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I was walking to work from the bus station right across the street from the public library. There was a small group of guys on some steps across the street from me in the direction I had to walk to work. I’m super socially anxious, so I didn’t look at them even though I could hear them yelling at me. They were trying to grab my attention and when they couldn’t by the time I was walking past them one of them screamed “FUCKING WHORE!” at me. I quit my job a few days later because I didn’t feel safe near the bus station anymore.
My friend and I were walking home from an off-campus party. I was on the outside, near a row of parked cars dimly lit by scant street lights. As we approached a nondescript sedan, one of the windows slid down. “Hey girl, you wanna party?” a young man called out. We didn’t respond and picked up the pace. The car was just steps ahead and we could see, now, there were four men inside. They just sat there, in the dark, no engine running, no lights on. As we passed, the rear passenger door swung open. “Come here, bitch.” An arm extended from the car and latched onto mine. He yanked and pulled me toward the open door. “NO!” I screamed, realizing I was losing ground. My friend grabbed my other arm and together we wrenched me away, tug-of-war style, out of his grip. And we ran. We ran before the others could get out of the car. We ran without looking back. We ran all the way to campus, all the way into our dorm, not daring to stop until we heard the lock click behind us.
This happened three years ago, when I was in the 8th grade. Honestly just thinking about it now makes me angry. Me, my mom and my younger sister were walking around the apartment complexes (exercising). There were these stairs, and on the stairs was this white male. I didn’t pay attention to him because I thought he’s probably out for a smoke. We walked past him and like my mom was way ahead of me and my sis, so she didn’t hear him when he was whisper shouting ‘hey!’ The third time he said that, I looked back because maybe he needed help? But when I did, it was sick. His pants was down and the look on his face was weird & terrible. He flashed us. My younger sister saw too and we were shocked. I wish in that moment I had a rock to damage him. He then took off running when I hollered for mom.
Since that happened, I feel uneasy still when we drive by those stairs.. I feel like I need to take some switchblades or at least a rock to throw if we ever come across something like that. This experience has opened my eyes in a bad way.. And I wish it didn’t.
Between my best friend’s house and mine there is a building under construction. Whenever a girl passes by, the workers shout and catcall her. That happened to me a few times and so it happened to a lot of other women. We live pretty close so I normally walk there daily, and it’s also my way to class. One day I realized the men recognized me as they knew I passed by everyday generally the same time and I started getting scared. Since then, I’ve asked my best friend to pick me up when I visit him and to go to class. I was never catcalled again. My best friend is a guy. I guess they respect the man who is with you.
At Hollaback! HQ this week we started the last phases of our End of the Year campaign and got ready for the upcoming holidays–this will be our last WIOS until the new year! Metro interviewed Debjani about the increase of sex crimes on the NYC subways, and Fast Company featured Emily in a new piece.
And at Hollaback! around the world:
Hollaback! Croatia hosted a party for their Lesbian of the Year award, honoring those who contributed to the visibility of lesbians, bisexual, and trans women in the field of sports, culture, activism and generally improve the quality of life for LGBT minorities.
Hollaback Ottawa attended an International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers rally!
Hollaback Katmandu attended a ‘Feminist Film Screening’ hosted by Voices of Women Media at Women LEAD. The event showcased two short documentaries about child marriage and the lack of access to public toilets for young women. The screening was followed by a question and answer session with the director, where our LEADers discussed issues like gender discrimination and gender roles, and the impact it has on the lives of young women.
Hollaback Belfast joined the South Belfast Lantern Parade to light up South Belfast this Sunday, which will help fundraise for community events – including Reclaim the Night 2016!
My first groping. I don’t remember where I was, it was 11 years ago, but the rest is clear. I was 6 years old, walking with my mom and I fell behind as I often did. It was very crowded and people were everywhere. One man walked by me with the creepiest smile on his face. “Hey, baby girl, nice ass” He said, then groped my butt very harshly and laughed. I was shocked and froze for a moment before turning around to see him disappear into the crowd. I ran ahead to catch up with my mom and didn’t fall behind for the rest of the day, but I never said anything.
I’m a teenager from a smaller town. There’s not much to do except walk to the local park or elementary school playground. That day all I wanted was to listen to music on the swings, but there were some young teens that weren’t ok with that. A group of 5 boys not maybe more than a couple of years older than myself started shouting and hooting lewd remarks. As I sat down on the swing 3 of them started walking over to me. One grabbed the swing while the other two stood in front of it. Their friends were gesturing provocatively and one even said he had something more fun I could sit on. I turned on my music to try to ignore them, but not a minute later was I pushed out of the swing and pulled to my feet. I didn’t wait for them to do anything else. I got up kicked the first one I saw in the shin and ran to a friends house to stay for a while. I’m still scared to go back alone.
Iba camino a Madrid y antes de llegar a la estación de Vicalvaro, en él cercanías, un señor cambió de asiento y se sentó delante de mí. Al poco rato se abrió la bragueta y mirándome fijamente comenzó a masturbarse. Cuando me di cuenta de que, efectivamente era eso lo que estaba haciendo y no imaginaciones mías (porque no quería mirarle fijamente, me intimidaba) me levanté para cambiarme de sitio y de vagón. Me miró ofendido y enfadado cuando lo hice. Tuve que bajarme del tren porque sufrí un episodio de ansiedad.
We had a quiet week at Hollaback! HQ with a smaller office, but team members Desiree, CJ, and Jae kept things up and running! Desiree attended Change Making in the Digital Age which was made possible by one of our awesome funders, Ashoka and CJ volunteered at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project’s Attorneys and Advocates Awards.
At Hollaback! around the world,
Hollaback! Baltimore hosted a talk, The Intersections of Gender and Police Harassment, and a Coffee Chat. Go Baltimore!
Holla and out!
I was waiting at a crosswalk while on my bike. A male biker at the same time started asking me personal questions. Where did I live; where was I going; what was I doing tonight? I ignored him. He became angry. He yelled at me that I was a fucking bitch. I responded, tired and calmly, that I was not a bitch, but instead was tired and just wanted to go home in peace. He repeated that I was a bitch and he’d never want to fuck me anyway.