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The first time I was harassed, I was seven, sitting in a movie theater, watching a kids’ movie. A man came and sat-down next to me. He put his hand on my seat and spread his fingers open, trying to touch me as I squeezed over as far to my left as I could get without leaving my seat. (Changing seats never occurred to me; I was a shy child.) Maybe the creepiest part of the whole creepy thing is that as he left, he dropped three dollars into my popcorn, which was quite a bit for a kid in 1958. I was so innocent, I was totally bewildered.
An interesting footnote is that I was groped again in a movie theater, in Denver, CO, when I was in my late twenties. The man behind me put his hand through the space between the chairs and touched me on the breast. I chased him out of the theater but gave it up when he ran out the door.
I attended a show at the House of Blues alone. My boyfriend recently broke up with me and my friends were in Vegas. I sometimes go to events because I enjoy spending time alone and I needed to listen to live music as my form of therapy. There I was in the crowd enjoying the show, feeling happy and energetic and safe. I felt someone’s hand on my butt and I looked back but the only people directly behind me was a girl and her bf. I couldn’t see anyone who looked guilty so I just turned around and thought that was it. Not even a minute later I feel someone’s fingers on my vagina. I was wearing a skirt with pantyhose. I whipped my head around and again the same couple only this time the girl pointed at a guy next to her. Without thinking I shoved him violently and yelled at him not to f*cking touch me. He looked at me and said I didn’t do anything.
I turned back around and tried to keep watching the show but my entire being was burning. I felt so violated, so humiliated, so angry. My eyes filled with tears I felt like I was going to explode and I thought no that is not enough he needs to feel how I feel. A guy next to me noticed I was on the verge of breaking down so he asked me what was wrong. I told him and he reacted how I expected, he immediately got security’s attention and I told that security what happened. I turned back to the girl to ask her if she was 100% sure it was him. She said yes.
That security then signaled to a bigger security behind me and that security pulled me out of the crowd and up to his level. I told him what happened and I pointed out the guy. At that moment he and 3 other men went in the crowd, pulled the guy out and escorted him to the street. They allowed me to stand with them the rest of the night, asked me if I was okay, told me no girl should ever go through that and told me they roughed they go up for me so he knows never to do that again. I know someone people in my life tell me im partially to blame because of what I wore or because I went alone (my ex included). I do not agree with this and I am thankful for the men that made me feel safe and my feelings valid that night.
I was walking from class home when these two guys yelled at me from the car. something about wanting to “break me”. I just gave them a dirty look and kept walking. By the time they had circled back I was livid. When they yelled more obscenities at me I flipped them off. That’s when they threw the bottle at me. I was so shocked at being hit and worried about the broken glass when it hit the concrete that I didn’t get the license plate number. It pisses me off that they got away with it.
In July 2010, while returning home at around 7:30 pm, I felt like I was being watched.
I realized that these were the same people who always seemed to hang around that place when I returned from my Language studies at the nearby institute. That particular night, I had walked a little forward to catch my bus home. The area was dimly lit and no one was around. There were three men. They started to sing and cat call. I turned around to confront them and was chased and later stabbed with a throw knife. I had to run for my life and I barely made it out. Fortunately, there is a police box very close to that place now. But there are countless such dingy and dark alleyways in our city where people keep harassing women, making them feel unsafe.
It is not about wearing clothes since in our city, most women wear salwar or saree anyway. The fear also arises because mostly who revolt are either beat up badly or in worst cases, shot or stabbed. People are afraid of raising a voice or even share their stories. I feel that if the support behind these harassers is destroyed, our city’d be much safer.
While doing my regular grocery shopping, a man who was passing by in the same aisle said quietly to me, “You look beautiful. Your husband is a lucky man.” I was flattered and smiled and said, “I guess he’s really lucky, I’m divorced.” I just kept walking and continued my shopping. I encountered him on another aisle and he asked for my phone number, which I declined to give. Two weeks later, shopping at the same store, I encountered the same guy again. Clearly he didn’t remember me, because he used the exact same line on me again – I didn’t feel flattered this time and realized I’d been played the first time. So I just said, “Yeah, I get that a lot,” and walked on. This time I also encountered him on another aisle again, he asked for my phone number again, and as I was declining he moved even closer to me and KISSED ME ON THE LIPS! I was too shocked to respond at all and just immediately left the store, just abandoned my cart and left. I wish I had reported him to the management. I’m sure he harassed other women in the same store. Oh, months and months later I was leaving a completely different grocery store on the other side of town. Would you believe that same guy was walking into the grocery store and he once again told me that my husband is a lucky man as we passed.
I wanted to red flag Townsville, Australia as a big city for street harassment. It’s a city with a country vibe, a large local army base full of irritating alpha male types and very little to do…so this kind of behaviour is often seen as a right of passage for the males of the town.
The worst experience was when I and a friend were going home from the river after a day swimming and were walking on the pavement parallel to the highway. Some car full of guys actually slowed down, climbed half way out of the window and smacked my friend’s ass as he drove by in his truck. She was teeny at the time so the smack toppled her over onto her knees (grazing them quite badly) and to which they reacted to by hooting and saying “nice ass” before driving off. We didn’t get the licence plate in time to do anything about it and I’ve always been a bit bitter about the situation because we just had to deal with it in the only way we could – we just stopped walking that route home completely.
Seeing us as walking boobs and legs is just a way to pretend we’re not people, we’re not deserving of respect and we don’t have rights to our own bodies. It’s utter bullshit.
Asked me to stop when I walked from bus stop to my home, but then it he whispers “sex” and tried to get me into some house by the street.
We were walking & holding hands when a man, 20s, 5’8″, muscular, with very short blonde hair, grabbed us & pulled us apart, then gripped my arm & yelled in my face about how we couldn’t hold hands because this is a Christian nation. He was extremely aggressive and clearly looking for an excuse to punch me. We broke away from him, but he did it again 2 blocks later. He threatened to keep following us and prevent us from touching until a bystander stepped in & we slipped away.
I was 8 or 9. This happened in Switzerland. On the train with a friend, going back from school.
A mentally handicapped teen (maybe 16, 18? back then it was just a man for me)pushed me and my friend around and told me he wanted to fuck me. He slapped me. The train was crowded. NOBODY said anything.
Later that year I was sleeping on the train on my way to school. My head was leaned on the glass of the window when he hit my head through the window with full force. It hurt a lot, the glass of the innercity trains is rather thin. I was scared. Nobody helped a 9 year old girl on her way to school.
I was 17 and out(in Switzerland). I was drunk. A group of guya just passed me around. I felt like I wanted to vomit and feel feverish. I told them to stop. Told them I don`t feel good, that I might have a fever. That I don`t want that. They were like: Yes, you feel hot. One of them “took me for himself alone” and started to get more agressive. I remeber that I was nearly passed out by now. My friend scratches me so I wake up and manages to tear me away. I don`t know how she did it, but I am very thankful to her.
I was in London. I was 18 now. It was rush hour. I was wearing a mid thigh shirt and a pantyhose. So there was more access than if I had been wearing jeans.
The tube was packed and I felt something on my ass. I inched away. The hand followed me. Just patting my ass.
This happened this december. I was and still am 19. It was 5 in the morning, I was just sobering up, had been crying all night because of personal problems and felt like shit.
I needed to wait half an hour for the train. It was dark and I was alone. Next to me on a bench is a man. He says: hey, you look like you had a bad night. I had a bad night. Let`s pass some time.
I was suspicious. I sad: I do not want to have sex with you.
He said: Yes, sure. We`ll just talk. I sat down and fall nearly asleep. I really wanted to believe that somebody just wanted to talk to me after the night I had had. We talked a bit, it was nice. He started touching me, between my legs, under my skirt. I froze up, like I had done in the subway. Then I got up and walked away quickly.
This type of event is always very triggering for me. Today I was out with some friends when a man grabbed me from behind and kissed my face then kept walking. It happened so fast I didn’t have time to react physically, but I yelled “Fuck you” as he walked away. He and his friend heard me and laughed.