#ThatsHarassment campaign launched

NEW YORK (WABC) -- This week marks the launch of a new campaign to combat sexual harassment and make New Yorkers more aware of the tough laws already in place to protect victims. The campaign comes in the form of public service announcements - PSA's - that started running this week in 13,000 NYC cabs this week as part of Taxi TV. The idea is to provoke a conversation about sexual harassment by giving the issue a human face.

The Commissioner from the Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment, Julie Menin, says the videos show, "The point where a man is in power, where they cross the line, where at that moment it's sexual harassment."

"Friends" star David Schwimmer teamed with her to put these short films into taxis because, as he told me, "Pretty much every woman I know has been a victim of sexual harassment at some point in her life." In fact, the star revealed, both his mother and sister were victims of sexual harassment. He's hoping real change can come before his daughter, who is 6 years old, comes of age.

The idea for the series comes from Israel where writer and director Sigal Avin's first such effort went viral, viewed by more than a million people in one day!

The short called, "The Actor," is based on her own experience of sexual harassment, designed to show in her words, "a humiliating moment" of a man using his power. Other scenarios involve "The Doctor" and "The Coworker.

"People will watch this, they'll have that 'aha' moment," Commissioner Menin said, "and they'll see that's harassment, and they'll know there's something that can be done." Which is why she has posted the number of a sexual harassment hotline after every one of the spots.

This, says Avin, will help make her work even more effective because, "When young women see these films, and can identify with them, then there's a hotline, and they understand there's somewhere they can talk about this, I think that's empowerment."

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