demonstration

Miriam’s story: #bystanderFAIL

I was walking south on 7th Ave on my lunch break. As I crossed 27th, a man on a bicycle passed behind me and said “big ass!” I turned around and when I made eye contact with him he winked. I flipped him off. He continued east on 27th (or so I thought) and I continued south on 7th Ave. As I crossed 26th, I saw him pull up next to me, having apparently turned around (going the wrong way back down 27th) in order to follow me, flip me off, and call me a bitch. I screamed something at him – I was so angry and freaked out that I can’t remember what I said – and he sped off south on 7th Ave.

This happened around 3:15 on a Monday with people everywhere. Not one person reacted, came to my defense, or asked me what had happened or if I was okay afterward.

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13+

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demonstration

Ef’s Story: They need to learn why harassment is wrong

The music block at our school is shared with the neighbouring boys’ school, and the boys’ field is between the girl’s school and the music block.

So I was walking back from the music block at break when a nasty little boy from… well I don’t know what year but can’t have been any older than 13, said ‘Hey good looking’ to me in a gross ‘I’m obviously being a dick’ kind of way.

So I carried on walking like I usually have the few times this has happened.

I was already feeling stressed and annoyed about the exams coming up and how the lesson hadn’t gone so well, so I was very annoyed.

But then two steps away instead of completely just walking off I turned around and screamed ‘F**K OFF!’ at him.

The look on his face annoyed me even more, because it was like ‘I didn’t deserve that shouting’. But he did.

If this ever happens again and I’m not feeling so stressed, I’ll take the time to stop whoever he is, tell him exactly why he’s being and arse and why he should never do it again.

Because a 16 year old girl shouldn’t feel intimidated or worried walking THROUGH HER OWN SCHOOL by a boy YOUNGER THAN HER.

I also think I will make some posters to hand to a teacher at the boys’ school on why being a creep is wrong.
Because they obviously need to learn.

(I’ve written way more that i should but man I’m so angry by this. Even though it wasn’t THAT bad…)

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16+

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demonstration

Brittany’s Story: “Listen to your gut”

As a young female college student, I had always been told not to walk home alone or take the “short cut” if it was unsafe. But I’d taken the short way home plenty of times in this city to get home from the library, especially in the dark, and have had no problems. On the way home from a friend’s house tonight, I was in a rush to get home. I had a weird gut feeling when I thought about taking the short cut- I have to pass a run-down convenience store, and a section of government housing- but I ignored it. That was a mistake.
I was just about at the end of the short cut, almost home, when a group of 3 or 4 guys came out of nowhere and began to follow me. At first, they were distant. But they shouted “Nice ass!” and “Hey sweetie!” after me, just as I turned the corner to walk down my street. I picked up my pace; they turned onto my street and continued their cat-calling, even more vulgar while they laughed. I turned down into my driveway, and knew I couldn’t go to my house. At first I went around the other side of it, and waited. Then I saw my neighbor’s light on. I rang her doorbell and desperately hoped she would answer and I could then ask to come inside; but she didn’t. The group of guys saw me, and stood at the end of my driveway, continuing their taunting. I had no idea what they wanted, or what I should do. Luckily, they left shortly after. I went to my own house, where my roommate let me in.
Ladies, LISTEN TO YOUR GUT! It can prevent situations like this.

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22+

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demonstration

Nicholle’s Story: “Are you kidding me?”

I was 20 years old at the time and had the day off of work and decided to spend a few hours at the public library. I was looking through a book about water color technique when I started hear a strange repetitive sound. I looked around and couldn’t find the source of noise. I then started to get a feeling that I was being stared at. Again, I looked around and there wasn’t anyone noticeably looking at me. The bookshelves at this library are more like shelves and not bookcases, meaning you can look through the shelves and see the next aisle. I did just that I when I did, my eyes where met with a staring, intense gaze. I then looked down and then saw the source of the repetitive sound that I had been hearing… the man was masturbating while looking at me. I was so shocked and disturbed that my first instinct was to immediately look back down at my book and pretend like I hadn’t seen anything to avoid drawing attention to myself. As I stood there, ignoring this man I became increasing scared and I couldn’t take it anymore. I looked him in the eyes through the shelf and yelled “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” Just like that, the man zipped up and started running. I dropped my book and followed him quickly but quickly lost sight of this pervert. I ran to the help desk and told the women there what had just happened. They saw how visibly upset I was as I was shaking and finding it difficult to speak. They had me sit down and offered me water to help me calm down while they called the police. When the officer got there I told him what had happened and he said that “he had a feeling of who it might have been.” I filed a report, but I’m not sure if anything ever came of it.

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22+

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demonstration

Brynn’s Story: “Starting today, I holla back”

All my life I have been in the public school system in my town. There have been many rewarding aspects, but I have had many instances of harassment as well.
When I was in seventh grade, I wore a tennis skirt to P.E. I was standing in a circle of friends when I felt what felt like a finger push into my upper thigh. At age twelve, I was extremely confused as to what this was. I turned around and a boy behind me said, “That was my dick.” I said nothing.
In ninth grade, I moved to a high school with many staircases. I was fond of wearing skirts. Several girls asked if I wore spandex underneath them. When I replied no, they told me that many guys were in the habit of walking up the stairs behind girls and looking up skirts. Shortly afterward, I experienced it for myself. I do not wear skirts to school anymore. I said nothing.
Today, the weather was warm out. I wore shorts for the first time. A boy in my math class commented on how nice and tan my legs were. I said nothing.
Over the years, I have had boys try to put their hands on my legs. I have had boys try to stroke my shoulders, chest, or stomach. I move away. I say nothing.
Why am brainwashed into silence? These boys have harassed me. Today I say something. Starting today, I holla back.

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23+

one comment 
demonstration

Jesse’s Story: Assaulted twice on the same street

I am a student in Bristol and In the last year I have been assaulted twice on the same street in the town centre and both assaults were similar. Both assaults happened between midnight and 2.00am but the street is well lit and there are usually lots of people about as there are several venues on the street. Both times I was walking along the road on my own and a group of young men were walking towards me, and I kept walking past them but as they approached me one blocked my path and reach out and grabbed by crotch. I was so shocked and humiliated that I just kept walking and I didn’t look back because I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of my response. I was so ashamed I didn’t even tell the two guys I was out with when I met up with them inside the venue, and when it happened the second time I wanted to stand up for myself and tell them where to go, but instead I found myself instinctively withdrawing into myself. I had not been drinking on either of these occasions because I was cycling home, and neither was I wearing provocative clothing.

I was angry that no-one saw and that I felt powerless, I would like to see more police around in the centre of town at night, then maybe I would feel safer.

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13+

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demonstration

JJ’s story: On Guard in Beijing

I was sitting down for lunch at a small Muslim restaurant (one of my favorites), when a man came to sit at my table. There were other empty tables, so I thought this was a little strange, but didn’t comment on it. Because I am a white woman, Chinese people occasionally approach me to strike up a conversation or practice their English. Most of the time, I don’t mind this much, and often enjoy the opportunity to practice my Chinese and/or help someone practice English, and make new friends (since many of my friends are foreign students like me). But on this particular day, I wanted to eat lunch alone so I could eat quickly and get back to my dorm to do some studying. So I ignored the man sitting next to me. He leaned over and asked (in English) “what country are you from?”. Because my program involved a language pledge where I could not speak any English, I responded in Chinese. He began to ask me more questions and comment on my looks, and I responded (again, in Chinese), “I don’t want to talk to you, I just want to eat my lunch”. This did not deter him. I made my answers shorter and more curt, and asked him why he was still talking to me even though I had told him I did not want to talk to him. I repeated that I wanted to eat my lunch in peace. He then called me a b****, and said that I would “relax” if I spoke to him in English. I reached into my bag for my wallet to pay for my meal and get the hell out, and realized I had left my wallet in my dorm. I cursed in English, and went to find the proprietor to explain the situation. In the time that I was pawing through my bag, the man who had been harassing me paid for my meal. Oh hell no. I explained to the proprietor (who knew me because I was a regular customer) my money situation, and told him that I would pay for my meal myself. I told him to give the man his money back. I then managed to find 5 kuai in my purse (half the cost of the meal), and ran back to my dorm to get my wallet so I could pay him the other 5. I looked over my shoulder the whole way back because I was terrified that that creepy guy was going to follow me. Thank god he didn’t.

Since then, I’ve been immensely distrustful of strange men approaching me or talking to me, and I’ve become much more hostile towards catcalls or men who try to grind with me in nightclubs. I also try to go to restaurants that have at least one other empty table so I’m certain that a stranger won’t sit with me. I still travel around Beijing alone, but I’m always very much “on guard”, and prefer to travel or go out to clubs and bars with male friends, since this does a fairly good job of deterring harassers. I love Beijing and I love studying here, but I hate that I don’t feel safe walking down the street or eating by myself.

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8+

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demonstration

Lauren’s story: What the fluff?

I was in school in 6th grade. I was really, really late for P.E. I begin walking to the gym, when suddenly, I see this group of 7th grade boys appear out of nowhere. They’re laughing at something. And one of them says…. he actually says this: “You’re gonna be all up in my balls!”
What the Fluff?
I was kind of frozen there, as he and his buddies walked away, laughing. Were they on drugs or something? I began to shout “What is WRONG with you!?” and stuff to them, but they didn’t hear.
So I told on them.
The 7th graders are messed up. One of my friends who’s more developed got asked by one of them, in a rude manner, “What bra size do you wear?”
This angers me.

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13+

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demonstration

Marissa’s Story: “Worried it would come back”

I live in a relatively small town, and my friends and I go walking a lot for entertainment.
It was about 8pm at the time this occurred and dark, but there are A LOT of lights so it might as well have been daytime. Myself, two other girls, and one guy. Girl 1 and the guy were maybe 10-15 feet in front of myself and the Girl 2. We were walking down the sidewalk on a busy intersection on our way to a gas station, almost there.  As me and girl 2 were walking, we were only wearing skinny jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, and over sized jackets. A jeep drove past us very slowly (No need for them to be going slowly other than for us, as it is a very busy, fast paced street) and honked at us twice.  We were unnerved by it as we had both read this site.
Then, no more than 30 seconds later, the same jeep turns around and honks at us several times more as it slowly passes us.  We ended up running to the gas station in a bit of a panic because it made us feel very nervous, seeing as we are only 14/15  and we worried it would come back and try something else.

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15+

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demonstration

Alison’s Story: “I felt so trapped”

I’ve recently started going to the gym while my sister goes swimming and normally my dad comes with me but he was working late so I had to go by myself. As I walked in two guys stared at me walking in. Later I was walking over to another machine and the same guy stood in my way and said ‘hey there’. I ignored him and walked on. As I was walking back he again step in front of me and told me his friend wanted to know my name. I said no and continued walking and then came after mew and asked why, I said I’m only fourteen. I then half ran to a busier part of the gym and both guys went on the bikes on either side of me. I felt so trapped and I literally couldn’t speak. I then just walked away. I can’t even tell my parents or I’ll never be able to go the gym again. I told my sister and she said they were probably just ‘taking the piss’ my own sister thought it was acceptable, I’m not sure whats worse the men thinking the could do that or sister thinking it’s okay.

I've got your back!
19+

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