I was walking downtown to my apartment — about a mile total. I was waiting at a crosswalk when a man came up right next to me and put his hand on my arm. He was very drunk and looking at me with a stare that put a chill down my spine. As soon as I could, I crossed the intersection. He kept up, walking directly to my side less than a foot away. I tried to shake him off, but he continued to follow me through the next couple of blocks, putting his hand on my arm at each crosswalk pause.
I finally went into a bank to shake him off. The three women tellers were as shaken as I was when I told them why I was there. When I couldn’t see him anymore, I went back to the street. On the next block, he jumped out at me from some bushes he had been hiding in. I walked faster, but he kept up. A maintenance man saw what was happening and stopped the guy, telling me to keep going.
That delay only worked for so long and the guy caught up with me. I called 911 and by the time I was under the underpass and across the bridge a police officer zoomed through the intersection and stopped right in front of us. As he was arresting the guy, two more police cars came up. I declined to press charges or declare myself a victim. He probably just needed to sober up.
It’s not like he hurt or threatened me, but I’m having a hard time shaking it off, given that the low level street harassment continues as it always does. Someday, I hope women and men can look back at street harassment as an unfortunate past problem.
One night I was walking home when a guy started hollaring at me, “hey, hey where are you going, you wanna party.” To which I responded I am going home and no I don’t want to party. Then he was, “you wanna go and fuck.” At which point I got angry, stopped and stared at him and said no.He stopped and left me alone.
Much closer to home a guy ran from my back grabbed my arm and a gain wanna fuck. I pulled my hand free and said no and continued to walk and third man comes asking the same thing!!!
I was at a conference and finished early. I needed to hurry to see a pediatric patient that lived in another city. I stopped while driving thru the city to get gas. High school had finished for the day so suddenly the area and parking lot I was in was filled with highscoolers. While waking back to my car I found myself surrounded by 8 boys. These ” boys” were all taller than me. At first my thought was, these are kids! I can handle this. I asked to be let thru. They jeered at me and crowded closer. One or two groped my breasts.
There were men pumping gas at the station. When I first started to panic I looked to them for help. I kept thinking it’s broad daylight and these boys are molesting me. And no one is going to help. I kept asking them to stop. And they formed even a tighter circle around me, jeering and mocking me. The manager of the service station came running out of his store with a bat. He screamed at them to back off. By this time I was pretty shaken and had started to cry.
He asked if I wanted to call the police but I said no. I just wanted to leave. The shameful part of this is…at that time I was working as an on-call crisis counselor. All of my training flew straight out of my head. I turned into a female in crisis. What they did followed no rules I was familiar with. I kept thinking it’s daytime. Someone will stop them. But it escalated quickly.
I was visiting France with classmates and at one point was walking back to meet them. Some of the men and women (college age) were waiting for everyone in a group, and some saw me and waved. As I waved back, two young men came up to me and asked me directions in French. I tried to give them directions but eventually switched to English. Once I admitted to being American they starting pulling in closer and saying how good my French was, to the point I was very uncomfortable. By the time I was able to explain I did not know where they wanted to go, they both gave me a hug and kiss (on the cheek, which I know is cultural, but still). I was rather flustered and went to the group of known friends happily.
I can accept that and move on, but it was the next part that upset me the most.
After I told them what happened, one young man chastised me for being so culturally ignorant and close-minded that I was complaining and upset over being held and kissed by two strangers! He was French himself, and explanations of personal space culture in American were dismissed because I should be trying new things. No one should be shamed in front of others because they did not want to be touched by others!
After I was molested at age 9 I went right in to MMA, I never wanted to feel that fear again. Two years ago; I was walking to a bus to go met my girlfriend and at the bus stop an old man starts hitting on me. I tell him he needs to stop and that I have a girlfriend. He stepped closer and grabbed my genitals and said he could please me a whole lot more then some Faggot girl and that he could “cure” me. I slammed my elbow in to his sternum and screamed for help but when the police got there and I told them what happened they arrested me for defending my self. The charges where dropped but I still can’t get over how all I did was try to get some old ass to let me go and yet I ended up going downtown. There were so many men watched and one even went as far to stand up for the older man saying that I was the one who flaunted in front of him and got pissy.
I was in a drugstore few weeks ago and was looking at some products when I felt something brushed through (with some pressure) on my butt. I thought it was just a bag of a lady so I didn’t take notice of it. Second time it happened, I saw a man just walked past behind me and he was talking to his girlfriend/sister before that. I looked around and I was really sure he was the one that touched me. I panicked and try to spot if it was his hands or just something he was holding. It was his hands. And then it happened again and this time, I stared at him and he just gave me a smirk and actually stood staring back at me. After a while, the girlfriend/sister called out to him and he walked away. Not before talking another look at me. I was so freaked out and I don’t know what to do. He was obviously younger than me, probably just a teen. I was wearing a tank top dress that was mid-thigh length.
I often experience stalking in the mall or when I am walking home. There was so many times that the strangers stalk me till I was almost reaching home. I has to rush to the lift (pretending that I wasn’t running away at the same time) and I pressed on multiple levels so that the stranger wouldn’t know which level I am staying at. I shouldn’t have gone to my block where I am staying, but I was afraid to walk anymore further with someone following me.
Verbal / Ogling:
Many times there are strangers who gives me the dirty look and eye me up and down. I wear casual office wear most days and these are the days that are the worse. I have no idea why. Even at work. Sometimes strangers pretend to talk to me, like saying ‘Hi’ and eye me all over. Sometimes the more disgusting ones whistles and stuff. For example, yesterday when I was about to cross the street, a man old enough to be my grand father commented at me and said something I didn’t want to hear.
Yesterday in the train, a older man stood facing me throughout the whole journey. Everyone was facing the door (including me), but he was the only facing me. He kept leering at me and when other passengers blocked his view of me, he shifted to make sure he sees me again. It was so disgusting and he tried to move closer but there was too many passengers and I kept moving further away too. When I alighted, he tried to come closer, but I sneaked off with the crowd quickly.
When I was 14, my female friend and I were walking around the mall, when this group of guys a couple years older than us started following us. They were about a foot behind us, and one of them was telling the other to touch my friend’s butt. He was reaching his hand out, and we walked faster and hid in a store until they moved on to play that really funny joke~ on someone else probably
One night in Portland my friends and I decided to go to and under 21 club. When we got in there we mostly danced with each other. Then one guy came up behind me and shoved his crotch to my butt. He then proceeded to grope me without my permission. I didn’t tell him to stop because I was too scared. I thought since he was so close he could hurt me very fast without anyone noticing. So I would, “accidentally” hit him in the face while trying to push back my hair. He eventually ran to the bathroom and was wearing sweat pants. When I got home and got changed I saw huge bruises on my hips from him squeezing me so hard. I had these bruises for weeks and had to explain them to my boyfriend.
Waiting outside a fast food place in Camden after clubbing and a man actually grinded up against me! Gross!
After experiencing one guy watching me with his video camera at one waterpark, in the same afternoon at a different water park, a bunch of guys watch me go into the wave pool. They follow me and start to surround me as soon as the waves started to get big.
All of a sudden I feel hands on various parts of my body. I turn around and they are just smirking and laughing and getting closer. So as another wave comes i go under water, kick one of them in the chest and swim away. I never told anyone.