Nonverbal Harassment

HOLLA ON THE GO: Groping Gestures from Stranger in a Car

As I was walking to the store this guy reached out of his car window toward me with both hands and did a boob-squeezing gesture.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: “He grabbed my face with both hands”

A drunk guy stepped in front of me and barred my way on the sidewalk, saying, “Wait! Stop.” Then he grabbed my face with both hands and said, “You’re beautiful. I love you.”

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groping, Nonverbal Harassment

Groped at State Fair

I was visiting Countryfile Live (I think it’s a bit like the state fairs across the pond) with my parents – I’m a 19-year-old girl. While dad used the facilities, mum and I watched a demonstration of dogs herding ducks around a cute little obstacle course, and this old guy (I’m talking 70+ here, old enough to know better) started getting closer and closer. Fair enough, it’s a popular event and the crowd is growing!
Then I realize I’m holding my handbag in front of me and therefore that steadily moving touch on my backside can only be a hand. I was so panicked, I’d been lucky enough not to have experienced this kind of nonsense before, and I just froze. My mum (greatest mum in the world, fight me) noticed my expression of ‘heeeelp’ and switched places with me. Weirdly enough he wasn’t too interested in groping someone who looked old enough to drink, dirty perv!

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Nonverbal Harassment, Story

Man Secretly Taking Pictures of Me Without Consent

This creep was taking pictures of me as he walked behind me. Another man came up alongside and said loudly, “That guy is taking pictures of you.” I stopped, surprised and confused, and looked back to see a man of the following profile:

Smartly dressed, navy blue suit and tie
Balding-ish–had thinning hair

with his phone up, half “hidden” behind a newspaper. He dashed behind a coffee cart to “hide,” and as the second man was saying, “You can sue for that, you know,” Creep walked back the other way. I was too surprised by the encounter to react quickly and get his photo or otherwise publicly shame him, but just to say ladies, watch out and speak up when you see this disgusting carry on happening.

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Nonverbal Harassment

HOLLA ON THE GO: Photos taken of me

I was walking my dog around 5:45pm on a Monday when I noticed a man standing next to his bike taking photos of me as I walked by. When I passed I turned around and he was taking photos of my butt. I started yelling at him and insisted that he was not allowed to take photos of me and to show me his phone. I could see the photos of my butt on his phone but he got on his bike and rode away before deleting them. When I called the police they provided no support.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Verbal

A Commute Full of Harassment

I was standing on the subway platform, minding my own business and I looked up to see some guy passing by, leering at me and looking me up and down. When I made eye contact, he thought I was ready to flirt with him and he cracked a smile and said ‘hellooo!’ Ugh, nope. THEN, I got on the train and after a few stops a guy sat diagonal from me and just kept staring at me. I wanted to take it easy as I had a long ride ahead of me, but I could feel his eyes focusing on my legs. I just wanted to hide in my coat. When I got off at my station and walked to work, I was again met by ‘helloooo, good afternoon’ in front of a building I try to avoid, but didn’t today. What is up with today?

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Nonverbal Harassment, Story

Rachelle’s Story

I was walking with my infant daughter in a carrier. I had just said goodbye to my partner, and walked towards riverside to go to my home. On the way there, a man jumped in my path and started cooing at my daughter — not an issue, happens often — but he wouldn’t let up, and blocked my path. I smiled thinly and waited it out, feeling uncomfortable and shifting my body so he couldn’t touch her. He touched me instead, running his hand along my back and arm, and started saying stuff about my body. I didn’t really know what to do — I was worried he would be mean or hurt us or yell and scare my daughter, and I didn’t want her to be scared or see me being scared, so I just kind of stood there and smiled.
I eventually pushed him off and walked with my head down, not listening to him as he called after us. When I hear other people’s stories and they say they were scared, I forget what that strange feeling of fear can be – it’s isolating and roots you in place. It’s nothing and something and overblown and serious at the same time. I always feel like I’m overreacting…and then suddenly like I’m not. I always doubt myself and, no matter how often I tell myself otherwise, somehow feel responsible for what happened. My daughter is 10 months old, and this is going to happen again — and then it’s going to happen to her. I want to know how to respond so that she doesn’t think I’m afraid, or that she knows this isn’t okay, but I’m still scared and I don’t ever want to endanger her. It feels hopeless somedays.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Stalking, Verbal

Lexy’s Story

I was walking to the 2 train to go visit a friend when a guy who walked pass me did a 180 and started following me. And by following, I mean was on top of me. His body was literally touching mine as I was walking, asking for my phone number and if I would be his girlfriend. In that moment I went into “fight or flight” mentality that so many of us women find ourselves in. Do I just stay quiet and keep walking, hoping he goes away? Or do I turn around and face my potential attacker? At first I quietly declined his advances, although his body was pushing me to walk faster. I was quickly looking for people who were close by or open businesses that I might be able to walk in to. Then I increased my request for him to leave me alone by simply stating I would call the police if he didn’t leave me alone. This persisted for several blocks, so I finally stopped in my tracks, looked him in the eye and yelled at the top of my lungs “Leave me the fuck alone or I swear to God I will fucking choke the shit out of you!” He laughed and finally walked away.

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Nonverbal Harassment

Liz’s Story: Harassed at the doctor’s

I was sitting in the waiting from of my Ophthalmologist when a guy  was ushered in by one of the nurses and sat across from me (left side). He fiddled on his iPhone for a few minutes and the slouched in his seat as if he was very tired. Then he crossed his legs, propped his knee up and positioned his phone upright on it. The flash went off and I stared at him wide eyed. He slouched more in his seat, closed his eyes after staring at me and pretended to fall asleep.

I got up before him and as I left the waiting area I heard him say “Did you get it ? Have you made copies yet ?” to someone on his phone.

I beat myself up every now and then for not saying anything but it was around that time of the month when Im usually am slow to respond and foggy headed. I try to forget it but I will always wonder what he did with MY PICTURE.

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Nonverbal Harassment, transphobic, Verbal

Layla’s Story: Harassed on the bus

As someone who has been taking public transport / works as a cashier, and is in public a lot, I’ve dealt with cat calling and being bothered by strangers for awhile now. I get the usual honking, unsolicited compliments, long-winded conversations, begging for a phone number, and occasionally an ask for sexual favors. Yesterday though it reached a level I really didn’t expect and I’m still in shock over it.

I was sitting on the bus and there was a man who had been drinking (he was acting drunk and had a bottle of beer in hand), sitting across from me. There were three other people nearby me. I ignored him but as he continued to get louder and talked to other people on the bus, I snapped a few pictures of him (I think as a precaution, although I was likely just going to delete them later). At one point he tried to talk to me and he said, “Go to Hollywood and become a movie star.” Eventually, one of my ex friends boarded the bus (we’ll call him Josh), and Josh came and sat across from me. Although we are ex friends, Josh and I are still friendly and on talking terms. So I tapped Josh’s leg with my foot and whispered for him to sit next to me, although I thought I was being kind of silly/paranoid at the time. He obliged and sat next to me.

At one point this drunk person turned to me and said “you’re sexy”. I gave him polite eye contact but said nothing, and then looked away. He stood up and moved to another part of the bus. I made small talk with Josh, starting to feel a little safer, before this man came back. He approached me directly, wrapped his arms around my neck/shoulders, and kissed the top of my head. He then let go and looked to Josh as if non-verbally proving his masculinity to him (or from what Josh told me, I didn’t see this happen myself because my face was in the drunk guy’s chest).

He moved to a different part of the bus again and Josh put an arm around me trying to comfort me, and told me that if the guy approaches again he’ll do something. I was mostly in shock and couldn’t speak. Nobody on the bus did anything. The drunk guy eventually got off the bus and the story pretty much ends here.

I’m still in shock as this happened last night and I don’t know what a proper response or reaction to this is. I don’t even know if this counts as harassment or what. But there you go. I think because of this and many other instances women just can’t feel safe in public. While I do have his picture I am not sure if I will be sharing it for privacy’s sake. But I guess my initial paranoia wasn’t unreasonable.

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