event, NYPD FAIL, public masturbation, Stalking

Jerk-off caught in the act and then not charged because of "lack of evidence." Gross on so many levels.

It happened a few years ago while I was in college. I was working as a waitress at a busy restaurant/bar in town and would usually get home around 1:30 am. One night I came home at the usual time, took a shower and went to bed. The next morning I find a business card stuck to my door from a local police officer asking me to contact him ASAP. I called the precinct, and he tells me that a man was arrested the night before for masturbating outside of my window. Apparently, some people at a party in the next building saw him from their balcony and called the police. I was listening to my iPod when I went to bed, so I never heard the cops knock on my door.

Incidentally, I always have my curtains closed, but apparently there was an opening at the bottom where they overlapped (about the size of a quarter, according to the cops who were at the scene), so he could see into my bedroom through this limited space. As the officer is telling me this, I realize that this man saw me completely naked after my shower the night before and watched me rub lotion all over myself, too, so apparently he got quite a show.

The officer tells me the guy’s name and asks if I know him. He says that the day before this “peeping” incident the man had been released from prison where he had been serving time for a sex crime. I don’t recognize the man’s name or description, but now I am panicking. This perv knows where I live, where I work (due to my waitress uniform), what kind of car I drive, and he can probably guess that at the end of the night I come home with an apron full of cash…plus he’s a convicted sex offender. I ask the officer if I can see the guy’s mug shot, to see if I recognize him from the restaurant, and so I will know who he is if I see him anywhere near me, and he says no, that he’s not allowed to show me a photo because it would be a violation of the guy’s rights! So this guy can look at my fully naked body without my knowledge or consent, but I can’t look at his face after he’s been arrested for peeping and wanking outside of my window. So glad that his rights weren’t violated!

I seriously feared for my safety after that. I felt so exposed, and not just because he had seen me naked, but because I felt that I was denied the option to protect myself. This guy was a convicted criminal with a history of sexually assaulting women! I hated not knowing if he was out there following me or watching me again– maybe I had even unknowingly waited on him? I never spent another night at that apartment and moved three weeks later. I also never heard back from the police about the case. When I called to follow up, I was told that the charges had been dropped due to a lack of “evidence”, meaning that he had not left a DNA sample at the scene. He had been interrupted by the police approaching and so he never finished, and apparently the statements from my neighbors weren’t proof enough of his crime. I hope with all my heart that I was the last woman he violated, but somehow I doubt it.

Submitted by Anne

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campaign, demonstration, event, union square

"Hot Pussy is No Way to Say Hello" campaign premieres in Union Square


“It is not my problem or my responsibility to prevent men from assaulting me”

 

 

Teamed up with fellow NYC activist and student, Sarah VanDenbergh, I had an awesome time representing HollabackNYC at the world premiere of the “Hot Pussy is No Way to Say Hello” campaign in Union Square on April 3.

 

After moving from a small town to NYC for graduate school at NYU, Sarah was quickly disgusted by the amount and degree of street harassment she received when she stepped out her front door. Appalled by the common misconception that street harassment is sometimes provoked or asked for by the woman and that the woman is responsible for preventing her own assault, Sarah’s thesis puts the offending men and their bad behavior under the spotlight, in a reversal of roles.

“Most of the research, discourse, media, and news coverage around sexual harassment discusses it through an individual framework focusing on the victim. The solution that that framework leads to is the victim helping herself. There is very little to do with the male. It is not my problem or my responsibility to prevent men from assaulting me. It is a man’s problem and a man’s responsibility. It was therefore the goal of my project to change a “woman’s problem” into a public prerogative.”

 

Seven life-sized cardboard cutouts of male silhouettes were placed standing up in Union Square, each with a different sign on his chest: “I grope women on the train almost every day,” “I masturbate on women on the L train,” “I objectify women’s bodies.” Two black boxes were placed at the foot of two figures that played 108 looped recordings of lewd, derogatory, and offensive comments made to women taken directly from the Hollaback website. For this part, Sarah had several of her male friends record the phrases. They included such Hollaback classics as “Hey bitch! You want a stick or a dick?” and “Which one of you am I going to rape first?” and were played loudly for passersby to hear. We handed out postcards with the campaign motto that encourage women to take a photo of their harasser and submit it to Hollaback. 


Responses were mixed; surprisingly, the overwhelming majority were positive. One girl, who appeared on the verge of tears, said “Your work here is pretty hard to swallow, but it’s effective.” Others weren’t so supportive; one man said he liked what we were doing, but that the comments being projected from the recordings were “harsh”. Our response? “YEAH, THEY ARE. That’s why we’re here.”

For more information or to learn how you can hold this event in your neighborhood, please contact us.

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