City talks back to ‘harassers’

The City Council is grabbing an issue today that’s impacted most New York women: street harassment.

Catcalls, lewd curse words from cars — it’s all got to stop, says Queens City Council Member Julissa Ferreras, who’s heading a hearing today to block harassment.

Long Islander Amanda Marcus said she feels unsafe walking to work amid taunts in the Bronx. Some stare, but lately she’s been approached by men footsteps away.  

“I got barked at yesterday,” she said. “I think it’s more different, like violent.”

High school students in Elmhurst inspired the hearing after they reported chronic harassment while walking to school past a construction site.

Advocacy group Hollaback asked the council for harassment-free zones, similar to drug-free zones, near public schools. Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, who surveyed straphangers about subway sexual harassment, said it’s an underreported crime above and underground.

“It’s very scary for someone to be followed or someone to be groped or someone to be taunted,” he said.

A party rentals truck driver who wouldn’t give his name said he regularly tells girls, “You’re beautiful” and “God bless you.” He got a date out of it once, he said.

“Sometimes they say thank you,” he said.



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