number I would always say it was because I had a boyfriend, or I would use that as a backup if saying “No” wasn’t respected. Just because I am “taken” shouldn’t be the reason why the decline is accepted. No means no means no means no!”
You can find Ashley on Instagram -@ashleyvis



Love Yourself by Kahla Lichti 

Kahla Lichti lives in Victoria BC, and is originally from Vancouver BC.  She has been working on her electrical apprenticeship and has recently started re-exploring her artistic side.  She was excited to enter the Hollaback! Valentines card contest as motivation for creating something feminist and fun. She also makes a weekly comic about being an apprentice.

 You can see more art on her etsy store  and blog
2 more winners to be announced tomorrow!

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New submission from h!

I was walking with my boyfriend and we walked past a guy and that guy groped my ass. I turned around and smacked him across the face and told him to f off. The guy was completely shocked and hurried away. My boyfriend thought it was awesome.
I’ve literally been touched and groped so many times by random guys in public places that I’m sick and tired of it and will not take it anymore. Women need to stand up for themselves and stop relying on gender roles that say men need to protect us.

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changing culture

International Human Rights Day and Street Harassment

Today, December 10th, is International Human Rights Day. I am looking back on 67 years of progress in awe of where we’ve come from and the strides, especially in gender relations, that we’ve made. Marriage equality has been recognized in 21 countries,  legal rights have been extended to women more rapidly and we are finally talking about sexuality.

As much as I’d like to stick in that haze of nostalgia, I am also struck by the current state of us. Street harassment is still not “technically” illegal here in Canada, trans safety is more compromised than ever and the strength of patriarchy still surrounds us. In 2015, these factors continue to intersect and interrupt our day-to-day lives.

That’s why I am ready to look forward.

Human Rights should be as diverse and cumbersome as the humans they are addressing. The Human Rights Declaration is vague – but can be advantageous if we open our conceptions of them. When we are talking about safety of the individual, that can absolutely include safety from street harassment.

But, why don’t we see it like that?

Our work as activists is integral to shifting this view. A culture that refuses to associate street harassment with safety is exactly what Hollaback and its affiliates continue to work on. We are all striving towards a future where, on Human Rights Day, we can look back and say, hey, remember when we took collective action against street harassment?

Today, it’s important to celebrate the past and hold ourselves accountable for the future.

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Some guy followed me out of the persian market and was trying to follow me home. After walking and asking me really personal questions for a while, I walked into one of the stores and told the clerk. He is tall and skinny and looks to be around 40-50 he also gave me a terribly unconvincing first name but I forget what it is now. I went home and told my mom and she told me I was probably flattered by the situation because I replied to him to ensure my safety. If I hadn’t done so things would have been a lot worse im never telling my parents shit like this again.

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Sky train ride

I was travelling around 1 am in the morning from commercial to Granville station. The sky train stopped and precisely in the one cubicle in front of me there was a man (18-20, 5’6″, thin) the rest of the sky train was empty except for that one. I felt scared to show him how uncomfortable I felt being by myself with him. I sat far from him on the other side by the window and close to the emergency cord. He followed to sit down next to me when the sky train started to move. I moved towards looking at the window with my legs facing that way. He looked at me and said “you want to blow” I did not understand what he meant if whether he meant a blow job or cocaine either way I got very stressed out my body shrank and started shaking I knew I wasn’t safe. He said ” you look afraid, you shouldn’t be” I looked to him and said “I am fine, just tired” we then made small talk to seem like everything was fine. When I got off the sky train I ran towards the street between Georgia and Granville he followed me and asked me if I had a fare saver I said yes gave it to him. He grabbed my face and forced himself into kissing my lips. I screamed because I thought he was going to hurt me and he ran to catch his bus. I felt very bad to judge his intentions and felt guilty for misunderstanding his intentions. It is only now that I understand no matter what his intentions were he knew I was afraid and he knew touching me and coming that close is not acceptable ever!

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