Pennsylvania Lawmakers Looking At Ways To Prevent Street Harassment

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A committee of Pennsylvania senators held a roundtable at City Hall on Wednesday to look at ways to stop street harassment.

A number of laws in Pennsylvania prohibit forms of street harassment, yet nearly 70 percent of women report experiencing obscene gestures, street stalking, indecent exposure, lewdness or other illegal behavior.

“I’ve been being street harassed since I was 12,” said Temple University student Kayla Watson.

Watson was one of a nearly a dozen local leaders who spoke about abuse and street violence suffered by women and LGBT individuals on a daily basis.

“This isn’t something that’s just for actors or actresses,”” said Senator Judy Schwank. “This is something that we all experience.”

Schwank was one of several Pennsylvania lawmakers who say revelations regarding sexual harassment in Hollywood and beyond and the relaunch of the #MeToo campaign ignited a conversation. They say now is the time to for change.

“Society has allowed this problem to perpetuate.”

“I’m not sure if policing is the answer to this.”

Possible policy shift includes education of victims, bystanders and potential harassers.

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