groping, Nonverbal Harassment, Story

Alex’s Story: Breaking Away From Gross Carnival Harasser

In southern Holland, Carnaval is a big event sort of like Halloween minus the trick or treating. It’s basically a big party where everyone wears costumes, but it takes place throughout a large section of the city.

I’m studying here and decided I wanted to go, since it was one of those typical Dutch things I didn’t want to miss. I was with 2 other exchange students, and at the end of the night, we were walking back to the train/bus station. I definitely felt the alcohol at that point, but I wasn’t wasted or anything. Anyway, it was dark but the street we were on still had people scattered about. It wasn’t completely deserted. A man I’d guess to be about 30 physically grabbed me and blocked my path after calling to me and my friends and getting ignored. He started making kissing noises in my face while puckering his lips, his group of large male friends in the background laughing. I remember being terrified of what might happen and giving him a quick peck on the lips before running away, hoping he’d leave me alone after that.

No one did anything to stop it. One of the girls I was with even laughed while penalizing ME for kissing him, despite the fact that I did it solely out of fear that he’d hurt me if I didn’t. I changed the subject, but was reduced to tears the second I’d gotten home and had the chance to think about it.

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groping, Story, Verbal

K’s Story: Far From Home & Dodging Dodgy Fellas

I’m a university student studying abroad in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China.

It was 10am on a bright, sunny day. The street was empty except for me and another woman who was ahead of me and walking the same way. I was on my way to the airporter bus, so I had my luggage rolling behind me.

This creep walking the other way sees us coming. Despite the empty street and the sidewalk so wide you could park a bus in the width, he get’s that small, leery smile and sneering eyes as he squares his shoulders and intercepts out path. Both me and the other woman veer sharply out of the way. My suitcase, however, catches him in the ankle with the wheel.

Made me feel a bit better.

Another time, I was reading on my campus grounds at around 11pm. A really drunk guy comes up and starts asking if I have a boyfriend, where I’m from, if I spoke Chinese, etc. When I don’t understand some of what he says, he touches my crotch. When I go to walk away, he makes a grab for my boob.

It’s made me a little leery when random men sit next to me just to speak English.

I told my roommate this. She said that some men once came to her and told her that she should be cheaper because she was small. My other roommate had a 40-year-old-ish guy kiss her on the lips after she had been nice enough to give him directions someplace.

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groping, Story, Verbal

Sarah’s story: #notouching

I was at a bar with my cousin and her friends. This older man walked up to our table and started chatting one of the women across the table from me, and at one point, I thought I saw him pinch her cheek. She was smiling, didn’t say anything, and I went back to paying attention to my phone.
I must not have been paying enough attention to this man, because I felt him pinch my cheek. I almost smacked him I whipped my head and hand around so fast. I put my finger out at him and said, “Don’t. You. Ever. Touch me. It’s not appropriate to touch a woman you don’t know.” He wandered off, but them came back to “apologize” and he said, “it was disrespectful of me because maybe your boyfriend wouldn’t like it.” I said, “it was disrespectful because it was disrespectful and inappropriate.” He wandered off again, and came back a third time to chat up my cousin’s friend again, looking at me time and again. By this point, she had also begun telling that she was not interested, and he left us alone after that.

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groping, Story, youth

Emma’s story: It’s not OK.

I was 15 and I was on the TTC Dufferin bus when a man sat down beside me. It wasn’t very crowded, but he still sat right next to me. The man pulled his backpack over his chest and lap. After a few minutes, I felt his hand brush my side. I mumbled “excuse me”, and shuffled a bit to the side. He shuffled closer and slowly started grabbing my side. I got up quickly and rang the request stop bell, even though I was still several stops away. He muttered a soft, “sorry” and I was too scared to say anything except “It’s okay”.

I wish I’d been brave enough to tell him it’s not okay. It’s not okay to touch a woman against her will. It’s especially not okay to touch a woman against her will when you’re 20 years older and she’s a teenager.

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Assault, groping, Nonverbal Harassment, Story

HOLLA ON THE GO: “It happened so fast.”

This type of event is always very triggering for me. Today I was out with some friends when a man grabbed me from behind and kissed my face then kept walking. It happened so fast I didn’t have time to react physically, but I yelled “Fuck you” as he walked away. He and his friend heard me and laughed.

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groping, Nonverbal Harassment, Stalking, Story, upskirt

HOLLA ON THE GO: looking up my skirt

A few years ago I was employed at a clothing store in Seattle, WA. One night I was towards the back of the store straightening the rack of women’s lingerie when I felt a man standing very close to me. I moved to another part of the store when I felt him near me again. I tried to ignore my feelings and stay put. I then looked down and saw him on the ground, his head between my legs looking up my dress. I kicked him hard in the throat and he ran away. I called the police and they didn’t show.

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groping, Story

Margot’s story: 1984

I was about 24 and biking home along East Broadway towards Burnaby. It was during rush hour traffic and another biker came up behind me and slid his hand up my buttocks. It made me stop biking almost fell into traffic. We fought a bit and drivers just honked at us! This was from out of no where. I didn’t know the person and didn’t recognize him from any previous riding experience. Didn’t make sense. No one helped and after I called 911 the police said they couldn’t do anything for me. I still had to finish riding my bike home! I would never have thought that this could happen this way. This was back in 1984.

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Assault, groping, Story

Margot’s story: #bystanderFAIL

I had just returned from a trip overseas. I was 20. I was visiting with my brother at a local Taco Bell. I used the pay phone on the street and had a young man approach me asking for directions – I gave him the directions and his way of thanking me was to come into the phone booth and assault me and grope me. I was very shocked and tried to fight back. It was about 9 p.m. and still light out. People watched and didn’t do anything. I felt very violated, but what could I do? This was back in 1980.

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groping, Story

Melissa’s Story: “That’s no excuse”

My wife and I went to a show at a club last night hoping to have fun. Instead I was assaulted by some idiot; my ass was grabbed and I was pushed down stairs. I approached club security for help. Instead of help I further harassed, asked how much I’d been drinking, and asked if I knew I was at a ska show.

The security staff told me that these things happen at shows. I told him that’s no excuse, I didn’t come to a show to get groped. As a result of this, I got kicked out of the venue. So I called the cops, hoping someone would help me find the guy who groped and pushed me. Instead of helping me find the guy who assaulted me they gave me attitude.

So I waited outside trying to id the guy myself, and a collection of security guards and cops led me back into the venue, put hands on me, and made a big show of kicking me out again. So I called the cops again and asked for female officers to respond. So two male officers responded and got all mad I asked for females and refused to give me their badge numbers and names. They refused to speak to me saying I was irrational and yelling.

Additionally I was subject to further harassment by another security member; he catcalled and taunted me as I stood on the sidewalk. For the record I was freaked out and crying, not at all irrational. The actions of all of the so-called professionals last night was a sorry sight. Yeah, I’d heard stories about the bad behavior of “Bostons Finest” but seeing is believing for sure.

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Emily’s story: Halloween party pooper

I was at a Halloween party and this guy was saying “good-bye” to everyone who passed. I said “bye” to him. He then stoked/grabbed/tickled the length of my torso. I instinctively brought up my arm as if to back hand him. He said, “oh, oh. Hit me. Go ahead, hit me.” With a disgusted face, I lowered my hand and said something like, “that is NOT cool. You should NOT do that to anyone.” Then I walked away. After contemplating the situation later I realized that I should have stayed by him, talked to him and made him feel very uncomfortable by standing my ground. He won that interaction and I could have annoyed him until HE walked away. He was alone and I was at a house surrounded by people who know me.

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