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Catcalling is a form of abuse. Here's what one county in the U.K. is doing to stop it.

Finally one place has realized there should be repercussions for street harassment.

Catcalling is a form of abuse. Here's what one county in the U.K. is doing to stop it.

If you're a woman living on planet Earth, odds are you've been catcalled at some point in your life.

Photo by iStock.



If you live in a major metropolitan area, it probably happens all too often. When I spoke to women in the United States about being catcalled, they told me about their everyday experiences of harassment on the street.

"When I was a teenager, I was told that if I didn't have huge tits, no one would know who I was," said Shelley, who lives in New York (and who, like all the women I talked to, asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of her story).

"One time a stranger grabbed my ass as he walked passed me, and when I yelled at him and called him an asshole, he pretended he hadn't done it," explained Heidi, who lives in San Diego.

"I was smiling on the subway and this guy follows me home, repeatedly asking me to marry him, saying I must be in love with him because I smiled at him," recounted Liv, another New Yorker.

This kind of harassment can happen anywhere.

Based on data collected by the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment, catcalling is a worldwide epidemic.

Photo by iStock.

According to their most recent nationwide study (2014), 65% of women in the United States have experienced street harassment in some form. In Egypt in 2013, the figure jumps to 99%. And in the U.K., 84% of women say they've been harassed by someone on the street before age 17.

However, that last number may drop soon thanks to a new effort to classify harassment against women as a hate crime.

Last week, the Nottinghamshire Police officially declared misogyny a "hate crime."

What this means: If a woman files a complaint with the police, it can be "tagged" as a hate crime against women, allowing the police to note how harassment starts so they can be better equipped to prevent it in the future.

The idea, however, began with a local community group.


Nottingham Women's Centre recommended that this kind of change would increase safety for women in the community. So the Nottingham Police made a public commitment to register misogyny as a hate crime and train their officers to recognize its signs.

Photo by iStock.

While the policy is not perfect (the language of the hate crime clause is somewhat vague), it's still a step forward because it teaches officers to recognize subtle signs of harassment.

Some examples include "unwanted or uninvited sexual advances, unwanted or uninvited physical or verbal contact or engagement ... and use of mobile devices to send unwanted or uninvited messages or take photographs without consent or permission."


Photo by Siska Gremmel Prez/Getty Images.

"We want to send a strong message that the extreme end of this type of behavior is not acceptable and Nottinghamshire Police will take it very seriously," Jack Storey, a police spokesperson, told Upworthy.

For that, the women of Nottinghamshire are grateful — and eager to continue the conversation.

Storey has already seen an uptick in the number of women coming forward to talk about their harassment experiences. And the Women's Centre has already had incredibly encouraging responses from women like this one, who asked to remain anonymous but has already felt a huge difference with the changes in the law:

“Yesterday I felt ten feet taller walking around this city. I literally felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It was amazing because I know that many men who might normally want to shout or whistle will have read about this and they will have to stop and reflect.”

Her confidence is proof that we're winning the fight against street harassment. It's a win in the fight against fear. And it's a win for women everywhere.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

This article originally appeared on 11.21.16


Photographer Katie Joy Crawford had been battling anxiety for 10 years when she decided to face it straight on by turning the camera lens on herself.

In 2015, Upworthy shared Crawford's self-portraits and our readers responded with tons of empathy. One person said, "What a wonderful way to express what words cannot." Another reader added, "I think she hit the nail right on the head. It's like a constant battle with yourself. I often feel my emotions battling each other."

So we wanted to go back and talk to the photographer directly about this soul-baring project.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."