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New York City Looks To Battle Catcalling With Smartphone App

Non-Profit Enlisted To Create Tech That Would Let You Take Pics Of Perpetrators
Apple iPhone 4s (file / credit: Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

(file / credit: Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The city is apparently working on a “catch a creep” app to help women combat forceful flirtation and other forms of street harassment.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Member Julissa Ferreras have reportedly set aside $20,000 to develop technology which would allow women to report catcalling cases and upload pictures from their smartphones of men engaged in the act.

WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb On The Story


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  street harassment is the most prevalent form of sexual violence that happens to both men and women in the United States. And what we see here in New York is that it happens to girls as young as 5, 6, 7 years old, reported CBS 2′s John Schriffen.

The nonprofit, Hollaback!, has apparently been enlisted to assist in producing the app. The company already has an iPhone and Android app in place designed to let women share their stories of unwanted advances. Here’s how it works: You either make a complaint in writing to the organization or you can Holla right back at the catcaller by taking the person’s picture.

“It would teach guys if you catcall to me yo face will be on a database,” student Amina Hoque told CBS 2’s Schriffen.

“You’re just going around taking pictures of people. I think that’s kind of invasion of privacy I feel,” student Luigi Clemente protested.

Speaker Quinn said the final version of the app hasn’t been created yet but hopes the results will show where most of the cat calls are happening.

A construction worker told 1010 WINS’ John Montone that he lets women know he likes what he sees but never crosses the line.

“You give them a little comment here and there,” he said. “You’re trying to get them at least to say ‘hello’ so you say, ‘Good morning, how you doing? Have good day.’”

A truck driver said the app would put technology ahead of being human.

He has his own rules of engagement for letting a woman know how nice she looks, including a no-whistling policy.

“If you’re trying to pick a female up that’s definitely not going to work,” he said.

“Victoria” of Howard Beach said she doesn’t mind when men pause to admire her physical attributes and wouldn’t use an app to report their greetings.

“They’re working hard all day, if they see a pretty girl, go ahead, enjoy the view for a moment at least,” she said.

What do you think of the app? Let us know below…