Stalking, Story, youth

KG’s Story: No Means No

So I have a couple different stories and both of them happened when i was 16. I’m 20 now. I hope it’s ok that i am sharing something that did not happen to me recently. i just really want to share them because i think it is great that this hollaback thing exists and i haven’t shared these stories with realy anyone because i’m sort of embarassed.

SO this one time i was hanging around the plaza the morning after halloween and this really nice group of people were sitting on the grass smoking blunts and asked me if i wanted to join them. I accepted their offer. most of them gradually got up and left after a bit and then it was just me and this guy who didn’t seem threatening at all at first. i talked with him for a bit and then he started complimenting me a lot on my appearance which i thought was nice of him but it sort of made me uncomfortable. so i decided to politely get up and leave. he followed me and his compliments started to get nasty and sexual. I just ignored him hoping he would get the picture. obviousy i should have told him to fuck off but i didn’t want to make a scene i guess. so he keeps following me and being gross. i started to make my way toward the bus stop because at this point i just wanted to go home. on the way there he pushed me up against this fence and showed me his half boner. i kept pushing him away and telling him to stop but he woudn’t. he put his hand up my skirt. so i pushed him with full force and ran towards the bus stop. he followed me. sat next to me at the stop and kept trying to kiss me and stuff. i kept telling him to leave me alone. it’s stupid but i really didn’t want to make a scene because i was really embarassed. i should have yelled for help i know. there was this couple sitting across from us and i tried to make eye contact with them. they looked at me but they must have assumed he was just my boyfriend and i was mad at him or something. i don’t know. he was begging me to pay for his bus fair so he could come with me. i didn’t (of course). so i got on the bus and made it home safely.

a similar thing happened to me again in this same area. i was still 16 at the time. this guy said hi to me when i walked past him and i said hello back. he takes this as an invitation to follow me around for an hour begging me to come home with him. he looked like he was in his 40s. i told him i was 16 and that i was just waiting for my parents to get out of an appointment. which was true. but this did not raise any red flags in his mind. he even tried to trick me into coming to his house by saying “hey i have some weed but i left it at home you wanna come with me to get it?”. i just kept telling him to fuck off and he finally did thank god.

for a long time after this stuff happened to me i refused to go back to this area by myself. i live in this area now and haven’t had any problems because now when guys flirt with me i just ignore them.

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Assault, Story, youth

Whitney’s story: We’re not laughing.

Hello I am new here,
I know I’m going to be laughed at for this, but I need to free this pain from my chest.

being dropped off to my very first “Job Interview.” I’m not sure or can’t seem to remember my age at the time, but I’m thinking around 15 to 16 maybe?.
Back on topic, after leaving the job site (at a theme park) since it was only a few blocks away, I was made to walk home. Feeling lonely like I always do, on the quite gloomy day, I stopped at the light waiting to cross. A couple of men in a very old and dirty looking red car drove past me (kind of quickly) with their door open. I didn’t know what was going on until they fully passed by, but I noticed some type of water coming from the open door. I didn’t see the man’s face, but he yelled “SORRY” while laughing away. It was all over my suit pants & soaked my shoes, I held my tears but every step I took towards my home became harder and harder. I’m not very smart but first thought it was a soda, or something else. but it turned out to be pee (from the smell & other things). Everyday I dealt with bullying from many people in highschool, at home, etc. I guess I shouldn’t be shocked by this.

Sadly enough while being raised by my grandmother,
she taught me that if I cry, it will get worse. Keep in mind she was an abusive person.

one comment 


Dear Hollabackers—

Welcome to our weekly update! First of all, we are so excited to welcome our brand new interns: Jae, our International Movement Building/Legislative Intern, Julia, our Communications Intern, and Lindsay, our Development and Research Intern! We are excited to have you three on our Hollaback! team.

Hollaback! has no doubt started this year right! We have some very exciting site updates this week:

Hollaback! Istanbul got a shout-out in the Washington Post this week! The article was titled, “In Istanbul, street harassment is a constant.”

Hollaback! Winnipeg is continuing their incredible work with the Bystander Intervention Vlog, coaching those who witness harassment on how to be an effective bystander and stop street harassment in its tracks. Check out Hollaback Winnipeg’s Jodie Layne breaking it down:

Hollaback! San Francisco’s site director, Michelle Seivers, went ON THE AIR this past Monday on 91.7 KALW “Your Call” to discuss the recent attacks on women in the Bay Area and around the world, and what Hollaback! San Francisco is doing as to fight street harassment and violence. Listen to the show here.

Hollaback! Baltimore is celebrating their second birthday Friday, February 8! They are also continuing to do great work with their survey on street harassment. Haven’t filled it out yet? Here’s the link. 

Keep up the amazing work!

HOLLA and out —


no comments 
Story, Verbal

Pari’s story: interpreting politeness

I was standing in the metro. Some guys were standing next to me ( They didn’t understand german, just arabic, so I assume they were from an arabic country, although this isn’t a matter of nationality) and were chatting, they seemed to be in their 20s. I want to add that I directly came from school and I was dressed very modestly. When the train stopped at the station, they guy next to me let me leave the train first . I liked this act of politeness very much, that’s why thanked him and smiled to him very nicely. It wasn’t meant as flirtation or anything, I just wanted to be polite. But when I left, I heard them laughing : oooooooooooh Dankeschön Dankeschön ( which is the german word for thank you, that i used). They said it in a weird tone , then they started to say something in arabic. Of course I don’t really know what they said, but I am sure that they thought that the fact I thanked him in a friendly way, was a sign that I liked him. They continued grinning into my direction and that really upset me.
Generally, I have experienced that guys from the middleeast sometimes misinterpret politeness from girls. I am from Iran, and Iranians also behave this way. Another time, I was in the metro with my friend when a Iranian guy started talking to me, in the middle of our conversation! I replied politely but reluctantly. still, when my friend left the train, he talked to me all they way, asking how old i was and if i would give him my phone number . he was actually pretty nice, but it was still a bit awkward for me.
When I am in Iran, I experienced that if you look into a guys eyes for a few seconds or smile at him, he thinks you are interested in him. That really sucks. so – guys ! even if I am polite to you – it doesn’t mean I want to date you our stuff okay?

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Story, Verbal

GG’s story: My dad was within feet of me.

My car broke down on the side of a busy but small road during 5 o’clock traffic. My dad was with me and he was standing outside looking under my hood. I was way too uncomfy to get out of the car because I was wearing a short dress and wasn’t anticipating having to stand on the side of a road. I have been sexually assaulted and raped before so this adds to my extreme anxiety in situations such as this. I felt bad that I was not helping so I did step out of the car, and of course – as soon as I did I hear “DAMMMNNNN BABY” or something to that effect. This man was hanging out the driver’s side window making hand gestures at me and yelling, at a stop sign, with tons of other cars waiting behind him and all around. Although my stress level heightens in situations like this I always have something to say back. I look at him, gave him the finger and just said “NO. NOPE.” with a super bitch look on my face. He THEN yelled “Whatever, BITCH!” and drove away, continuing to look at me. My dad was within feet of me. There were TWO OTHER men standing with us and he STILL had the audacity to do it. My dad an the other men did not hear it, luckily. Otherwise we would have had a bigger problem.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Story

HOLLA ON THE GO: half-reptile

Was driving. Stopped at the light. Look over to my right and some guy in another car is staring me down. Looked straight ahead and looked again and he’s flicking his tongue at me like he’s half reptile.

one comment 
Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: Advice needed.

I have gone to my friends’ house to meet him as he was not well. After sometime, we decided to go out for a light stroll. Some boys standing outside the apartment abused me without any reason. My friend got angry but I asked him not to loose his patience as they were in large numbers. But, still I am not able to forget that incident and I really feel insulted. How to overcome this?

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A week in our shoes: MAKERS EDITION!

Dear Hollabackers,

2013 is off to a roaring start!

First off, a big THANK YOU to the MAKERS project for creating six awesome videos about our work. My favorites are “Pissing People Off” and “Progress.”

Second, congrats to our partners at GirlTank for releasing their first video of girl-innovators, featuring me alongside SO MANY OTHER AMAZING GIRL ACTIVISTS.

Third, I want to give special thanks to the Paley Center’s Executive Director Pat Mitchell for the shout-out in Fast Company! “Mitchell’s got a long list of other inspirational and influential examples. She reels off a set of names that ranges from teen activist Julie Bluhm (who took on Seventeen magazine’s photoshopping policies); Deanna Zandt for her Planned Parenthood Saved Me Tumblr blog; Emily May of Hollaback.” If you aren’t familiar with Deanna or Julie – check them out! They both rule.

This week, we had two Feminist Summer Camp interns on Tuesday! Erin Norskog is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, with a major in Sociology and a minor in Women’s Studies. She enjoys reading, cooking, and working with clay as a ceramic artist. Gina Barber is a senior at the University of Virginia where she is majoring in sociology and women, gender, and sexuality. She has worked for Obama for America as a digital media fellow, the Feminist Majority Foundation, and with Thanks Erin and Gina for your help!

 Hollaback Croatia was on Croatian National TV discussing their recent research on street harassment!

Hollaback sites in Canada are parterning with the Represent Project. They are “offering a new forum to challenge damaging media representations of women in Canada.” RAD!

Hollaback London published a letter to Argos written by Rachel, a woman who was harassed by employees of the company. In the letter, Rachel writes, “Sexual harassment is always unacceptable, at any time and in any place, but the fact that these men feel they have the right to harass a woman while representing the Argos brand demonstrates extreme impudence. I hope that the management at Argos will take this matter very seriously and deal with their staff appropriately”. Way to go, Rachel!

Hollabackers in Mexico, Richmond, St. Paul, and San Francisco are banning together to do a content analysis of bystander stories on our site. They will be looking for trends around bystander intervention, including impact.

Hollaback Jacksonville, NC’s leader Kari Raack is up for military spouse of the year! Please vote for her. If she wins, she plans to use the platform spread the world about Hollaback across the military and their families.

Hollaback San Francisco issued a statement in support of a woman who was stabbed after being harassed on the street in the Tenderloin. Jezebel wrote a great article about the incident.

Last but not least, we’ve got a couple volunteer positions open!Take a look and let us know if you can help.

HOLLA and out —


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Stalking, Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: ongoing harassment…

Harassed for several weeks. Contacted my employees, verbally attacked me.

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Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: #pathetic

For some reason even though I have my two kids with me and my wedding ring on my hand men still come up to me it’s really pathetic.

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