Story, Verbal

Lauren’s Story: Flippin’ him the bird

I was walking when a guy was just standing in the sidewalk yelled at me “I bet you have a nice ass” As I passed him, I turned and gave him the middle finger.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Story, Verbal

Lauren’s Story: Just plain creepy

This happened when I was a teenager, maybe 16 or so. I was walking into a grocery store when I passed this creepy guy eyeballing me, as he walked away I overheard him say “too young” in a disappointed way. The town I was in is known for its high number of sex offenders. It was just creepy. I don’t like to grocery shop often anymore.

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Week In Our Shoes: VICE EDITION

Hello Hollabackers!–

Welcome to our weekly update! Let’s get started.

The mothership got some nice press this week — we were mentioned in this MS Magazine’s article, How Some Men Harass Women Online and What Other Men Can Do to Stop It, profiled in The Story Exchange, and interviewed for Vice Magazine! When Vice starts to care about street harassment — you know change is in the air.

And now, without further ado, our sites have had quite a week:

Hollaback! Des Moines published their very awesome 5 Things You Can Do Right Now To End Street Harassment on the Hollaback Des Moines website! They are continuing to bring in stories for their Story Drive. The goal is to collect 50 stories by March 1st, so share your story if you haven’t already! We are also very excited to announce Hollaback! Des Moines’ newest team member: welcome, Alysa Mozak to our Hollaback! family! Alysa currently works as a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and Healthy Relationship Promoter at Drake University. Very Cool.

Hollaback! Alberta did a screening this past Wednesday of the documentary The Invisible War at local theatre in Edmonton. The site posted an important lesson on the harmful effects of the improper use of the word “rape.” View the post here.

Hollaback! IstanbulHollaback! Istanbul got some big press this week. After friend of our site leader and acclaimed journalist Alyson Neel published widely-read article in the Washington Post, In Istanbul, street harassment is a constant, both Alyson Neel and our Hollaback! Istanbul Programs Director, Ezgi Cincin, were interviewed on Television! Watch them talk about the effects of street harassment HERE! (note: it’s in Turkish).

Hollaback! West Yorkshire has done a great job collecting stories this week. Read the most recent stories and posts on their site.

Hollaback! Winnipeg has a new filmmaker on board! A very warm Hollaback! welcome to Cleo! Cleo is already doing some amazing work filming for Hollaback! Winnipeg’s vlogs.

Hollaback! Philly’s site leader Rochelle Keyhan was featured in a groundbreaking 20-minute documentary titled Trigger Warning. The documentary explores the harmful effects of rape jokes and violent discourse in comedy as we have grown accustomed to it. Definitely a must-watch.

COMING SOON:  One Billion Rising is quickly approaching, and a whole bunch of incredible programs are in the works at Hollaback! sites all over the world. Get involved with you local Hollaback! site, it’s going to be the best V-Day yet.

Our  Hollaback! community is making street harassment a known issue and a paramount international conversation. THANK YOU to our incredible site leaders and supporters worldwide.  Let’s keep it going!

Holla and out–



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.

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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 —


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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.

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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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