Most Women Have Dealt With Street Harassment in Their Lives — and L’Oréal Paris Wants That To Stop

Only 25% of survivors say someone came to help while the incident was taking place. 

Street Harassment
Photo: Martin Novak/Getty Images

In the wake of the #TimesUp and the #MeToo movements, many women are feeling more empowered than ever to come forward with their stories of harassment. That's not to say, however, that there isn't more work to be done. That's why L’Oréal Paris is taking another step forward and teaming up with Hollaback! — an organization that aims to end all forms of harassment — to launch Stand Up, an initiative that aims to train people to safely stop street harassment as its happening.

The new program was launched after the cosmetics giant surveyed 15,500 women of all ages across the globe on their experiences with street harassment in April 2019. The findings not only reported that 78% of women have experienced sexual harassment in public spaces, but only 25% said someone helped.

As for the participants who witnessed the harassment, a whopping 86% claimed they did not know what to do to de-escalate the situation in the moment — making the program more vital than ever.

The training works by teaching people to focus on the five Ds: Direct, Distract, Delegate, Document, and Delay.

The "Direct" approach asks a bystander to blatantly call out the perpetrator for their behavior, while "Distract" encourages people to bring the harasser's attention away from the victim, by asking for directions, for example. "Delegate" is a much more bold approach, where one person asks others in the area to fulfill various tasks (like having one person call the police, while another blocks the door, etc.) to make sure the perpetrator is held accountable. "Documenting" is meant to ensure there is either photo or video footage of what took place and making sure the victim has possession of it. And finally, "Delay" is checking in on the person who has been harassed after the incident has taken place, and letting them know that what happened wasn't their fault.

"This partnership has the power to really transform this issue," Emily May, co-founder and executive director of Hollaback! shared in a statement. "Together, we can end harassment to make the public space safe for girls and women.”

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L’Oréal Paris and Hollaback! officially launch the Stand Up initiative on March 8, in honor of International Women's Day, and plan to work with local NGOs in communities around the globe to train as many people as possible.

To learn out more about the innovative new program, and how you can get involved, visit

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