Catcalling and other forms of street harassment happen every day, in every corner of the world. Protection against these crimes are slowly being established, but there is still the fear of what could happen if we choose to fight back. True, it’s a risk, but when you address the situation, it could also be a giant step for in the right direction. Take April Grace’s story, for example.
On March 2, April Grace shared her story on Facebook. While playing with her dogs, she heard a voice coming from the terrace of a house in her neighborhood:
“Ano pangalan ng aso mo?”
“Beh, sana aso mo na lang ako.”
“Beh, akin na lang ang cellphone number mo.”
“Ate, ano cellphone number mo?”
When she confronted the man, he denied the entire thing: “Hindi naman ikaw yun, teh, may kausap ako sa phone.” To make matters worse, April Grace said the catcaller laughed at her during their confrontation, hoping to make her feel like she was crazy. He also said he didn’t know it was against the law to catcall someone in Quezon City, to which she said, “Dapat alam ng bawat lalake sa bawat sulok ng eskenita, kalsada, kanto, o lugar sa Pilipinas na hindi talaga puwede ang kahit anong uri ng pambabastos.”
Eventually, the man was sent to jail. April Grace didn’t go into detail of how she took steps to make this happen but she did mention the Anti-Catcalling Ordinance in Quezon City, which was initiated in 2016. She also urged women to take a charge: “It’s time to exercise our right to feel safe sa mga kalsada at lugar na pupuntahan natin.”
Cosmopolitan Philippines has reached out to April Grace. Stay tuned for updates.