The mission for Combat Sexual Harassment is to eliminate sexual violence within St. Louis' public spaces by empowering people of any gender to find help, tell their story, and to be champions against it.
To explain it further - CombatSH will focus these efforts on public spaces, privately owned public spaces, and semi-public spaces. What does that mean? It means that we will focus where people have yet to have a strong voice in the community. Sexual violence happens on sidewalks, public transportation, fairs, festivals, gas stations, restaurants, and more places than any person could ever begin to fully list. We want to create the changes there while supporting already existing organizations that serve those experiencing sexual violence within the workplace, school, and at home.
CombatSH was formed after Sarah Durrett experienced and witnessed numerous forms of sexual harassment while utilizing the local public transportation system.
It finally became too outrageous to not stand up and begin creating a system to push back against the wave. In October, 2017 the website and first survey was launched to document local harassment cases in both the private and public sectors. In January, 2018 a second survey was produced to focus on sexual harassment and assault experienced on St. Louis' Metrolink and Metrobus areas.
After speaking to several locals about their experiences, it became clear that the line between harassment and assault was tiny at best. To focus on one alone seemed counterproductive.
This caused developing connections with other initiatives that handle a mixture of subjects like legal workplace harassment/assault cases, domestic sexual violence, online sexual harassment and revenge porn, and more.
CombatSH will continue to develop connections and resources for local residents to have access to in one location.
“Sexual violence is the aggressors way of trying to exert power. What they don't realize is that we have the true power.”
— Sarah durrett, FOUNDER
We exist to create a thriving community where no person, regardless of gender, feels unsafe because of sexual violence while simply existing in their daily life.
We will persistently work to undermine the power play mentality and actions that occur during verbal and physical sexual violence. Changing this culture requires a holistic viewpoint.
We are willing to be vulnerable, blunt honest, and let our hearts and minds work in unison to create these changes. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it to see our neighborhoods become safer places for future generations.
Catcalling is not a compliment, it's an intrusion into someone's life - one that is not welcomed or wanted.
According to a national survey conducted by Stop Street Harassment with GfK in 2014, 65% of all women had experienced street harassment along with 25% of all men. See more of their statistics here.
Aggressors know they are making their targets uncomfortable, and they don't care. That's why we must become comfortable in exposing them to the public eye.
What is sexual violence? People may think it can only be related to physical actions. It's actually all encompassing, including verbal sexual harassment. See the CDC explanation of what sexual violence is in the link below.
Are you passionate for your community? We are looking for individuals and groups that would be willing to tackle the issues of sexual harassment and assault in a big way.
Bring your passion and talent to be among the first to break ground in our city for this cause.
We are actively looking for:
- Board members
- Community organizers
- Blog writers
- Event volunteers
- Social Media Specialists
- Graphic Designers
If you feel like you'd be a great match for CombatSH but want to volunteer in a different capacity, let us know! We would love to discuss your ideas.