By Kara Murray
Disclaimer: photos in this post contain sensitive language.
The Violence Against Women Prevention Program (VAWPP) is hosting a social media and chalking campaign that seeks to raise awareness about the frequency of gender-based street harassment called Catcalls of UConn.
The campaign was inspired by an Instagram account called Catcalls of NYC which invites its followers to submit messages about their experiences with street harassment along with the location where it occurred.
The owner of the account, Sophie Sandberg, then goes to the spot, writes the catcall in chalk and takes a picture to post to Instagram.
The four ambassadors of the VAWPP at the University of Connecticut made the decision to do the campaign specifically during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
A form for students to submit catcalls can be accessed through a link on the Women’s Center Facebook page. While submissions were supposed to end on April 10, they will now be open until the end of the month due to the inclement weather.
The catcalls will be chalked and pictures will be posted to the UConn Women’s Center Instagram account, Asadie Walters, one of the program’s ambassadors, said.
Over 30 people have submitted catcalls so far, but at least two anonymous people have already spoken out against the campaign, believing it is unnecessary to have at UConn, Walters said.
“But through statistics and the other responses that we got, a large majority of women and gender non-conforming folk are affected by catcalling on this campus and across the globe,” Walters said.
The VAWPP hopes to draw attention to how many people experience street harassment on a day-to-day basis, especially on college campuses.
“Some people think things don’t exist just because it doesn’t happen to them,” Walters said. “But it happens to a lot of people still.”