San Diego, CA-Comic-con is widely celebrated event with tens of thousands of people flocking to conventions all across the country. While these Comic-Con International gives comic book, sci-fi, fantasy, horror and anime dorks the chance to be their favorite comic character and see the stars that play them on the big and small screens, there is a dark underbelly, to these conventions, mainly the way female attendees are treated.

Over the years, Comic-Con and other such conventions have become a hot-bed of sexual harassment. Women often relay stories of being groped and grabbed, subjected to lewd comments and having their pictures taken without their consent. These incidents have become so widespread that convention goers have a special term for it: “creeping at a con,” according to the Washington Post.

During this past weekend’s Comic-Con in San Diego, one of the largest and most widely recognized cons, the issue of sexual harassment was taken to a new level with female attendees asking for better protections. Four women from Philadelphia, who call themselves Geeks for CONsent took the issue to new level, collecting over 2,500 signatures for an online demanding organizers for Comic-Con International to take more steps to stop sexual harassment, the Post reported.

Geeks for CONsent focused on sexual harassment at Comic-Con after hearing numerous horror stories from female attendees. Using their experience with Hollaback Philly—a movement developed to end street sexual harassment—the group developed a comic book to help middle and high school students deal with sexual harassment. That’s what brought them to San Diego’s Comic-Con, according to the New York Times.

It’s true that there are many scantily clad and sexualized costumes at cons, but it’s no excuse for grabbing someone’s breasts or buttocks. For some reason, some event attendees think the sexy costumes give them a license to do and say whatever they want. If such things happened in the workplace, a sexual harassment attorney would take the harasser to task for their actions, but with street harassment—or, in this case con harassment—the harassed person has little recourse.

Since there is no legal recourse, Geeks for CONsent want organizers for Comic-Con to establish formal sexual harassment policies for these events. The group would also like convention organizers to train their staff on how to handle sexual harassment complaints.

“It makes it feel safer for the person being harassed to report it and also for bystanders who witness (inappropriate behavior),” said Rochelle Keyhan, director of Geeks for CONsent.

Organizers for Comic-Con said they already have a sexual harassment policy in place and said they added additional police to ensure the safety of all convention goers. They told the Associated Press, the Code of Conduct was email to convention goers ahead of time and was printed on the second page of

Policies alone will not prevent all sexual harassment at conventions, but making those policies more widely available and making it clear there are repercussions for such behavior could prevent some incidents from occurring. It won’t stop them all but it may give some people pause before they grab a  woman’s buttocks or make vulgar and unwanted comments.