It took a long time for Elisa Lopez to find justice after she was molested on a subway train. Thanks to her video plea to find the man who assaulted her that went viral and partnering with Hollaback (read interview with founder Emily May) the man was apprehended.
The crime received heavy publicization after a video of the assault, filmed by subway passenger Jasheem Smiley, went viral. However, despite the virality of the initial story, the perpetrator remained at large until this weekend. Lopez says, “I feel victorious. I hope to encourage people to help one another and be an example for those who want to find their voices to get back control.”
In December of 2014, Hollaback! partnered with Elisa to help her share her story. Emily May, executive director of Hollaback!, says, “We know, from collecting stories on our site, that Elisa’s story is, unfortunately, not unique. We receive stories everyday from individuals who avoid public transportation or change their route home to avoid harassment — and that simply is not okay. We hope that, moving forward, individuals will feel safe to tell their stories and seek support. We want New Yorkers to know that we hear you, we believe you, and we’re working everyday to make these spaces safer.”
May encourages individuals who have witnessed or experienced harassment in New York to share their stories on nyc.ihollaback.org.
YOU can take action to end street harassment and find local resources at ihollaback.org/take-action.
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