One night I decided to walk the twenty minutes to my home from the Skytrain Station. It was past midnight and the buses were not running, and I didn’t want to have to pay for a taxi. However, the route that I was taking went through the neighbourhood of Whalley in Surrey, BC, which is known for a high rate of crime and drug users.
I started walking and tried to be extra aware of my surroundings, since I was alone on a dark and empty area. A few minutes later, a car going in the same direction slowed down behind me. This happened awhile ago, but I seem to recall that the vehicle was a taxi with a number of men inside. I continued walking, now angry with myself for being alone in this situation. Meanwhile the car slowly crept along beside me. Someone in the group asked me if I wanted to get into the car with them.
Without stopping, I took a deep breath and yelled out “NO!!” in a very loud and firm voice. I was relieved to see the car drive away and I was left by myself again.
Once I arrived home, I told the event to my boyfriend and he was upset and concerned, saying he was glad that I was okay, but that things could have turned out much worse. He cautioned me not to go walking at night by myself.
I do think that it is wise to avoid risky situations (particularly walking alone at night). At the same time, it’s sad how women are told to be more careful and often women are blamed if an assault does occur. The aggressors are the people who need to take responsibility of their actions– they need to realize the harmful impact of street harassment!
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