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As a teenage student who travels to her school via public transportation and walking as well, I endure street harassment almost everyday.
The worst experience I had to date was riding in a bus and a guy, who was probably in his 30s or 40s, on the seat parallel to mine was masturbating.
I did not look directly at it but my peripheral vision was there and I couldn’t unsee it. By the time he was leaving the bus, he wiped off what was left yet there was still some remaining and I could never understand why someone could allow this to be a sight to a teenager like I am.
This is something that I witnessed, but it is for sure going to be one of those moments that I will never forget.
I was about 15. I was with my sisters at the bus stop waiting for the the bus to come by one afternoon on a very busy day.
The bus finally comes and everyone at the bus stop immediately go up to the bus to be the first one to board and claim a seat all the while those that were on the bus are struggling to unboard. I decided to step back and just wait till everything calmed down, and what I saw next shocked me and choked me up.
There was an old man, probably in his 80′s, unboarding, who due to his old age had a hard time coming down the steps of the bus. I then notice that when he finally makes it down, a young man, probably in his 20′s, grope his crotch and doesn’t let go for what seems like a long few seconds. The young man then casually goes up the steps and boards the bus. The old man, however, has a look of shock on his face. I see humiliation and sadness then set over him as he looks around, probably to see if anyone had witnessed this act. He stands there for a few seconds, very still, in the middle of the chaotic crowd. Humiliated. Then slowly walks away with a look on his face that I will never forget.
I felt absolutely horrible. One, because of what happened to him, and two, for not doing anything. I don’t think I will forgive myself for not stepping up.
This old man, who instead of being respected, was violated in one of the worst ways possible. What a sad scene to see a weak old man, who probably had so much to be proud of in his long life, be humiliated like this.
This goes to show that sexual harassers just violate people because they like the power of the harm they cause. It has nothing to do with what the victim is wearing at all, as many people like to think.
Twice in two days now.
On the bus, with my three young (under 10) daughters. My middlest is chatting to the bus driver. The bus driver says ‘you’re really cute, but not as cute as your Mummy’.
On my way to the museum with the girls this morning, an older bloke leers over the bus seats at me and says ‘are these your little sisters?’
Stop fucking harassing me via my children!
Some creep kept hanging out in the gas station parking lot near my bus stop and asking me (repeatedly) if I (sweetie, baby) needed a ride. When he backed his car up from the exit; parked his car behind me; and walked by, he asked again. I said I was waiting for the bus. When he returned, he continued to just sit there watching me. I am tired of this when I am just trying to get to work.
This was last summer (2013), I got off the train on my way to meet a friend when I felt the hand (backside of a hand) brush my butt. I quickly turned around and looked right at the guy who actually jumped at my quick reaction and he tried to walk off as if nothing happened. I followed after him so I could take his picture, he ducked into a pizza place on the corner near the train stop and rushed out the front door.
I had already called my friend who rushed to meet me but the guy was long gone…I got a pic of him though (from behind).
The other day, I was taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and taking a run along my usual route. Three separate guys stared blatantly at my bare legs; one even saying “DAMN! Look at those thighs!” To his buddies. Ugh.
We all need help sometimes. This is a college town. I don’t have a lot of money. I get food stamps. One day, I was at the Department of Social and Health Services office, feeling super down and upset because I’m struggling and I had to go in for a review to renew my benefits. After I left the building I was on the phone in my parked car. This grey van pulls up next to me and this CREEP is just staring at me. This old, heavy man with grey hair and glasses just sits there looking at me
Man leans over as I walk past and says “mmm that’s what you want”. I dressed for me, not him!
My girlfriend and I walked towards a square, we had to cross a road. Two boys on a scooter saw us holding hands and when they passed, they spat on us. I was flabbergasted.
Here’s what the HOLLAs around the world have been up to:
Hollaback! Appalachian Ohio gave 45 min lessons to twenty seven 8th graders at Vinton Middle School on street harassment, consent, deconstructing rape culture, and bystander intervention. HB! AO has also been preparing some awesome crafts for their upcoming art show and has seen some of their street art go viral on We Chalk Walk.
Hollaback! Boston has added a new workshop on the intersection of race and street harassment, and shared the reading list they put together when they facilitated a discussion on the same topic. Check it out!
Hollaback! Ghent co-signed the Rainbow Charter against homophobia in their city. It is a co-operation between the City Administration for Equality, police, schools, and several partnering organisations which work for LGBTQ-rights. The network has six main goals supported by several projects. The main goals are: to inform the citizens of Ghent, assemble knowledge and work with experts, raise equal chances and safety in the city, interest for LGBTQ representation in image building of the city, support LGBTQ in Ghent and cooperate with a broad network of partners.
Hollaback! Hamilton has recruited 10-12 students from local universities to join their Hollaback team!
Hollaback! Mumbai has initiated a Campus Ambassador Program for collegians in Mumbai! HB! Mumbai was also contacted by a national radio show at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to speak about an upcoming documentary.
Hollaback! Ottawa has been featured in media and press recently due to a serial rapist in the area, they have been working to contextualize the situation as well as critiquing the manner the police have, up to this point, addressed the assaults.
Great work HOLLAs!
HOLLA AND OUT!
-The Hollaback! Team