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Elizabeth’s Story: “NOT the way I want to start my day”

I was walking to an interview and while stopped at a light a construction worker said, “good morning. I love you.” NOT the way I want to start my day. I used my Hollaback app and submitted a photo.

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Ruth’s Story: Not okay to harass

I was waiting to cross the road on the way to meet friends, and a group of guys of about 18 crossed at the same time as I did. When a van drove in between us, they reached out at it jokily, shouting ‘touched it!’ When they walked past me, one of them reached out to grab my ass, and I jumped out the way. I heard another one of them say, ‘wouldn’t touch that-jail-bait.’ I was 14 at the time, this was a few months ago, and since then I’ve been harassed a few more times, but I’m angry that they thought it was ok to do that, especially to someone a lot younger than them. I read about this website in a magazine-thanks for giving me the opportunity to share this, Hollaback!

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Izzy’s Story: “I had three cars filled with young men holla at me from their windows”

I was riding home on my bike, with my boyfriend. In the space of 500m, I had 3 cars filled with young men holla at me from their windows. The first was a series of wolf whistles, the second just hollering and screaming, and the third, well the third got ugly.

I’d like to point out, that whilst it should make NO difference, I was not wearing anything particularly attention grabbing. Just a pair of pink denim shorts and a green hoody. My boyfriend, who was riding a few meters behind me, witness all of these verbal encounters.

The third car, unrelated to the first 2, pulled up at an intersection, and a boy in the back seat was calling out to two other men on the street. As I rode by, he started shouting at me ‘THAT GIRLS GOT A BIGGER DICK THAN YOU DO’. Enraged by the previous cars, I simply called back and said ‘ EXCUSE ME?’. The boy proceeded to call me various names, before my boyfriend stepped in, ran across the road, up to the guy’s window, and stomped his foot into the car’s rear door.

I was obviously surprised, and violence is not something I usually condone, but I have to say I felt pride swell up in me seeing my boyfriend defend me like that. It didn’t take long however before a car full of boys, 3 of them, jumped out and started laying into my boyfriend on the side of the intersection. The three-against-one onslaught went on for about 15 minutes, all the time my boyfriend refusing to throw a punch, instead blocking and defending himself from the other boys. The whole ordeal didn’t come to an end until the police arrived, with the boys wanting to press charges for damages to the car.

I told the police, in no uncertain terms that what I’d been subjected to was sexual harassment, and whilst my boyfriend’s actions may have been extreme, they weren’t unprovoked. And that I was going to press charges for both harassment and assault.

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Robyne’s story: “No means no”

There is a creeper that lives across the street from me. He routinely watches my comings and goings, and hollers at me whenever he sees me entering or leaving my car or home. He calls me by pet names, despite my telling him I don’t appreciate this. Last week, he had the gall to ring my doorbell to ask for my number. I told him no, and said this was unacceptable. He said, “But you told me to stop approaching you at night on your way in the door, so I thought this would be better. Would you rather I just holler at you and cross the street late at night to talk to you?” Do I really have to accept either of these options? No means No. I am tempted to send all my burly male friends over to his place to knock on his door and ask for his digits.

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Helen’s Story: “No one deserves to be touched”

Was out for a run in the neighborhood where I grew up while visiting for a family reunion. A kid on a bicycle rode past me a couple of times. I noted that he was probably around 15 and had just gotten out of school that afternoon. The third pass he made from behind me, reached out and did what I now term the “ass slap/grab”. I had my ipod shuffle on so I did not hear him ride up from behind. It startled me and I heard myself scream, he then sped off super fast. I gathered from that, that he knew he was doing something he shouldn’t have. Later on that evening my step-mother and her daughter saw him again cycling around the area. My step-mom said she thought he was much older than what I had described. She saw him up closer than I did, they were in a car. My family was upset and sorry that something like this could have happened. I watched for him the rest of the weekend and chose to run elsewhere. I was furious. This is assault and no one deserves to be touched/slapped/hit/grabbed by a person unknown to them. I felt like I could feel the place on my buttocks for hours after it happened. It scared me. Although I was not hurt I did feel violated to some degree. I wish I had reported the incident. Thanks for letting me vent!!! Great website!!!

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Helen’s story: I felt violated

Was out for a run in the neighborhood where I grew up while visiting for a family reunion. A kid on a bicycle rode past me a couple of times. I noted that he was probably around 15 and had just gotten out of school that afternoon. The third pass he made from behind me, reached out and did what I now term the “ass slap/grab”. I had my ipod shuffle on so I did not hear him ride up from behind. It startled me and I heard myself scream, he then sped off super fast. I gathered from that, that he knew he was doing something he shouldn’t have. Later on that evening my step-mother and her daughter saw him again cycling around the area. My step-mom said she thought he was much older than what I had described. She saw him up closer than I did, they were in a car. My family was upset and sorry that something like this could have happened. I watched for him the rest of the weekend and chose to run elsewhere. I was furious. This is assault and no one deserves to be touched/slapped/hit/grabbed by a person unknown to them. I felt like I could feel the place on my buttocks for hours after it happened. It scared me. Although I was not hurt I did feel violated to some degree. I wish I had reported the incident. Thanks for letting me vent!!! Great website!!!

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Sarah’s Story: Harassed while reading

I was sitting on a ledge reading a book and waiting for a ride back to my home. While I was reading, I heard someone whistle, and I looked up to see where it came from and why. As I looked up, I saw a car driving by, and the man inside the car was driving slowly by me, and shaking his penis back and forth. I was shocked and didn’t think to write down his license plate or anything, but all I could do was sit there with my jaw dropped and eventually flicked him off. Shortly after he passed through, there were a few cops around, and all I could think was why weren’t they there just a few minutes earlier. I sat with my pepper spray in my hands the rest of the hour long wait, and the man never came back through.

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KJ’s Story: “You are not entitled to my body”

Ugh I know you’re the one who should be ashamed, but instead I’m left feeling ashamed for wearing a less-than-modest dress. You may have thought you were ‘just’ complimenting me, that it was ‘no big deal’ to leer at me and yell, “Mmm mmm mmmm! Girl, you flaunt it!” And to keep yelling at me when I was clearly trying to get away from you?! I even went as far as hiding behind a wall. I’m embarrassed I didn’t just tell you to go f*ck yourself, I hope I can when a similar situation unfortunately happens again. You are not entitled to my body. No one is.

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TR’s Story: Yuck

I was walking along the street and moved to the side to let a man pass. Instead of also moving to the side so I could pass, this man moved closer. As we passed one another on the side walk, he felt up my hip briefly. Yuck. I felt so gross after.

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Melissa N.’s Story: “He turned it into something disgusting and cringe-worthy”

This incident occurred last Friday. I was walking home from the library and was just passing the middle school in my neighborhood. A middle aged man in a red shirt was walking on the sidewalk in the opposite direction as me. I thought nothing of it, he looked like he could be picking up his kid at the middle school. As he passed me, I heard him muttering something under his breath which sounded like “slut”. I froze for a second as he continued walking then turned around and said “what did you just say to me?” in an incredulous tone of voice. He said “‘Mamacita’. Do you know what that means?” Completely disgusted, I turned back around and shouted “Creeper!” and continued walking. I wish I had been louder; I wish I had been more confident in my confrontation of his behavior. I had worn my favorite purple polka dot miniskirt in order to feel better about my horrible day and he turned it into something disgusting and cringe-worthy.
Thanks for existing, Hollaback- I can’t even begin to tell you how much better I feel having written this knowing it will be read by people who understand.

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