Stalking, Verbal

Jennifer’s Story: Creepy men outside the McDonald’s

When I was 15, my friend and I were walking along the beautiful downtown area of Hoboken, NJ in the summer of ’04. We had just left dinner and were making our way toward the train station to go home. As we walked past the McDonald’s on the corner of Washington & 3rd, two men who had been leaning against the building talking to each other approached us. They looked to be about 30. They struck up a conversation with us, and then asked if we would like to join them for dinner. We said no, thanks. Then they asked if we would go back to their apartment which was right down the road in Jersey City. They even threw in that they had an indoor pool. At this point I was way creeped out by them, so I just nudged my friend and was like, “Let’s get out of here.” But she didn’t seem too threatened. And then they asked us, “Do you girls want to make $1500 each tonight? If you come back to our apartment to hang out for a little, we’ll give you $1500 each. You can make that kind of money in a night if you start hanging around us.” Finally I grabbed my friend’s arm and pulled her away and we started walking really fast. They followed quickly behind us. I panicked and decided to make a huge scene to get everyone’s attention so that they would leave us alone. I started yelling obscenities and was like: “THESE MEN ARE TRYING TO KIDNAP US!” Passersby paused and looked at us, and the men immediately darted off. We ran to the train station and hopped on the next train home.
I think that what surprised me most about this experience was not that these two men were trying to take advantage of two young girls– but that nobody really seemed concerned enough to do a damn thing about it.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Verbal

Holly’s Story: Old pervert taking pics

This man is a regular at my pub, and at first he seemed a nice bloke, albeit, a bit weird. But soon he would male inappropriate comments, and ask the barmaids for their numbers. One girl left her phone on the bar, and he grabbed it and phoned himself from it, so he had her number. Up until a certain incident, he would phone her 2 times a month to make sure she had kept the number. I came into work on a Sunday, in a very nice top, black, lowcut and pirate-esk. I turned around to find him holding his phone up, licking his lips and clearly taking a picture. I called him on it, and to show me he’d deleted it. When he made to put the phone back in his pocket, and ignore me, I grabbed it off him, and threw it on the floor and smashed it. He left, and neither of us had mentioned it since. But 3 days ago, an ex-barmaid told me he had been caught taking pictures of female customers and barmaids he’s terrorized in the past. So I decided to take his picture and post it on Hollaback. He’s a pervert, but he’s far from harmless. Creep. So if you live in the chew valley, and you like a pint, you will recognise this old pervert.

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Verbal

Traci’s Story: Sorry, but you aren’t Johnny Cash

Once when I was 12, I was standing outside of our public library, waiting for my mother to pick me up, when I saw a man walk by. I’d seen him before, and he’d always sort of looked at me funny, so I just sort of ignored him and made sure to stay where I was. He was tall, dark haired, had a bit of a beard, and wore black clothes, as if he thought he was trying to be Johnny Cash with the color scheme he had going. That day, however, when he walked by he gave me this strange grin and winked at me, and made a sort of kissing noise at me. I don’t know if he thought he was being funny, impressive, or obnoxious, or perhaps something else altogether. But, he certainly was being inappropriate. I was a child, and he was a middle-aged man. I was too afraid to tell my mother what happened, but I made sure never to be alone when I saw that man around town, again.

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Verbal

Traci’s Story: A need to stay away from strangers

When I was a very little girl, probably around 7 or 8, I remember going over to play with my friend M. Her street wasn’t the nicest street, nor the nicest neighborhood, and so we stayed in her yard. But, there was a group of teenage boys, perhaps closer to men than boys, who kept hollering at us. M and I totally ignored them, although we did sort of keep an eye on them to know where they were. They were acting very aggressive. Later that day, when my mother and grandmother came to pick me up, those men were so brazen that they started yelling again when my mother, grandmother, and I went by in the truck! One of them, a tall and lean man with dark hair, said quite clearly, “Come here a minute, I wanna moon ya!” I remember that clearly to this day. Especially since my mother said later that, when used in that particular context, it didn’t mean mooning someone like you’d moon them from your car. It meant that they wanted to make a baby with you. It disturbed me greatly, but I was glad to have the information. Not realizing what that had meant, when they said it to me once before that day, I had almost thought of going over to them to give them a piece of my mind. Knowing what they really meant by the phrase, I was a lot more aware of the need to stay away from strangers, especially loud and obnoxious ones.

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Nonverbal Harassment

Traci’s Story: Honking your horn isn’t hilarious

When I was around 21, I took a trip with a couple of friends out of town to visit a couple of museums. We parked the car close to the art museum we were going to go to first, and once we were done there, we walked to the second museum. It was a bit of a jaunt, but not too much. On our way back from there, a few hours later, we were crossing the street at the crosswalk, to get back to the parking area where our car was located, while cars were stopped at a red light. We were about halfway across when an older man — with his wife in the seat next to him, I suppose, if that’s who she was — honked his horn at us quickly when we were passing in front of his car. It startled us, and we jumped. He seemed to find this hilarious and laughed out loud with a huge belly laugh. One of my friends flipped him off, but he didn’t seem to notice. I don’t really remember the expression of the woman next to him, or if she even had an expression over it at all. The man was still laughing by the time we had finished crossing the street and were a bit down the sidewalk. I could hear him as he started to drive off.

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Nonverbal Harassment

Traci’s Story: My first encounter with harassment

When I was a child, I don’t quite remember how old, but I think around 13, I was walking home from the grocery store with my mother, and it was late evening. While we were on a neighborhood street, there was a car that came by several times, honked their horn at us, yelled something at us that I don’t remember, and then laughed when I jumped. Which I did every time. It was probably my first encounter with something like this and it left me feeling scared and confused.

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Nonverbal Harassment

Traci’s Story: Masked idiot

I was walking with my stepfather along Washington street when I was 17, back in the summer of 2003. Out of the blue this car with a group of teenage boys went by, honking their horn as obnoxiously as possible, and one of them rolled down his window, leaned out from the back seat, and had on some sort of Halloween costume after the Scream serial killer, and screamed at me as they drove passed. They made a point to do this three or four more times, as well. The screaming, if he was speaking actual words, seemed unintelligible. But, it was obvious that he, and his buddies, thought he was hilarious and impressive.

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Nonverbal Harassment

Traci’s Story: We are not impressed

I was walking along the side area that was meant for bikes and foot traffic close to the four lanes, near the patches of grass, with a friend of mine. While we were walking, all of a sudden this truck went by and the driver honked the horn at us and grinned, as if he thought we were supposed to be impressed with him. We decided to ignore him, but it was still ridiculous and we felt as if the rest of the drivers on the road that day were probably staring at us after that, too.

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groping, Stalking

Chris’s Story: It’s NOT your fault

My sister was walking home alone one night in a desolate small town (where she was a high school student) and became aware of a man following her. This went on for a block or two until she spun full around, stared at him (from a short distance), and then yelled, “I have seen your face, I can identify you to the police, leave me alone and stop following me!” and ran. He did not pursue her.

I was on the bus one time in San Francisco and had to stand up as the seats were all taken. I stood right next to where an older white man was sitting, just inches away from him, and for whatever reason(?) he reached up and put his hands on my hips. I slid out his grasp and shouted (on a completely silent bus full of people), GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME! and everyone looked over. He did, but he also said “it’s just as much your fault as it is mine”. EW.

 

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Assault, Stalking, Verbal

“I Won’t Hurt You…Well, I Might.”

Once I was with my best friend on the streetcar (in Toronto) and this old(ish) man approached us and started talking to us. I find it very hard to simply ignore people when they do this and he just seemed like a harmless, lonely old man. Then he started asking us if we’d go to dinner with him. We politely declined. Then he started asking if he could pay us 1000$ each to just have dinner with him. We kept declining, and his offers just kept escalating until he was offering 2500$ each to bring us up to his apartment so we could meet his female friend Kitty.
Since we had just been taking the streetcar for fun we decided to get off. He followed.
He kept walking beside us and talking, not being overly threatening, but I was sure to keep myself in between him and my friend (she’s two years younger, and I have a black belt in karate so I know I could handle myself).
She then bumped into something and said “ow” to which he responded “oh don’t worry girls, I won’t hurt you” – then he grabbed my arm and continued “well, I might”.
At this I just knew we had to get away from him. I tried to mouth the word “HELP” to passers by. I made eye contact with numerous people (including three guys who looked like they could have been College football players) but none took notice. I even thought about running up to one of these guys and pretending that I knew them. I didn’t though.
We were in a somewhat chic neighbourhood, and the only places around were expensive lunch restaurants, and our misplaced sense of decency made us not want to disturb people’s meals.
Then we passed by this upscale salon and someone was handing out flyers at the front door. We walked over and each took one and tried to strike up a conversation. Then the old man started talking to this flyer guy. This was our out we thought! We snuck behind him and walked briskly to a corner store just up the street.
Once in the corner store we both looked shook up and the owner of the store asked us if anything was wrong. I quickly told him to call 911 (which he did not) and that a man had followed us off the streetcar and we were trying to get away, but before I could finish the old man walked in and walked straight towards us.
He turned to the owner and said “these are my daughters! This one’s a pilot” – he said pointing to me “and this one’s a nurse” – he said pointing to my friend.
-let me just say that my name is Amelia, like Amelia Earhart, which I hadn’t told him. As well my mom wanted to be a pilot when she went to military college but being a woman she wasn’t allowed. And my friend’s mother is a nurse. Just a really weird coincidence… anyway…
Since he was situated in front of us we were both shaking our heads vigorously to let this store owner know that this was not the truth (plus we were both obviously in our teens, so being a pilot and a nurse was a little out there).
He distracted the man enough that his son could sneak us out of the back of the store. The son escorted us to Bathurst, and from there we walked quite briskly down to Queen street. I don’t know if the police were ever called, but this guy was definitely creepy. At certain points I was sure that if he had found the chance he would have tried something horrible.

Submitted by Amelia

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