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I walk my dog around lake merrit almost everyday because it is a beautiful walk in an otherwise urban area. My experience has been that I cannot make it around this three mile loop without a man making some kind of comment to me. It has ranged from “hi beautiful” to grunting noises to comments about my butt or asking me if they can join me on my walk. I had a man step into my path and stop right in front of me to pet my dog, blocking my path and giving me no choice in the interaction. I get angry, scared and embarrassed by these encounters, but above all I feel helpless and that is by far the worst emotion for me. I feel like I have to put up with this in order to walk my dog in a park near my home. I now have to consider what I wear and what time of day I go for a walk in an effort to achieve some sort of anonymity. Some people might think, what’s the big deal if a man wants to tell you you’re attractive or ask you out. Here’s the big deal, it’s unsolicited, unreciprocated and unwanted attention . It can be scary, embarrassing and menacing. Bottom line, I just want to walk my dog in peace and feel safe.
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