Virtual story-sharing to come to life in İstanbul

April 29, 2012, Sunday/ 14:48:00/ ALYSON NEEL

İstanbul-based anti-street harassment group Canımız Sokakta (Our Lives on the Street) will hold two story-sharing events this May in İstanbul's Beyoğlu district in an effort to create a safe space for victims of street harassment.

Canımız Sokakta already provides a virtual space for victims of street harassment to interact and share their stories on the website The anti-street harassment group's new initiative – creating a real-world safe space for victims to share their experiences – is building on its virtual story-sharing concept with two events, in Turkish and English, next month.

Canımız Sokakta's preliminary research reveals 69 percent of respondents suffer from street harassment at least once a month in İstanbul. Activists and legal experts say the actual figure is undoubtedly much higher.

Those who have been unfortunate enough to find themselves the victims of leering, cat calls, groping or any other form of street harassment will be able to share their personal stories and in return receive both legal and psychological support at the story-sharing events held by Canımız Sokakta, also known as Hollaback! İstanbul, between 4 and 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 6 (Turkish) and at the same time on Sunday, May 20 (English) at Molly's Café in Beyoğlu.

Psychologist Inci Tebis and lawyer Nihan Guneli will facilitate the discussion of participants' personal stories and will provide guidance and support for those who have experienced street harassment.

Canımız Sokakta Legal Counsel Nihan Guneli said in a written press statement: “The important problem in issues of street harassment is that victims lack knowledge about their legal rights. This meeting is instrumental in beginning the larger process of sharing your stories, not only to get psychological help, but to also be informed about your rights in such situations.”

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