Stalking, Story, Verbal

Dior’s Story: “I don’t think I have ever been so scared in my life”

I live on a busy street in San Jose and cars are always flying by at a fast pace. Across the street is the salon that I frequent, and it is literally a few steps away across four lanes. I normally do not cross the street without using the crosswalk, but there is one day that I felt that I needed to jolt across. I waited for a red convertible Mustang to go by before I crossed the street, but they slowed down and then pulled over. He said, “Hey, don’t you go anywhere with an ass like that!” He then started screaming, “Come back here!!”, over and over. I ran into the salon and told them the man was harassing me.

They called 911 to report the man, as he was still outside looking at the salon while in his car. He stayed there for about 15 minutes waiting. The salon locked all of the doors and everyone was looking at him through the window. He pretended to be looking for something in his car and then finally drove away. What was he planning to do to me? Did he think I was actually going to walk back? I don’t think I have ever been so scared in my life.

I've got your back!
19+

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groping, Story, Verbal

Dee’s Story: Restaurant Creepers

One night about 7 years ago. My younger sister, her friend and I were having a late dinner at a Deli in Westwood, Ca. around 11pm. We were sitting in a section where it had about 4-5 tables and it was only us there. Then these two men, I would say in their 30’s, showed up and sat a table counter cross from us. From the moment they sat down, they were making cat calls and whisper sounds to us.

Throughout our dinner, they were talking to us and trying to get our attention, saying things like “come sit on our laps, the food will taste better” or “Come with me, I will show you a good time”. We ignored them or told them to shut up. I’m pretty sure they were drunk or on something because it was persistent. We decided not to tell the waiter, since we were leaving anyways. At this time, we finished with our food and decided to leave quick, because we were a little freaked out by them. We had to walk by their table to leave, because there was no other way out.

My sister walked in front of me and her friend behind me. As we passed, the guy who was making the most comments, decided to grab the wrist of my sister and tried to pull her into him. At that point I reacted and grabbed his wrist to make him let go and he wouldn’t. He stood up and still holding her wrist was gonna push me away. I used my forearm and body weight and pushed him up against the wall with my forearm at his throat, telling him to let her go. All of a sudden the other guy stood up and tried to get me off of him. That guy let go of my sister and I push him again and we ran out of the restaurant.

The servers saw this happen and called the police, but we didn’t know, because we were walking down the street, scared they were going to come after us. After we were about a block away, the cops found us and brought us back to the scene. When we were there, the guy that assaulted my sister was rolling around in the street screaming, crying and waling. By this point we were scared and the police kept asking what happened, beacuse the server only saw me push him against the wall. We had to explain the whole event and even then it was only backed up by some people who were sitting in an area near us.

The guy’s friend kept saying that we attacked them and his friend was only drunk. It was a mess, but the cops took our statements and realized that this guy was on something and was making problems with the cops and we were let go. We ended up leaving the place around 3am. Even though this story was a few years ago, I am still very cautious walking alone in places. I still get those looks and cat calls, but now I either ignore or tell them to shut up. Still freaks me out though. :/

I've got your back!
24+

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groping, Verbal

Lesley’s Story: “I just did the smile and nod and kept walking”

I had to get a 6am bus on my own so I was walking up an empty street though it was light. A guy started to walk beside me and talk to me but in Spanish, I only know a little so I just did the smile and nod and kept walking, he continued to walk beside me and talk but I just continued to ignore him and walk faster. He then took my wrist and tried to pull me across the road, I managed to quickly lose his grip and then sprinted up the road.

I've got your back!
12+

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Story

Ashleigh’s Story: “These words are my way of fighting back”

Dear Hollaback!

Thank you for your work and for this opportunity to share my story.

While in New York, I experienced an inappropriate interaction while with my friend on the subway, in which a man “gave up his seat” for us. Though we had no need to sit down, nor did we event want to, we sat down and just tried to continue going about our conversation. The man spent spent the rest of the ride standing directly over and in front of my friend, whom he moved closer and closer to. All the while he was trying to engage us in conversation, as if that made what he was doing with his body somehow ok. It was a total violation of space and his physical closeness was extremely uncomfortable, offensive, and unwanted.

I was so upset by the whole experience, but wasn’t sure what I could do after the fact. I was upset with myself for not having said more during the interaction, and was at a loss for what could be done differently next time. With such frustration and confusion, I took to writing and composed a poem about the whole experience. I wanted to capture these emotions in the poem and to give myself a way to work through and do something about the interaction.

Until I can find something more, these words are my way of fighting back.

Positions Switch

It was on the subway
He was one
And we were two
We were female
And he wasn’t
He gave up his seat
We gave up our choice
His giving felt more forced
The gift was not asked for
Did he give or did he take?
And what was it we received?
Positions switch
We sit, he stands
He stands, we sit
Positions switch
This time of power
He is too close
Too near
To her
He rocks
Evocating lewd gestures
It’s hard to imagine he doesn’t know
Exactly what he is doing
What exactly is he doing?
He rocks
He talks
I listen clearly to his unclear words
Desperate for a clue of intention
He has to know
She knows
I know
His rocking body too close, too close
To hers
Still he rocks
On
Still I remain
Silent, frozen, confused, paralyzed
Mind racing ahead
To the silences yet unsaid
I fear myself almost more than him
For if I am to remain silent
On the populated subway
How much more silent
Might I remain
Alone
Trying to navigate through the corners of my mind
I who call myself a feminist
Sit in silence
And anger
And confusion
He should know
I shouldn’t have to tell him
He rocks
He talks
He gets closer
To her
He tells her like she doesn’t know
To look at the view
Of the Brooklyn Bridge
While his body
Blocks her view
Of the Brooklyn Bridge
And his words
It isn’t hard to tell
Aren’t true
Doesn’t he know?
How much she knows?
Each rock brings him closer
To her
The loudness in my head, spirit, body
Is only matched
By my outward silence
He rocks
Until finally the subway
Says the words we didn’t
And we leave him
To rock
On

-Ashleigh Montgomery

I've got your back!
15+

no comments 
Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: “I felt really unsafe and uncomfortable”

Two men walking past me in the metro station looked me up and down loudly declared that they would “hit that”. They were big, young men and I felt really unsafe and uncomfortable, I pretty much ran to my train.

I've got your back!
9+

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A Week in Our Shoes

Week in Our Shoes: Educating the Masses Edition

Hey Hollabackers!

This week Hollaback! was featured in Global Voices Online, Huffington Post, South China Morning Post, The Week, Rabble.ca, News 12 Bronx, Pix 11Bustle, International Business Times, Winnipeg Free Press, and The New York Observer.

At the mothership, Deputy Director, Debjani Roy was interviewed on Fox News’ “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson,” and was absolutely fabulous as she discussed street harassment. If you haven’t checked out the interview yet, be sure to correct that and click here

HOLLAs around the world have been up to: 

Hollaback! Appalachian Ohio did two workshops on consent for the women incarcerated at Southeast Ohio Regional Jail and painted their derby car in preparation for the Athens County Fair!

10525666_648802028567292_8593127685543213811_nHollaback! Bahamas were on “The Conversation with Shenique Miller” - a new radio talk show focused on women. They were joined by two Crisis Centre volunteers and talked about domestic violence, dating, and street harassment. They’ve also been invited to join her in a few weeks for a series of show to educate the public on the upcoming equality referendum. Great job, guys!

Hollaback! Plattsburgh is holding a fundraiser concert this weekend with the band, THOUGHTCRIME. If you’re in the area, make sure to check it out!

Hollaback! Victoria BC hosted a chalk walk this past weekend. Pictures from the event can be found here!

Hollaback! Sheffield also hosted the Tramlines Chalk Walk this past weekend!

Hollaback! BMore hosted an online fundraiser with SugarBaltimore where if you buy something NSFW from the store on Aug 1, Hollaback! Bmore would get 10% of the proceeds.

Hollaback! Vancouver was able to get the Vancouver Transit Police to take down slut shaming transit ads in subway trains. Not only that, but they were also able to get a sincere apology from the VTP, and Hollaback! VAncouver will be on the board to approve the replacement ads. Awesome work!

Amazing work all around HOLLAs! Til next time-

HOLLA and out!

-The Hollaback Team

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Stalking, Story, Verbal

Maddy’s Story: Early morning street harassment

My friend and I (15 and 14) were walking from Panera around 9am when two large men came out of a bank and said “Hello beautiful ladies.” We kept walking and again one of them said “can we party with you?” I said “no, thanks,” and we kept walking.

Finally we were almost away when he said “do you not like big dicks?” as if we would know their penis size from looking at their clothed bodies. Later, I went into CVS and my friend waited outside. The two men came by again and she ran in with two coffees and breakfast in her hands out of fear. We were both wearing athletic shorts and t shirts.

I've got your back!
10+

no comments 
groping, Story

Ka’s Story: Groping is no way to say “thank you!”

On my way home from work a man in the seat next to me rubbed the inside of my thigh as a way of “thanking” me for giving him directions.

I've got your back!
11+

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Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: “Saying ‘nice titties’ isn’t a compliment

Saying “nice titties” to a girl you don’t know as you walk by her isn’t a compliment or appropriate in anyway.

It creeped me out.

I've got your back!
4+

no comments 
groping, Story

HOLLA ON THE GO: Seeing red

On my way home yesterday walking through town (at 7pm, in daylight), a group of three middle aged, fat, balding men passed me and one of them decided to casually pinch my skirt, lift it and grab my skin. I immediately saw red, turned round and punched him in the bridge of his nose. This angered the other two, they got straight up in my face shouting “What did you do that for?” at me, I shouted back and one of them pushed me by my shoulder so hard that I fell into the road. I’m fine, but shaken.

I've got your back!
15+

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