demonstration

Holly’s story: “Am I going to just let this happen?”

I was in a busy pub, walking to the bathroom when a middle aged man, one who looked old enough to have a daughter my age (18) groped my ass through my knee length dress (all sane people know what I was wearing has nothing to do with it, but that’s just for the skeptics who speak of “tiny hemlines” or whatever)

I paused, and thought for a moment “Am I going to just let this happen?” I considered that there were police directly outside the door of the pub, so I turned round, grabbed the guy by the collar and threw him towards the door ( I was about a foot taller than him) His friend got angry and told me to “just move along, he didn’t do anything” My boyfriend (who had been at the bar when it happened) came over and obviously was very angry and challenged the guy. The bouncer/security came over and asked us to leave, when I told him what happened he said “I didn’t see it” basically meaning it didn’t happen. He kicked out me and my boyfriend.

I was very angry about this, as you would understand I couldn’t believe we were the ones getting kicked out the pub for it. I was so frustrated, and angry I started crying. My friends told me it wasn’t a big deal, they didn’t understand why I even cared, “it happens all the time to everyone”. I was so upset by the injustice of it all that I approached the police and told them what happened. They took a statement from me and arrested the guy. They even took my dress for DNA testing, and checked the CCTV cameras but they didn’t have enough evidence to charge him. I just hope spending the night in the cells taught him not to do it someone else, and I hope he had to explain to his wife & kids exactly why he spent the night in the cells.

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33+

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Parisa’s Story: Several experiences

Oh, I wish it were just one address, one intersection, one story… I just have to say these are some NY experiences for me…

WORDS:

Countless catcalls. In addition to the usual “Hey, sexy.”, etc, a few examples are:

“Smile! Why you looking so sad?” [apparently not smiling for no reason=sad]. This is remarkably common, always intrusive, bewildering (come on, it’s obvious you are not concerned with my wellbeing, dude!) and extremely annoying.

“Say HI, ho!!!” [following my lack of response to a really gross-sounding "hiiiiiii"] Nice etiquette lesson, sir. Thanks.

GROPING:

1. Union Square, daylight, sidewalk, lots of people around. Guy digs under and between my buttocks. I begin to yell and swing my grocery bags at him. He laughs at me while dodging the swings. Lots of people look. No one tries to help. He leaves. A few minutes later I cry hysterically and am ‘comforted’ by some male ‘friends’ who tell me not to get so worked up over it.

2. Herald Square, daylight, sidewalk, moderately populated. A man grabs my behind and runs for it. Once a safe distance away makes sure to turn around to me and laugh. Continues his exit. I vow to myself I will be ready to pummel the next guy that does this. And am given the opportunity in…

3. Gramercy Park, daylight, sidewalk, few people. I feel a hand digging in my butt. I’m ready! I turn around and see a boy of approximately 14 yrs. His friends are backing away from him, saying “We told you not to do it.” I am going to kill this child. I go after him. He runs ahead of me. I am screaming at him to “Come here!” and he keeps running. I slow down and speak calmly “I want to talk to you,” he slows down a bit and I get closer. We alternate like this for a few blocks. Finally, a responsible-looking dad and his 9 or 10 yr old son ride up on bikes. The man susses out the situation and begins telling me to stop what I’m doing. I’m hysterically crying at this point and now really confused by what he’s saying. He then says maybe these boys have a knife and I shouldn’t be chasing them. I’m sobbing, pleading “Why are you stopping ME!?!? Why aren’t you saying anything to THEM???!?!??” He get’s defensive WITH ME. I understand his point about the risks but couldn’t he at least say SOMETHING to them? They are a block away and he doesn’t even say “This is wrong!” to the guys or anything. Another man walks up to us and asks what happened. I am choking on sobs, explaining to him what the boy did and why I am upset that I’VE been told to stop but he wasn’t. This man very calmly listens and agrees with me that this was wrong. Dad and son ride off. This new man offers to walk me to where I was going. About 10 steps into this walk, snot streaming out of my nose, he offers a GEM of and idea:

[Delivered with a certain flair, charm and authority (aka Sleaze)]
“You know what you need? You need to come up to my apartment and have a drink with me.”

I walked away from him. Bought and immediately put on a huge sweater full-price (I hate that!), though I was already dressed in conservative slacks and a blouse and it was summer. Cried the whole way home. When I was there safely I called my long-distance boyfriend who — THANK GOD — listened, empathized, and didn’t make it about an affront to his manhood or vandalism of his property. Just good, solid, caring support. Thanks, A.

STALKING:

I’ve unfortunately had to learn how to tell if I’m being followed and how to deal with it if I am. Thank you, crime/stalking/horror movies for your unerring guidance.

This has happened twice lately.

1. Walked onto the train and felt a guy notice me. As I kept riding, could just feel that he was planning something (THANK YOU, INTUITION!!!) and that he wasn’t quite right in the head. Waited until the last second to jump off at my stop and he quickly came out, too — after clearly not planning to before. I exited and went immediately into a store. He walked past it a few doors and then started back. I crossed the street, pretending to wait for a bus near where cops stand. He crossed the street toward me but then angled a bit away. I took a mental snapshot of his description. Found a cop, gave her the description and asked her to watch me walk home. Haven’t seen him since.

2. On the train again, a man moved close to me on a nearly empty train. He began to talk to me in hushed tones about some music he was making and a a video he wanted me to check out. Also flirting and saying things about my looks. He’s leaning really close to me. I’d say he was either somewhat developmentally challenged or on a drug, or both. He wants to talk about different things, he wants to know about me. I tell him I’m married. He keeps going. My stop comes up. I do the waiting thing. I jump off. He gets off. Another train comes downstairs. I run to it. The doors close before I get there. I pray for a miracle. The doors opened!!! I jump on. He doesn’t. I get off a stop later and thank the female conductor for opening the doors, telling her someone was following me. She is unfazed. I’m still grateful.

** Perhaps an interesting fact is that I model for a living and experience FEWER annoying, intrusive and scary interactions when I’m dressed UP for work. I have had MORE negative experiences when I was dressed either in a nicely CONSERVATIVE outfit or in my SWEATS! **

Thanks for reading! Wishing you safety, wherever you are!!!

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22+

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demonstration

Nisha’s story: Growing up, I have realized that it was a hard penis on me, and that I had in fact been sexual assaulted.

I had just turned fourteen when I went to London, England with my cathedral choir. On a free day, my family and another family decided to visit the Nottinghill carnival parade, which is supposed to duplicate the carnivals found in South America and the Caribbean in areas where immigrants settled. One of the main attractions are the bright, colourful and revealing costumes women wear. Often costumes are a bikini, a large headpiece, with jewellery and accessories to decorate the material-lacking costume.

The carnival is fueled by music, dancing, secretive alcohol, and energy. Maybe because I was so young and had grown up with Caribbean parents, I did not find Carnival explicitly sexual. I stood beside my mother and another chorister my age right in front against the fence to bar off the audience from the performers. I watched dancing bodies and floats pass by and was enjoying myself.

I had realized there was a man behind me the entire time, slowly inching up towards the fence to get a better view. Or so I believed until I felt his hard penis against my ass. I didn’t want to make a big deal of it, nor did I feel particularly unsafe since – this would be my first interaction with a penis and didn’t even know if what I was feeling was his penis.

I kept silent about it and kept telling myself it wasn’t his junk touching me. Eventually, he was pushing into me so hard that my torso was starting hurt from being pushed into the fence. When he started swaying slightly, I became confident it what I was feeling. I stopped underplaying my situation and told my mother. She put her elbow in between me and the man and pushing him away. After that I couldn’t feel anything hard on my ass again.

When the parade was over, my parents didn’t make a big deal of it or have much of a reaction, so I followed their lead. I remember being confused and wondering if it had been a man’s hard body part rubbing up on me. I was sure it was, but if it was, wouldn’t my parents been more concerned?

Growing up, I have realized that it was a hard penis on me, and that I had in fact been sexual assaulted.

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30+

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Kara’s story: campus harassment, in a dorm.

I am not sure if my story fits the hollaback-movement, but I think it does. the situation was not on a street but in a kind of a semi-public place: in a dormitory of the university in bochum.

I have lived in the dormitory for the last three years. we have 5 floors with about 12 one-bed-rooms. all inhabitants of one floor use the kitchen, two showers and two restrooms together. in the past sometimes somebody tried to flirt with me but in a nice way. but some weeks ago a new inhabitant moved to our floor. I had a strange feeling about him but I thought “dont be so sensitive”. but my feelings were right. we spoke with each other twice, I felt again a little bit strange because his behaviour was strange. for example once it was obviously I wanted to leave the room but he didn`t give the way free. But again I said to me “okay, you are to sensitive. trust more!”. the next day I met him again in the kitchen. he told me the following: he saw me the night before (about 1:30) when I went to the restroom. and he had the idea to terrify me. but then he thought that “the poor little girl” (I am 30 years old) would be scared of it and he didn`t do it. at this point I started to tremble. and i am proud that I told him the first thing I thought: that if he had terrified “the poor little girl” I would have smashed his face in. at this point he stopped talking to me, some minutes later he asked only “are you angry?”. Yes, I was!

The problem now ist, that I feel very uncomfortable in my dormitory. luckily I will move in some weeks. But it is definitly a men`s world!

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16+

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demonstration

Maureen’s story: pervs on wheels

I was in eighth grade, when I was groped by a middle-aged man at a skating rink. I had been standing with a group of friends listening to a story when the man passed by me and grabbed me by my hips from behind – in an attempt to make it appear as if he were just trying to squeeze by. I turned around just as he continued on and noted the large space between me and those surrounding me. I only remember feeling completely embarrassed. I was thirteen years old the first time a strange grown man objectified me, and without my permission placed his hands on me.

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18+

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Margaret’s story: unwanted hugs is harassment, too.

I was walking down the street and a somewhat but noticeably irrational man decided to start walking and talking with me. He incoherently told me how well he treats women, and how he would take them out, basically trying to convince me hes a good guy for me. He continues to rant absurdities, and I continue to walk my way. He is slightly under 6ft and above 200lb, I had no intention of agitating him. I tell him I have to take the train now and he has no intention of leaving the boundary of the park we’re in. I don’t remember what he said to me, but he asks for a hug, and decidedly pulls me in for a great big bear hug. There were people around, but apparently no one found it slightly suspicious. I’m all of 5’3″ 104lbs.

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13+

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Erika’s story: “He decided to walk in and put his keys down my shirt”

I’m not entirely sure if this counts, but I decided to try. I’m fairly young – 15 – and I have a rather large bust. I have gotten negative attention for it since I was in sixth grade, but this is something that has continuously brought me down when I remember it.

I was sitting in my seat before my French class started, wearing a tank top that wasn’t low-cut hidden with a slightly open button-up blouse. I was feeling awesome that day, because I love that outfit and it makes me feel gorgeous. A boy that I’ve known since elementary school walked in, and my seat’s back is to the door, so I didn’t realize it. He was holding his keys for some reason; they were on a lanyard (that’s important). He had been poking me and being perverted for a while, so he decided to walk in and put his keys down my shirt. He held them by the lanyard and slid them down my shirt, then back up. That’s one of the most brazen things anybody’s ever done to me, so I was shocked. He started laughing, and I told him I could report him for that. He simply laughed again and said, “No you can’t, it wasn’t my hand.”

I told my teacher, who reported it and said they would call me to the office to take a statement. That was five months before school ended. School is out and they STILL haven’t addressed it.

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29+

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demonstration

Shanali’s Story: “The statement was sexual harassment and completely inappropriate”

My CCRB Report for today:

At 12:01PM – Queens Blvd and Union Turnpike, besides the train station. The officer was driving a patrol car in uniform. Lic plate#8612 Black hair, dark eyes, strong built, about 190 lbs, looks mid twenties. I was walking towards Union Turnpike on an errand for my supervisor when the Police Officer used the sound system of this NYPD van to state: I like your booty You are who Im looking at. No other car with sound system was around. The van then made a right unto Union Turnpike towards the highway. The statement was sexual harassment and completely inappropriate for a uniformed police officer on patrol or on court duty.

Note: This is the second complaint to the CCRB that I have to make on sexual harrassment by an NYPD Officer on duty. The first time, the CCRB followed up by having the Detective’s supervisor call me. The supervisor proceeded by letting me know that it was just a misunderstanding, the Detective did not mean to lean on my desk and stop the flow of my work by hovering over my computer and texting with his hands almost on my face. My expectation of this experience: Just about anything irrelevant to really addressing the issue that NYPD officers sexually harrass women on the streets and in work places.

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17+

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demonstration

Charlie’s Story: “Me and my friend legged it back to her house away from the creeps”

I was walking back from Ikea with one of my friends, and these two creepy teenagers were following us. We were only about 13 or 14 at the time and they must have been at least 18, but one of them reached out and grabbed my butt, then leered at me and was like “I’m coming home with you, doll.”
Suffice to say me and my friend legged it back to her house away from the creeps.

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9+

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R.’s Story: I was speechless for second and simply showed him my middle finger

While I was riding my bike from the Louisenring onto the Kurpfalz-Bridge in Mannheim there was a car with three of four youngster in it passing me by. On the right side of the car the passenger, who wore a polo shirt and had black-ish hair all spiked up, had the car window pulled down and while I drove by he was sticking out his tongue and did a movement of licking, as if he wanted to “lick me”…
I was speechless for second and simply showed him my middle finger.

They drove off laughing hysterically.

I've got your back!
10+

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