VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – You’ve seen the comedy sketches about it or maybe even witnessed it yourself, a man ‘cat-calling’ or ‘wolf whistling’ at a woman who wants no part of the attention.
Listen: Wolf Whistle
Well police in one county in England now recognize any ‘uninvited verbal engagement’ as a hate crime.
A women’s safety advocate says the idea doesn’t go too far, because people should be held accountable for any sort of discrimination against women, no matter how slight.
The term cat-calling has been around since the 17th century, frequently used to denote unwanted language or attention.
But now police in Nottinghamshire say that will be recorded in the same category as racist abuse.
Sambriddhi Nepal is with Vancouver’s Women Against Violence Against Women.
“The individual perpetrator should be held accountable for committing any kind of sexualized violence against women and of course this includes street harassment which is also known as cat calling,” says Nepal.
“Women who experience this or any other kind of sexualized violence have the right to choose what justice looks like for them. So reporting to the police in response to the street harassment may be the path that some women choose and it may not be for others. Women respond to sexualized violence differently and should have access to various forms of justice.”
She says women should who experience any sort of sexualized violence, should have a say in determining what justice looks like for them.