Sarah’s Story: Learning from experiences

You don’t have a “HollaBack” in my city, Kathmandu, Nepal, but I think this story is important none-the-less. Even if it’s just to get it out of my own head and heart, and shared.

I’m really moved by what you do at HollaBack, and think it’s an incredibly important and smart movement. It’s great timing for me, as I just learned about this website today, and was harassed 2 days ago, with (I feel) little I can do about it here.

While walking down my dirt road, I was feeling more confident and attractive than usual here. It was warm outside and for the first time in months I was able to wear a long flowing skirt and a v-neck t-shirt. (Nothing revealing by any means)

I was only maybe 20 feet away from my house door, when a motorcyclist came speeding by. On his way past, he stuck out his hand, and grabbed my breast. He passed by so fast, I really had no defense against it. Even when I turned away to yell at him, I realized, I speak English, he most likely speaks Nepali, my words were of no use. :( If he had been going any slower I think I would have tried to push over his motorcycle. I was furious at his nerve, and the fact I was defenseless against it.

So, he went speeding away. It happened so unexpectedly I can barely remember what he looked like, much less felt there was anything I could do about it.

Since the incident, I’ve felt less safe in my own neighborhood. I think, “what if he lives near me?” “what if he sees me often and I’ve just never noticed him?” I don’t like this feeling of fear and lack of safety in the area in which I live.

I also feel like my fears aren’t helpful. What IS helpful is being aware of my surroundings, learning from my experiences, and sharing them with other women to move forward to fight against this sort of street harassment that happens every day.

Since hearing about HollaBack, I feel more comfortable discussing this with people in my neighborhood as well to keep from it happening again. Thanks HollaBack for giving me an outlet. :)

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