Sophie’s Story: Standing up to a bar creeper

I was at my favorite nightclub with a group of friends on a Saturday night, standing on the edge of the dancefloor. I was chatting to one of my male friends when I felt someone pinch my bum. I turned around and the groper and his friend, who I vaguely recognize as being a year older than me at the local boys school, are leering at me. I glared at them and turned around.

Not ten seconds later, it happened again – I turned around and said “Please stop doing that, or I will ask a bouncer to make you leave”. Ten seconds later – again. I turned around and told him bluntly to fuck off, before attempting to walk away.

But before I could, he did it again and attempted to drag my by my top towards him. So I turned around to face him, smiled sweetly, and motioned towards his drink as if I wanted to taste a bit. Confident his stellar pulling technique had struck gold, he handed it to me. I then had the somewhat immature but very satisfying pleasure of watching the creepy grin drain off his face as I dumped his pint of Stella all over his head. I sauntered away to the cheers of the crowd :)

#don’tmess #HOLLABACK #

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Chelsea’s Story: “Bring your own leash and collar”

First off: I live in the Caribbean, on an island called Dominica (not Dominican Rep.), and harassment is very common here and people act like it’s normal and supposed to happen.
I was walking my dog at night like I always do. He’s rather protective of me so I avoid walking him during the day, and I feel safe with him at night. And I pass a group of boys sitting in a porch, listening to music. I used to go to school with most of them so they call me and I say hi. On my way back, one of their friends that I don’t know calls me, so I turn to wave and move on. He then says, “Let me walk with you too, nuh.” To which I politely replied, “No, thank you. I’m OK.” He can’t take no for an answer and says, “Why you don’t want me to walk with you.” I simply reply that my dog, who is standing nicely beside me because I’m rubbing behind his ear keeping him calm, doesn’t like it when people get close to me. “But he not doing nothing.” “Because I’m keeping him calm. And honestly, I don’t want to walk with you. OK?”
Now this upset him because I’m apparently supposed to feel so flattered by his interest and swoon at his feet, and he starts insulting me.
*salope is French/French-Creole for whore (we speak French-Creole on my island).
At this point I stop calming my dog, which would stop working anyway as he has started yelling at me and fake laugh and tell him, “You’re right… PLEASE walk with me next time. But you’ll have to bring your own leash and collar, I don’t have any to fit you.” and start walking away feeling very insulted and displeased, with my equally displeased dog. As I walk away I can hear his friends laughing at him and saying they didn’t know I was “bad” like that, and that he was too rude, and I did the right thing, and as admirable as that is, why didn’t they say anything when it was clear I didn’t want to walk with him.

He was still shouting insults at me when I got home (about 100 feet away I think), and he is probably still cursing at me now wherever he is. Calling me “stuck up” and “fresh” and a slew of other things because he thinks I acted like I was too good for him and dared to respond to his insults and then dared to walk away from him, but I don’t have to take that from any guy, especially after I responded politely and was given back insults in return.

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Carolyn’s Story: Calling out creepers!

After a night out at a bar, we sometimes grab a poutine for the walk home. There is always a big crowd gathered and many people outside the restaurant eating their gravy and cheese covered fries. As we were leaving, we pass a group of guys dressed up in a variety of costumes. One guy, dressed in a mechanic’s jumper shouts at me as I pass by, “hey girl! Wanna see my dick? I know you want to!” I almost let it pass. Almost. I turned on my heels, looked straight at him, and slowly walked back towards him. “Sure,” I replied, as I stabbed at a fry. Now, my girlfriends were already ahead of me, but my boyfriend was a few feet away. I wouldn’t have done this if I was alone, but I knew I had back up if anything got out of hand. Now, this boy was not expecting a response. I stood there, in front of the late night food crowd, publicly calling this guy on his bluff. His friends were laughing, and the guy was getting nervous. “Oh you want to see it?” he says, “you wanna taste it too?” To which I lifted a fork-full of fries to my mouth and replied, “No, just your original offer will do.” He stood there, trying to think of what to do next. Then he tried backing out of it. “What if a cop sees me? I don’t want to get arrested” he says. “Oh really?” I reply. “Maybe you shouldn’t ask me if I want to see your penis if you’re not going to actually follow through. Or maybe it’s just too cold out tonight and your outtie has turned into an innie”. With that we walked away, and the roar of laughter from behind me assured me that boy would think twice before making that mistake again.

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Nora’s Story: “I didn’t know what else to do”

Up until now I’ve experienced the usual catcalls from the car,street,etc.I’ve even had people pull over and try to pick me up it just to stare or take a photo.A month ago I went to the park to draw and this old man (about 70) who was sitting at a different table was like “hello sweetheart.Are you an artist?” And I didn’t really know what to say and just nodded hoping he would just leave me alone.Nope he proceeded to come over and tell me how sweet and cute I was and repeatedly asked me my name,age (17),if I went there often and if I had a boyfriend. I just answered. I didn’t know what else to do. No one else was around except his friend and I am so afraid of making someone angry and having something worse happen. Then just before he finally left he said that I could think of him as a “father” and get his advice on things. I was so afraid the entire time,I don’t go to that park anymore. I felt and still feel thoroughly disgusted. I hardly ever leave the house anymore in fear of something similar happening.

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Linda’s Story: A story of saying STOP

I left my friend’s house at 11:30pm and started walking towards the metro station. The street was empty and the sky was dark. Halfway I see a group of young men standing along the opposite side of the street. I instantly know they are gonna say something. I look straight ahead and walk faster. As I pass them they yell at me: “Hey! Where are you going? Come stay with us.” “Nice legs!” “Hey, you could at least say hello!”. I just walk past as fast as I can.

Almost at the metro station I realize I forgot my bag with my metro card at my friend’s place. I walk back, and I realize too late I’m on the same side of the street where the boys are standing. They start yelling nonsense again. One of them goes: “Hey look at me!” just as I pass him. Instinctively I go: “Schhhhhhhh!”. They all laugh. I get to my friend’s place, I get my bag and voila: ready for the third round. I walk on the opposite side of the street this time and I look straight ahead again. As I approach them they start imitating me: “Scccccchhhhhhhhh! Schhhhhhhhhhh!” One of them yells: “Oh she really loves walking past us!” Another one goes: “Yeah, she’d really like to see our big dicks!”

I stop. I turn around and I walk slowly towards them until I stand in the middle of the empty street. They are all spread out on the sidewalk. May be nine or ten guys. They look at me in complete silence. I feel my heart beat very fast.

“Guys, I’m a girl. I’m alone. I’m walking to the metro station late at night. It’s dark. You’re ten guys. I am not being disrespectful to you. But you are to me. A lady..”

One of them goes: “Oh she’s a lady now!!” They all laugh, but they’re nervous.

“A lady, a woman, a girl, anybody should be able to walk in the specific street without being yelled at.”

One or two of the guys try to make they other ones laugh. One of the older guy says: “You should listen to her, you’re just idiots”

“Why do you scream this kind of stuff? Do you think I like it? NO! I don’t. I would never scream those things to anyone. Do you think girls start walking faster when they hear those things because they’re happy about it? Because they’re so impressed by you? Or because they’re flattered? Well I can tell you they arent’t. They’re FED UP with it.”

I walked away. They stayed silent. Since this happened I’ve constantly said STOP to every verbal harassment I’ve been subject to. Calmly and smiling I look the guys in the eyes and I tell them what they’re doing is disrespectful. If we all say STOP, it will stop.

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Tori’s Story: “It was so disgusting”

One afternoon a few years ago when I was living downtown I was bringing groceries in through the back door of my apartment building and some guy, very scruffy and obviously drunk, came up behind me put his hand between my legs and squeezed. He was a with a woman who did nothing about this behavior. It was daylight and I was in a back alley way. It was so disgusting.

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demonstration, Stalking, Story

Charlotte’s Story: “Smile for me”

A few weeks ago I was traveling through the Amtrak station in Sacramento, late at night and found myself in a scary situation.

The station and platforms are connected by covered walkways and tunnels which are very creepy after dark. When I got off the train the conductor made a point of recommending that I head immediately to the station rather than waiting on the platforms. She knew that there would be men loitering on the platforms and that it would be dangerous or uncomfortable to wait there.

It takes a few minutes to get to the station and once I was in the tunnels I ended up alone with one group of passengers almost out of sight ahead and another group lagging behind—and this is when the guys who were hanging around started following me. One man followed me on the bike and then circled around me, making comments, telling me to smile and come with him. “Where are you going?” “Talk to me.” “Smile for me.” As I walked quickly towards the station and tried to brush him off he kept riding circles around me while four of his friends walked behind us and laughed. I felt trapped by the five of them and didn’t see anyone around who could have helped me if I confronted them.

I was able to shake them off when more passengers from the train caught up with us and was relieved to get to the station. There, a second conductor was advising women traveling alone or with young kids to walk to the platform in a large group or ride with him to avoid trouble.
It amazes me to think that this is a well known problem that has not been dealt with!! I wrote to Amtrak asking for information on this TWO WEEKS AGO but have had no response

— so what do I do next?

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Em’s Story: “Harassment comes in all walks of life”

So I was at a hotel with family and we all decided to go to the pool they have there. It was pretty warm and for my coverup over my bathing suit I wore a pair of shorts and and a tank top. My mother and I were walking through this hotel (which is expensive as heck) and this boy probably about 15 whistles at me as I walk by.

I look and and his FATHER was right there standing by there and as I wait for him to reprimand him he instead high fives him and smiles at me. Which just goes to prove that harassment comes in all walks of life. Plus, I am only 13 years old.

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demonstration, groping

Jenny’s Story: “That ‘walk into her path’ thing”

A few days ago I was walking and minding my own business when two men did that “walk into her path” thing. You know the one, where they force you to walk into them or get you in a spot where it’s very easy to grab at you?

So to my left is a wall so I had to really work to not walk into them. They kept eye contact the whole time and tried to grab me. I pushed one of them (the one closest to me was about to reach for me) and yelled at them (I was furious, this is not the first time I’ve been in this situation, this same thing happened with one big man just a few months ago) and they just laughed at me! I can only assume they were laughing at what little power I had in the situation.

It makes me feel like it’s time to walk around with the mace cocked and loaded. I’m tired of being nice and doing the extra work to avoid these assholes. I am so SO angry and tired of this kind of thing. Whenever I choose to leave the house alone I have a 90% chance of being harassed. It’s ridiculous and infuriating.

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Adrienne’s Story: “I know I’m not alone in experiencing this”

I go to a “barcade” quite frequently. I usually go there tuesday nights and stay until closing. I can usually walk to my car, by myself, without being bothered. I usually only ask one of my friend to come with me if I parked farther away than usual. (I shouldn’t even have to do that, but women learn to fear the night. This is part of it)

One night when I was leaving, I was only parked a block away. There were three guys next to my car, but I didn’t think anything of it at first. I don’t normally fear groups of men right away. I was crossing the street when one shouted, “HEY, BABY! COME HERE!” I instantly panicked and walked inside another bar that was just about to close. That man was standing right next to my car, my escape, when he shouted at me. (good thing he didn’t know it was my car!) I told the bartender and another older gentleman what happened. They were disgusted, and the other older guy walked me to my car. The men were gone, but I was still scared, still paranoid.

For a few weeks, I had at least one of my friends (usually male. most of my friends are guys) walk me to my car even if it was a block away. I feared groups of strange men for a while, no matter what time of the day it was. I told them what happened, and they understood why I was scared, even though many of them are men, so they have never experienced the same kind of harassement. I know I’m not alone in experiencing this. My female friends have told me their stories too.

I’m lucky to have friends around me for support, and I’m lucky to know so many guys who understand that this is not right. The only thing is is that many of us don’t know what we can do about it. Now, thanks to you, there’s a way we can fight back!

I've got your back!

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