Betty’s story: “I hope this helps someone else out there feel like they’re not so alone”

I was sitting on the bus, behind the bus driver, and across from a man, and in no way was I looking or staring at the man, but from the corner of my eye, I saw him grab his crotch and shake it, in my direction, which I thought was so disgusting and rude.

I did my best to ignore him, then, but wish I had told the bus driver or something. I plan on making a complaint to the Metro.

Thanks. Glad I was able to share my story. Hope this helps someone else out there feel like they’re not so alone. Have a blessed day, folks.

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demonstration, flashing

Nancy’s story: “He was pretending to look at a set of sheets while his penis just stuck out.”

While shopping at TJ Maxx in Sherman Oaks, CA, a man was following me around the aisles. I didn’t think anything of it other than he was simply looking at the same things I was. I stopped at the edge of an aisle and he was looking at sheets near me. He was squatted and pulling sheets out of the bins. When I looked down at him, his erect penis was sticking out of his pants and he was facing my direction. He was pretending to look at a set of sheets while his penis just stuck out. I ran to a store employee and she had the manager approach him. He bolted out of the store when the manager got close enough. I couldn’t stop shaking. I’ve never felt so violated and disgusted. The store manager called the police and took my number. I never heard back from anyone.

Maybe he didn’t touch me or physically assault me. That doesn’t mean he didn’t scar me. I just thank God it was me who went through this rather than the little girl at the other side of the store. I can handle this more than that little girl could.

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Melody’s story: “What are you, a fucking oompaloompa?”

I’m leaving the store, continuing onto my car, which is parked far down the parking lot. A group of men and women that are loitering around the front of the store start to make loud calls. At first I don’t realize they’re talking to me, but then they get louder and enunciate more. I have blue hair, so one man says, “What are you, a fucking oompaloompa?”

I decide to keep walking. He calls out something else. This specific person is obviously talking to me and either wants me to feel shame, or to respond to him.

So I turn around, and I close half of the distance, and I ask him if he wants me to punch him in the fucking face? I see that he is sitting on a structure, with his back to me, turned halfway around so that he can harass me. There are two silent women and two more silent men standing next to him.

I continue on and tell him that he is a hate filled piece of shit for treating a stranger the way he has. He tells me to ‘calm down’.

I tell him to go fuck himself, he said, “I wont be fucking myself…” and then I continue onto my vehicle.

Why people feel the need to be such raging pieces of feces, I will never know, but WAY TO BE CLASSY.

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demonstration, Nonverbal Harassment

Sydney’s story: he wouldn’t let me walk past…

More than once as I’ve walked to and from TAFE I’ve had the people who approach you on the street (to sign you up to a charity, to make donations etcetc) actually stand in front of me and not allow me to walk past. The first time it happened I was terrified. It was 2 in the afternoon, there was a lot of people walking around and this guy was shouting at me trying to get my attention, demanding to know why I wouldn’t stop and speak to him about (whoever he was working for) and it wasn’t until I looked up at him, and he saw how frightened I was and he looked around and saw all the people staring at him that he actually stood aside and let me walk past, still shouting after me.

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Ashley’s story: “I did NOT want to be a girl who does nothing… And regret it. So we called 911.”

As my fiancé and I walked into our neighborhood Grocery store for our usual Sunday morning grocery trip, my fiancé got me to grab the cart while he walked ahead to print out MVP coupons. As I took the cart out and started walking to find him, I passed by a man exiting the store, carrying nothing, wearing a white polo and jeans. As he exited, and I entered the store, I felt a hand grab my ass…

I turned around and yelled “EXCUSE ME?!” The man looked back at me out of the corner of his eye.. I said “did you just touch me?!” He averted his attention to some magazines near the exit door, looking very guilty. without making much eye contact with me he mumbled “I don’t know what happened, I was just walking by, I must have accidentally brushed you.”

At this point, my fiancé joins me, looking confused.. I tell him this man grabbed my ass and he starts loudly cursing at the guy. Whoever in the checkout lines wasn’t already witnessing what was going on definitely was at this point! Caught red-handed the man VERY AWKWARDLY re-entered the store and headed toward the beer section.

At this point, we aren’t exactly in the mood to grocery shop beside this guy as if nothing happened.. So we notify the cashiers who call management up. They get to us quickly & we identify the man. They assure us they’ll make sure the man leaves after purchasing his Budweiser. Then Dave asks me if I want to call the police…

For some reason the flurry of emotion (anger, violation, disgust, confusion) made me forget about this option. I did NOT want to be a girl who does nothing… And regret it. So we called 911 as the man stood in the checkout line. The managers of the store confronted him as he was leaving to let him know the police were on their way and to stick around.

Our (female) police officer arrived soon after and handled the situation. She asked if I wanted to press charges and I said yes. she wasn’t sure whether it could be filed as assault or sexual assault (forcible), but is going to let me know tomorrow.

In the end, I questioned myself at LEAST 100 times about whether I was doing the right thing. It’s so true that as the victim you still feel at fault somehow.. You question what you were wearing and you also go through phases where you feel sorry for the attacker. But I’m so glad I handled it the way I did… And that my fiancé didn’t beat the man’s ass as he was about to!

I hope that my story inspires someone to do the same & that my actions prevent this man from having a chance to victimize someone else.

PS. The manager of Food Lion who detained the man until the policewoman came said the man was bragging about how he’d been drinking at the bar already (the attack happened at 12:30pm on a Sunday)

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Sydney’s story: “seriously? you’re going to shout at us?”

I was walking with a friend of mine through a park and we approached a group of guys in their mid to late 20’s, all obviously dressed up for a night out, cans of drink in their hands. We both tensed up and walked a bit closer together as we walked past(within a metre or two) them one of them screamed “GIRLS!” at us. My friend drawled “‘sup” and I just gave them my snootiest “seriously? you’re going to shout at us?” look and we kept walking. We could hear them laughing and shouting as they walked in the opposite direction and we mocked them, but all I could think was “why did they feel the need to shout at us when they were standing right next to us? why did they feel the need to say anything to us?”

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K.’s story: #bystandersuccess!

A street preacher started screaming at a passerby (a visibly queer man), saying that the passerby was a “pansy” and offended the eyes of the Lord. I stopped and questioned the street preacher, who said that the Lord “created everything.” I looked at him and said, “God sure didn’t make those shorts.” He was wearing cargo khaki shorts, people, and his boxers were sticking out at the bottom. When I pointed out this detail, he said I was lustful. I said it wasn’t lust, he started screaming at me and calling me names, and then 1 homeless person and 3 tourists sprang to my verbal defense.

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Wendy’s story: He laid down where?!

As I was walking home after a long day on campus a man laid down on the road to have a look up my dress, will never forget that day…

I’m still angry today because he deserved nothing but a kick, I just stepped aside. This ill treatment of women in public spaces should stop.

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Lily’s story: “I’m gonna milk you.” You’re going to WHAT?!?

Okay so lets say my names lily and when this happened I was 12 ( it really was ) I was in the shop just beside the bus stop so I pick my item and get in line, there is a group of boys older than me in front of me and are messing around saying vulgar things. Then the one closest to me turns around sees me and says to the group, “oh shit there’s a wee girl behind us” , one of them ( the ringleader) says “I don’t give a big fat juicy c*ck” and goes behind me. Then he whispers into my ear ” you’re beautiful, will you go out with me, you’re sexy, I wanna sexify you.” later on I’m still in the line and the same person says,” hey ” and pauses, his friends says lily confirming its my name and the ringleader says,” hey lily hey lily I’m gonna milk you”. Later on the bus my friend tells me I’m gonna milk you means I’m gonna rape you. I was seriously scared. The worst thing is no one helped me.

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CC’s Story: “Making women feel like these are not their streets”

Today I was at a street festival on H Street in Washington, DC. As I was waiting for the bus to go home, I saw an elderly woman walk by, leaning on a cane for support. Suddenly, the guy who had been standing next to me walked up behind her and slapped her on the ass, then darted away into the crowd, pretending like it wasn’t him. I was shocked and disgusted. There was no goal in his action other than harassment and intimidation. She turned around and glared for a while, looking for the culprit, but no one did anything.
I wish so badly that I had yelled at the guy, or pointed him out afterwards, or gone over to the woman and told her how awful that was and shown my support. But I didn’t do anything, other than take a picture of this vile man after he had run away and crossed the street (he is the one in the striped shirt). I was surrounded by strangers, alone in a strange neighborhood. And it’s exactly this sense of making women feel like these are not their streets that is so awful and harmful. It literally affects how we feel every day when we walk down the street, whether victim or bystander. If I ever see something again, I will say something.

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