I was followed around the downtown San Jose area by a large man wearing an oversized black hoodie, long black pants, black gloves, tennis shoes, and a gold Halloween mask that resembled the comedy mask on the symbol for theater. He followed me on a black bike, asking what my name was, where I lived, and if I eat cat food (I was wearing cat ears). He behaved erratically and may have been armed. Please keep an eye out for this individual.
A woman was walking west on King St. W., a major nightclub district in Toronto, on a Saturday night. She was walking west, about to cross Bathurst, when a man, walking east, approached her and said “Hi, my name is [his name which I didn’t catch],” then extended his hand to shake hers. Possibly out of habit, she shook his, but he held on and tried on some pick-up moves, and she, much like the cat in the Pepé Le Pew stories, struggled to release his grip as she obviously wanted to cross the street and get on with her night. I yelled out “Let her go! Let her go! Let her go! You don’t know her! Let her go!” and then, to anybody would would listen “Don’t ever do that!” Since someone was standing in between me and them, and to avoid collateral damage, I didn’t yell as loud as I could, which I later regretted.
After a few seconds, she managed to break free, and he went in a different direction. I “followed” him by staying a few meters ahead of him, looking back to see if he was still going the same way as me, and promising to myself I’d intervene if he tried to do it again, but also to see if I could be able to describe him later. (The best I could come up with when talking to a friend about it was “he wore a white sports jacket, and a black shirt.”)
I was a little tipsy from the two beers I had earlier in the night (so I wasn’t sure where my bravery was coming from), and all of a sudden, right after the encounter, I had a heightened fear response, so I crossed the street, something I also regret doing. Even so, I tried tracking him from across the street, but realized later that it might have been a similarly-dressed guy (who was walking a dog, and with what looked to be a woman friend of his). It feels silly that I feared for my physical safety when there were so many people around, and it also feels silly that the only tool I felt I had at the time was to yell at him. Ineffectively?
I’d love to be a more involved bystander than I was that night, and would love to know what to look for, to notice street harassment more. It pains me that I’m blind to it after reading the undeniable stories of it, and if I notice it more, I want to be able to do something about it.
I was walking my dog at 10pm at night in the rain. Man yells at us to get off his property and starts calling me a bitch. I said I was not in his property and it’s a public side walk. I kept walking and he came out and hollered at me more. Every other word out of his mouth was bitch. He stood in the sidewalk and put his hands on his hips. Older white male at least 60 years old. I said I was going to video tape if he kept it up but it was raining and I just wanted to get the hell away. He also asked where I live. Unfortunately I live very close and know I’ll see him again.
Just now I was waling home and as I went through the lobby a man followed me in. Not recognising him I asked him what floor he was going to, he replied 4th and walked into the lift with me. As he walked out of the lift he tried to kiss my breasts and I stabbed him in the neck with my fingernail. I was so enraged I nearly walked out to try and beat him up but luckily my flight response kicked in and he didn’t try to follow me further.
It was my mothers birthday and we went to go get our eyebrows done at the mall. While my mom was waiting to get her brows done she realized she had forgotten her phone in the car. The mall wasn’t one we were familiar with or came to frequently (we just heard good reviews for the brow art).She asked me if I’d be okay walking to the car by myself and I told her it was no problem. On my way out of Macy’s there were these two guys just standing there, I vaguely remember seeing one out of the corner turn his head as I walked passed him into the parking lot. I got to the car and finished grabbing the phone and an older lady was waiting for me, she said that if those two guys were murdered they would have killed me (they were apparently leering very openly). Being only 14 (I’m tall for my age) I was freaked out because after the lady told me that, I looked up and saw that the 2 guys were standing right by my car. I’m so grateful that the lady saw that, waited for me and walked me back inside the mall. That experience was very scary, till this day I can’t understand why they followed me all the way to my car in the parking lot and it’s scary just thinking about what could have happened if it weren’t for that kind woman, no woman/young girl should ever be made that uncomfortable.
This summer, I decided to make a commitment to be a bit more fitter in my lifestyle. As a result, I have been running about 5 times a week at a large park near my town. On this particular day, I was exhausted and decided walk the entire loop of the park. As I strolled the pathway with headphones in, a tall man yelled something to me while walking towards my direction. I proceeded to take out my headphones and must have looked startled because he asked the question again with his unintelligible thick accent. He then pointed to his ring finger and asked if I was married. He kept following me as I walked the long path and stated that he has seen me run several times. During our conversation, he not only pressured me to come live with him in Jamaica, he asked me to marry him and exchange phone numbers. To be honest, I have never thought of myself as attractive and was never really given attention if I walked down a street. I never thought I would ever be harassed in such a place only because I had this preconception that Americans generally were not interested in Asians like me. This interaction, however, made me very scared and opened my eyes to the harrassment women have to endure on a daily basis.
My fiance and I have been sitting in the emergency room for over an hour and these two assholes have been nonstop staring/scowling at us like we’re zoo animals. We live in Illinois, so it’s not exactly uncommon, but it’s still unsettling and uncomfortable. Can’t wait to move out of this place.
A couple weeks ago I was followed home in the most aggressive manner I have ever experienced. Let me first set the scene by noting that I have already been dealing with a peeping tom at my house for over a year now, and despite my numerous calls to the police, reaching out to several of my neighbors and asking them to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior, and my own personal two dog security system, I haven’t felt at ease in my own home in longer than I can remember. Nowhere is safe. But thats not the story here.
I host at a restaurant in San Francisco, and on this particular Tuesday night the restaurant was DEAD, and I was sent home at around 6. It being a sunny beautiful day I decided to walk the 30 min walk from the BART station to my house. About 5 blocks away from my home a beat up white KIA pulled up to the sidewalk just ahead of me and a strange man tried to call out an offer for a ride. I ignored his offer and kept walking, didn’t even look his way. He turned the car around, and tried again. And again. And again. He circled around three times for every block I walked, yelling more and more insensitive offers, turned forceful demands. I never once looked his way. Eyes forward I walked, but I knew just where he was at all times, he made it clear he wasn’t going away that easily.
5 blocks of this until I turned on to the street before my own street and he was still there. I started to feel panicked. I did not want to give the man the power of knowing where I lived. I was minutes away from my already unsafe house, and he showed no signs of letting up.
But now I was in my neighborhood, passing the man that I smile at nearly every day as I walk past him people watching on his porch, and just a few houses down from two other men working on their car in the driveway. I finally felt like the odds were stacked a little more in my favor. In all honesty the men probably would have done nothing to help me, but all I could tell myself was at least there were 3 other people around that could witness this part of the incident.
As the KIA pulled over for its grand finale I grabbed a large rock from the yard adjacent to me, and yelled over the man, as loud as I could. Finally there were at least people around to hear me. I screamed out to the man, told him if he turned his car around one more time, or tried to speak one more foul word to me I would hurl this rock directly through his windshield. And sure enough, he circled around one more time, only this time he never stopped. He sped right past me, and headed back to whatever shit hole it was he came from.
I was walking home from class in the afternoon. I always have to walk by the alley next to a junk and trinket store. I walked by with headphones on, and 3 guys on mopeds shouted at me. I ignored them, turned off my headphones volume to hear them. One guy shouted louder, I ignored him, and walked faster. I rounded a corner, and all three started following me, on bike and shouting at me to ‘join them for some fun’ from the road, I sped-walked toward this convenience store where I knew the owner, and they got mad, calling me every slur in the book. Eventually, I ran to get inside because the moped guys chased after me into the lot still screaming. I waited inside for a bit, cause they were still in the parking lot, shakily bought a soda when they left, and ran to my apartment, checking every street in case they came back.
Yesterday, I was sitting in Westgarth on High Street, at the 86 tram stop at around 6pm, waiting for my tram after seeing an inspirational movie at Westgarth Cinema, feeling great. There were a couple of people at the stop, but plenty of room to sit. A large, bald man, mid-forties came up to my seat and sat so close, falling so heavily next to me, he nearly sat on top of me. I flinched and moved away immediately along the seat to the side, annoyed someone was invading my space so rudely. He then noisily moved towards me again, and put a drink he was carrying down between us, lightly brushing my upper thigh. He was staring at me intently all the time and then started making low, moaning noises.
This all happened in a couple of seconds, like in slow motion. I stood up abruptly and angrily glared at him, then walked to the other end of the tram stop, very shaken and so furious someone had invaded my peaceful space to leer and moan, and make me feel so uncomfortable. I climbed onto the 86 tram and looked out for him, but thankfully did not see him at all.
On my way towards Northcote, at another tram stop, I heard a loud bang on my window. I looked up startled to see this man, standing outside the tram, staring at me through the window with his hand formed like a gun, pointing at my head, pulling the ‘trigger’. I was so shocked, and shaken and was a real mess by the time I got home – disgusted and angry. This kind of behaviour makes me feel sick. I resent being made to feel threatened and not safe inhabiting my own space, doing something as ordinary as catching a tram home after seeing a movie. Only one person on the tram asked me if I was ok, and said, ‘that guy could be dangerous, take care’.