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Catcalling: Women write in chalk to stop street harassment

Catcalling: Women write in chalk to stop street harassment
Catcalling: Women write in chalk to stop street harassment

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Media caption"Sexy girl! Excuse me! Yo!"

"You better learn to answer a man when he speaks to you!"

It's a rainy afternoon in east London and two women are writing these words on a pavement in coloured chalk.

The words are a catcall - shouted by a stranger to a woman walking down a street in London.

The trend of writing out catcalls started in New York and now it's spreading to other cities around the world.

The woman who started the idea says she wants to stop "street harassment".

Warning: This article contains language shouted at women which you may find offensive.

Image caption Sophie started the Catcalls of NYC account on Instagram

Sophie Sandberg and Farah Benis met on social media after Sophie started the catcallsofnyc Instagram account.

Farah was inspired, and started a similar account based in London.

Newsbeat was there when they met in person in Victoria Park in east London.

Image caption Farah writes out catcalls in London

'It's not a compliment'

"When I first came across Sophie's account it really resonated with me." Farah told Newsbeat.

She says she wants to try to raise awareness about sexual harassment on the streets.

Image copyright Sophie Sandberg

"I saw there wasn't a London version of it, and I wanted to get involved. It's a massive issue and I thought highlighting it is one way to make it stop."

She adds: "A lot of the time when people say these things there is a sense of entitlement that you have to stop. People feel they're entitled to your time."

Image caption "Let me be your Harvey Weinstein," was another catcall said to a different woman in London

Farah says she has been shocked about how many 12 and 13-year-olds have contacted her about catcalls.

Women like Olivia, 21, who lives in New York - have contacted Sophie to share their experiences.

She says she was 11 years old and on her way to school when a man shouted: "Hey sexy".

"It felt really gross and even though it was in broad daylight it made me feel really unsafe.

"One second I was being a child and the next I was being forced to see myself as a sexual object."

Women in other cities including Paris, Amsterdam, Montreal, Philadelphia and Fez in Morocco are also writing out catcalls.

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