event, Nonverbal Harassment, Stalking, Story

Jasmine’s Story: Scared to Work

The graduation presents my father bought me and my sister when we went out on our own we’re powerful Tazers. I remember him looking at them before we left, trying to find the most practical ones. He messages each of us constantly to assure that we are carrying them, they also work as flashlights, one night I was terrified when I was pressed to use it on another individual.
A coworker of mine, we’ll say her name is Stacy, had told me about a weird man who came into our retail store one Saturday night, he came in when she was trying to close and was asking her odd questions. We didn’t think much of it and, subsequently, brushed it off. That following Wednesday, I got a call from a man who was looking to speak to her. He mentioned that he had been in that weekend and was supposed to call her back to discuss a few things.
When I brought this up to my coworker, she said that she didn’t talk to anyone at that length but the man and that they didn’t agree to speak again.
Just at that moment, with both of us looking confused at the phone, he called. I answered and attempted to prove him for information. What gave him the assumption that she wanted him to call? He simply kept insisting that they had ‘important’ things to discuss. According to Stacy, they had nothing to discuss. I hung up the phone on him and thought that would be the end of it.
The week after that, I was closing on a Saturday night by myself as we often do. I was cleaning something, in the front of the store which is just a wall of windows. It was only ten minutes before I had to lock the door when I saw a car pull slowly by my store. There was a man, driving alone in a car marked with Colorado license plates. He crept by, his eyes searching for something or someone. As he walked slowly up to the windows in the store, I didn’t have that tazer in my work apron and, even if I had, I would have felt fear-stricken regardless. He didn’t enter the store. He started from one end of the windows and slowly worked his way down to me. I knew at that point that something was going on. So, when he made eye-contact with me and smiled I felt like I was going to cry. I was absolutely paralyzed.
He looked similar in appearance to the man Stacy saw just a couple weeks before. I didn’t feel safe enough to take out my phone for a picture, however. I stood and hoped that he wouldn’t enter the store. I couldn’t lock the door either, I was afraid that it also may be someone important, like a health inspector. He man walked away from my store like he had been caught and just stood in front of the store next to mine. He stood there like he was thinking of his next plan of action.
Now, I was watching him very closely. So, when he quickly turned towards me and walked briskly to the still unlocked door, I physically jumped. The man opened the door, and spoke to me as if our whole exchange wasn’t filled with his off putting actions.
“So, where is a good place to get some food around here?” He spoke to me as if we had been talking before. I told him the first restaurant that I could think of, to get him out of there. The whole time he was looking at me, I felt violated and defensive, ready to pick up any object and defend myself. He also looked oddly disappointed. He left out the door after I gave him a recommendation. The man then proceeded to walk to his car, the only one in the parking lot, and entered through his passenger door. I continued to work. I swept and mopped and counted my drawer all in the period of which he was sitting in his car, alone. I. The seat closest to me.
When I went into our employee area to grab my things, I held my electrical flashlight in my hand, ready once again. The man’s car was not in front anymore and there seemed to be no other humans in sight. I walked frantically to my car and didn’t feel safe even when I reached my home.
I called Stacy and explained to her what the man looked like. She was positive that it was the same man, even down to his tie-die shirt labeled with a festival that happens in the area.
I told my boyfriend of my concerns about what happened. He starting asking me so many questions. “Why didn’t you call security? Why didn’t you lock the door when you saw him? Is she sure that it is the same guy?” The answer to all of his questions was silence form me. I realized that because we had no physical proof, people brushed it off on us being paranoid.
Now, the next week, this week, is when I had another Saturday closing shift. I locked the door early that night when no one was in the lot, just to be safe. As I was sweeping, I heard the roar of a motorcycle. I lifted my head only to see a similar looking man creeping by my store’s giant windows. His plates were also from Colorado. He made eye contact with me again and smiled. From what I could see, the only differences in the men were his face was shaven and the other man, from the Saturday before, sported a thick beard. He turned his cycle in my direction and drifted to the curb right in front of the door. He parked his cycle in front of the door. At this point, I was done feeling so terrified. I stood in front of the door as he was trying to open it, making sure he didn’t look away from my eyes. He seemed confused when I didn’t unlock the door to let him in. I didn’t care, I stood and gazed out at him, challenging him. After several failed attempts at getting the door opened by smiling at me like we were old friends, he got on his motorcycle and left. I work in a mall setting, there are many store surrounding me but, he drove up to mine intentionally and left without seeing any other stores.
I called my father on my way out of the store, in hopes that he would help me calm down. I was so scared and exposed. Yet, I still knew that I had things to do in my personal life. I drove over to my local Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. I grabbed my purse, the home of my tazer, and started to walk in to the store. i could see the door form the place I was standing and had to stop to wait on crossing the road.
I heard a rumbling just to the left of me, I looked up. To my disbelief, the same man that had been at the store earlier, was stopped at the stop sign, waiting for me to cross. I practically ran away from him and my car as I heard some sort of whooping noise behind me, no doubt coming from the man.
I live close to that store so, I didn’t go home that night, in fear that he was following me. I am not sure where or who he is but, I am scared. I am so terrified. And, this isn’t even the first time I have felt scared because of a similar encounter. Next Saturday, I am scheduled to work again.

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groping, Nonverbal Harassment, Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: Run to be safe

While walking down the street with my friend we were stopped by the group of three men. One of them groped her. Also, the verbal harassment took place. After we escaped from them they were following us and screaming humiliating phrases. We run into my friend’s house to be safe.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Stalking, Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: Scared to Respond

I was walking by myself in a wooded/residential area and noticed a sketchy looking guy with a bike at the end of a street. I turned around to walk back the way I came and he got on his bike and slowly passed me, saying “hey how you doing.” I ignored him and he got into a car, and then several guys started calling out, laughing, saying “damn shorty what you doing.” They drove off and deliberately veered the car close to me. I was scared to respond because I was alone.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Story, Verbal

Freya’s Story: You’re just an asshole. Period.

I was walking back home through town when a guy walked into my path, blocking it and holding out his hand to try and get me to shake it saying “oooh alright love, my name’s Dan, what’s yours?”. I ignored him and carried on walking which then prompted him to say “fine be like that you stupid frigid bitch”, I turned around and asked “what did you say? Why did you call me a bitch just because I didn’t want to talk to you?”. I crossed to the other side of the road and carried on walking and he said to his friend “wow well she’s obviously on her fucking period!”. Err no, you’re just an asshole.

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groping, Nonverbal Harassment, Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: Restaurant Rudeness

i worked in a high end Italian restaurant, everyday anything I wore I would get hollered by the staff. I felt very uncomfortable.. I am just 19 years old and these men are in their mid 40s and above..plus this was a new job for me.. I couldn’t step in the kitchen without hearing a whistle or someone trying to grab my butt.. It just got to the point that I had to quit that job.. And now am afraid to work in any other restaurants due to the harassment that happens in the kitchen/ restaurant.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Story

HOLLA ON THE GO: Lewd Gestures

A man in a pickup truck made a lewd kissing gestures at me while I was walking home from work.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Story, Verbal

Laura’s Story: Bad Bystanders

To save money, I ride public transportation to work. Every day something inappropriate is said about my appearance and body, but this past Friday I was genuinely afraid. I was riding the bus to the metrolink. There were not any seats left, so I stood. I did not mind standing. Then this man stood up from his seat and said “Baby, come on have my seat. Sit down, baby” and I declined the offer. He insisted and was not going to sit down. So, I accepted the seat. When I approached the seat he got in my space and turned with me and I fell into the seat and he boxed me in. Then he started talking about how sexy he thought I was. And then smelled me and said I smelled nice too. Then I tried to ignore him, but he was so close and I did not know what he was going to do. He kept talking “If I was your man, I would never let go of you, baby let me be your man” me: “No, I already have somebody and we are very happy.” bystanders laugh as this goes on. Mt eyes search for someone to care, or help. But my eyes only see smiles. One man tells him to lay off me through spurts of laughter. Then the harasser reaches in his bag and gives me a disc. The same man who told him to layoff says: “girl, do not throw that away, that is a free movie and it is money” and I continue to try my best to ignore both of them…finally it is my stop and I make my way off that bus as fast as I can and throw the damn disc away, too. I am just so tired of this happening to me. I am sick of being told it is my fault because of my body type and appearance.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Story, Verbal, youth

Ava’s Story: Trouble on Twitter

One of my friends that I had known for a few months sent me a dm on Twitter. He tried to ask me out and I told him I had a boyfriend. After learning this, he persistently asked for nudes saying things like “it doesn’t have to be shirtless” and “it’s not that bad”, “can I at least get a look at your underwear drawer?”.
I told him no and I had no idea what to do.
After a week I finally told my parents. He got in trouble (not a lot) and I got grounded and interrogated on “what I said to provoke it”.
We were 15.

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flashing, Nonverbal Harassment, public masturbation, Story

Ellie’s Story: Sitting and Staring

I was sitting in a coffee shop on Dupont Circle at the bar facing the windows on Connecticut Ave and noticed a man parked directly across the sidewalk was watching me from his car. I realized after a minute that he was touching himself, and eventually saw that he wasn’t wearing pants. I tried to get a picture of him (included) but people were walking by so he stopped. He continued after they passed so I got up to leave. I tried also to get a picture of his license plate but he drove away quickly when I got up. He was an older white man wearing a yellow reflective safety vest in a bright blue pick-up truck with a construction rack in the bed and Maryland plates.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Story, Verbal

Sara’s Story: degraded in the middle of the day

I walked out on my lunch hour a block away to get something to eat. On my way there, I heard several “kissy” noises coming from my right side. I turned to see a delivery man walking right beside me and staring at me. As soon as I turned to him, I gave him a look of disgust to show him those noises were not welcome. He was just happy to have gotten my attention at all and followed up with “HI!”

This made me feel disgusting and totally degraded in the middle of the day. Immediately after I walked away, I wished I had some something to him about how inappropriate that was. It made me feel icky and gross. I came back to work and told a friend (girl) about the situation, and she made me feel worse by telling me its not a big deal and she loves it when she gets compliments in the street, but “to each their own” and then she refused to engage in any further discussion on the matter. I feel awful! If women can’t get on the same page about this, how can we ever hope that street harassment will stop?

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