Stalking, Verbal

Why we need the “I’ve got your back” campaign: Blue’s story

This was before I heard about Hollaback on the news awhile back but here’s my story. I was on my way to the train station after getting out of class. When I was going up the escalator to the ticket booth I saw a man going down the stairs to my left who was starring at me. I tried not to notice and looked up at the ticketing booth hoping he’d keep moving the opposite direction. He said something along the lines of don’t you look nice, in which I smugly responded with a thanks… I would have just ignored it, however I’ve dealt with too many instances in the past where I ignore the catcalls and they then proceed to follow me. I was hoping in this case that it would deter that type of interaction. Wrong. He then turned around on the stairs and began walking up along side of me. I then proceeded to ignore him and look away in disgust. The filth that was pouring out of him mouth was unbelievable, detailing the things he’d do to me and his lewd comments about my body that made my flesh crawl. I told him to leave me alone but he pressed on. He stood next to me as I was waiting in line for the automated ticket machine to open up. It wasn’t late at night, there was light pouring through the windows. There were a number of people waiting in the train station lobby that were viewing the interaction, but yet I felt alone. The pervert then propositioned us to go into the bathroom together and I was speechless that he had the audacity to suggest such a thing. I wanted to use harsh words but I was afraid that if I did if it would prompt him to attack me, and if everyone would just watch that as well. I stormed off to the man that was at the ticket counter, where finally the scumbag left me alone. I told one of my male friends what happened, and he interjected with…”well what were you wearing?”. That was almost as offensive as everything that I just went though. What a rotten day.

The time has come for people to stop standing there, watching, and judging when they see others being stalked and harassed. To make sure Blue’s story never happens again, and to build a world where we all have each other’s backs, donate today.

5 comments 
Stalking, Verbal

Momo’s Story: Planned Protocol Doesn’t Stop Harassment

I was coming back home from a friend’s house at around midnight. I always make sure to pause my iPod whenever I’m walking home by myself, so that I’m completely aware of my surroundings. I had even thought numerous times of what I would do if someone were to follow me home…but nothing prepared me to the reality of hearing foot steps and the fear of knowing that I was actually being followed.
I had seen him at a distance, walking drunkenly across the street, then turning right where I needed to turn. I lost sight of him, and thought “I’m almost home, just this one block…” but then there he was.
He sees me. He crosses the street towards me. My hoodie is up, and I’m wearing the biggest sweatpants I own. I’m thinking, “This guy cant even possibly make up my shape or features in this…”
I’m barely breathing at this point, completely aware that he is following me, I follow my “planned” protocol. I turn and look at him square in the eye, pulling down my hoodie with confidence and giving him a clear “What the hell are you doing?” look.
I turn back and walk faster…I’m almost home…
He is still following me. He starts demanding for my phone. I say I don’t have one, but I’m gripping it tightly in my pocket, just in case I have to hit him in the head with it. He keeps yelling at me and I panic. I start running. HE RUNS AFTER ME! At this point I’m completely terrified.
Then he cuts me off right in front of the stairs leading to my door, keeping me from going in and yells at me “Give me your phone!”
I see the light is on inside my house and yell “HELP!”. My boyfriend and sister come out almost immediately, and the guy starts threatening my boyfriend. I find a way around this guy and run up the stairs as my boyfriend kicks the guy square in the chest and runs back up to see if I’m alright.
I don’t know if the guy just walked away after that, cause I went in to call the cops and wouldn’t dare look out the window. A police report was filed, even though they said ‘this was probably just some crazy guy, following a pretty girl’ story.
Unfortunately/Fortunately, I am 1,000 times more aware of how men on the street look at me now. In the past week after the incident, I have been followed once, and harassed on the bus/street daily. While I could have responded with more courage before this incident, now I feel (I hate* to admit it) but I feel vulnerable.
I found your website in search of answers on how to deal with this. But just writing what happened helps!

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flashing, Stalking, Verbal

Mia’s Story: The Children’s Section

So over the years I must have hundreds of stories of sexual harassment, catcalling, stalking ect. However I only have one story that truly haunts me, probably because it’s the most disgusting I’ve ever experienced.
When I was in 6th grade, my friend and I went to the library to do a school project. We didn’t have to do it at the library but I guess we just enjoyed the thrill of feeling old and cool being somewhere without our parents. Anyways, my friend and I were wondering around the library browsing through the shelves and giggling when we see an boy much older than us (I’m assuming he was 19-20..we were only like 12) We noticed him following us but brushed it off, thinking we were imagining it. However when we kept seeing him all over, we both started getting panicky. At one point he was right next to us, mouthing sexual comments. We still were in shock and had no idea what to do. We told the librarian but she was totally clueless and brushed it off. After seeing us go to the librarian, he backed off, which gave us time to run back up to the chidren’s section and call my mother. She called us when she was outside but we were too petrified to come outside (we’d have to walk down two fights of stairs alone.) Seconds later, she came running up. We explained what had happened and she calmly escorted us out of the building. Once we get outside.. who do we see? The creep from earlier. What shocked me the most was how it didn’t even phase him my mother was with us. He continued to stare us down and then he lifted up his baggy shirt and exposed himself. I believe his penis was out the whole time but had managed to concealed it. This guy honestly exposed himself to two 12 year olds and a parent right in front of a public library! Absolutely disgusted and petrified my mother called the police and we filed a report. We never heard of anything happening with the creep and the police didn’t seem to think there was anything they could do since it was “he said she said”, so he got off the hook. Needless to say, I never returned to that library. I still wonder if I was the only girl that happened to..

3 comments 
groping, Stalking

Melissa’s Story: Standing your ground

I was walking home from work along N. Rampart. I was talking on my phone to my mother and munching on an apple. I noticed a younger guy walking slightly closer than normal to me along the same route. As we were the only people walking on the street I turned my head towards him, nodded and smiled in a greeting. He didn’t really respond. I continued walking and talking to my mother (from Canal St.). He was on my left side about 5ft away, slightly behind me. It was mid-afternoon with lots of traffic so I assumed it was just an uncomfortable coincidence that we happened to be walking down the same street at the same time. Then we reach my turn (St. Phillips) and I make my turn left and suddenly he was MUCH closer than I thought and I nearly bumped into him. I was startled and looked up quickly and said “sorry” and kept going. A few steps later I felt a hand grab my entire ass and dig into my anus and kind of hang on. I jumped and turned around there he was, smiling at me. He couldn’t have been more than 14. I yelled at him “what the fuck are you doing.  What makes you think that is okay.”  He got kind of pissed off and turned to leave but I was MAD! He couldn’t just get away with that! I rocketed my apple into the back of his head where the apple split open. -ooooh was he pissed. He turned around and I suddenly noticed how much bigger, stronger and faster he was than me. Shit. but I couldn’t give in and now he was pacing back and forth having picked up 1/2 of my apple and staring angrily at me so I just looked back. I knew if I looked away or tried to get away he would come after me for revenge and I would be done for. So I just looked back at him and asked him why he thought that type of behavior was acceptable. After a few more moments he turned and left. I called my 911 and reported it, then called my mom back and continued home. I saw him on the same street a few more times. He was always menacing.

no comments 
Stalking

Virginia’s story: Trust your instincts

Day One: I was on the bus and the bus stops near my home, but I had to cross the street to first get home. Many people got off the bus with me, and were walking in the same direction as me. I thought it was unusual that one guy stop and motioned for me to go ahead of him just so he could blow his nose. I crossed the street (he didn’t) and walked as slowly as I could because I suspected he could be watching me to see where I live. I kept looking behind me and eventually hid behind my neighbors car to make sure he was out of sight and could not see me. I thought I might be paranoid but better to be safe.

Day Two: Not exactly the day after but close by… on the same bus, the same guy. I see this guy get on the bus. Doesn’t immediately occur to me who he is(I see a lot of the same faces on the bus). He gets on a few stops before my stop. I find it unusual that he gets off at my stop when I’ve only seen him twice at this stop(Wouldn’t I have noticed by now if he lived around here?) and that he would get on just to get off (not even near a store) I walk slowly once again and turn around to make sure he is out of sight.

It also later occurred to me(as I had tried to remember his appearance) that he seemed to fit the description of a guy my sister had had problems with a while back. This guy had went to our brother(noticing that they were related after seeing them in the parking lot) to ask for her number. Both descriptions were somewhat short guy in a baseball hat and hoodie.

I think this guy has a childlike mental disorder and doesn’t have very good boundaries. I don’t see, at least for now, any violent or forceful intentions.

no comments 
public masturbation, Stalking

Meg’s Story: No means no. Period.

I was driving home the morning after a really fantastic party at a girlfriend’s house. On my trip a cute guy in a truck passed me. We made eye contact and both smiled and started sort of interacting on the highway. We pulled over and said hello and he more or less asked me to hook up with him. I was completely offended, rejected him outright, got back in my car, and drove away. He quickly caught up with me. I couldn’t lose him. He mouthed words and gestured to let me know he was masturbating. It was disgusting the way he was leering at me while stalking me down the road. It still makes my skin crawl; I can’t remember what he looked like but I remember clearly the way he looked, if that makes sense.

no comments 
homophobic, Stalking, Verbal

Rachel’s Story: Your bullying is filthy business, and I want no part of it

Two episodes of aggressive, shitty street harassment.

First, outside the Blue Line, this big mean looking dude took off his too-dark shades, wolf-whistled, and started walking towards me. To which I responded “can I fucking HELP YOU?” To which he responded with lots of mean aggressive things (including, but not limited to, calling me a fat bitch and using lots of homophobic slurs). And I just started walking away quickly. Fortunately he didn’t follow me into the train station.

Next, on my way home and right on that same street, some dude did that weird catcall that sounds like they’re calling a dog from his car. I, learning from my earlier lesson, didn’t get aggressive in response and instead just meanmugged as he drove past. He apparently took that as an invitation because he circled the fucking block in his red pick up truck and eventually ended up driving along side me, resuming his catcalling.

This is the point wherein I lost it. I flicked him off and started screaming about he can go to hell and should suck my dick. My face was bright red and I was gesturing aggressively at his car. It was like I was fucking possessed.

Then I saw him do what looked like he was starting to leave his car and it snapped me back to my senses. Fortunately it was a hell of busy street in the middle of the afternoon and all I had to do was walk slowly towards a group of people.

I don’t think that he actually got out of his car but I sure as hell felt weird going home. I actually got into my car and drove around for a bit before I went into my apartment. I know that I’m safe now but my heart is still pounding. I’m so mad, I’m so upset, I feel actually physically dirty.

no comments 
Stalking, Verbal

M’s Story from Connecticut: Harassment ruins a good day

Hi. I am a pre-op transsexual woman, and I have lived in West Hartford for over 11.5 years. I have been ‘out’ since May of 2006, and have worn women’s clothing 100% of the time since then. My life has been about transition since coming out.

Some people read me as ‘guy wearing women’s clothing,’ and other people read me as ‘woman,’ or ‘girl,’ it is hard to tell.

I am writing because I read about this website in Marie Claire earlier this afternoon, and was catcalled at about 2:10 pm today not very far from where I live. The people who catcalled me were roofers working on someone’s house. I was walking down the street, which I do quite often, and I was starting to feel good on my walk. I had just passed a woman who was on a bicycle and she smiled and said hello to me. I started to feel better and was going over my thoughts in my head when I looked across the street to my right, and there was a man staring at me. I quickly looked away, but not before they had seen me and I heard a loud yell from one of the roofers on the roof, responding to me. I tried to get a gauge of the situation but I could not, there were three or four of them and I wanted to look away and get out of there. I felt lower energy after they catcalled me and had a frown on my face. Before they did that I was smiling and I felt good about myself. West Hartford is a very negative energy place, and there are lots of these types of people around here. I usually avoid them, but I cannot always.

I had an experience a week ago Friday, as well.

I was coming out of the salon, where I had just gotten my haircut, and I had had a very good appointment. I walked about 30 feet down the street and I heard someone from the corner of my awareness say ‘Hi Sweetheart.’ I knew immediately that it was a deadbeat in a truck, and so I didn’t look. He then moved his truck closer and I heard him say ‘Hi Sweetie.’ I looked, and he had his window rolled down and had slowed down to do this to me, and I gave him the finger. He seemed to feel some sense of fulfillment, then he went on his way.

I have been catcalled by young girls on that street, as well.

I have also had a young girl take my photo, as well.

I have had truckers honk their horns, a man shout from his pickup truck in a busy Blue Back Square, men who were working for the town whistle at me across the street, a man catching my attention to blow kisses at me from his pickup truck, and I have had a man stalking me in his van in Avon, CT.

These experiences leave me feeling unsafe, uncomfortable, nervous, frightened and scared, and I often will have difficulty sleeping at night after an experience like these, depending on the severity and the situation.

I rarely seek help with these experiences, although I do talk in therapy, and often will talk with friends about it.

I feel as though I cannot control what these people do, so I try to ignore it.

Today I wondered if those men who had catcalled felt better after doing it, or worse. I know that I would feel terrible if I did to someone what they did to me. I know that I felt slightly less after they did that to me than I did a split second before they did, so it confuses me as to why these men do this.

I can only hope that men like this will become obsolete over time, and have to either change their ways or be outcast themselves.

I would like to see catcalling, bullying, ridiculing or otherwise verbally harassing someone = mandatory 2 years in jail.

Thank you for the ability to write this information.

no comments 
Stalking

Open Letter To Hollaback’s Number One Fan-Troll

Dear Jackson Heights Chachi, internet troll, chicaschicas2, bungabunga, chaci1, genius at IP address 24.199.90.55 and 208.120.22.197 (did you move or get new internet service in December?)

While we realize that you’re probably very lonely and angry, we’re beginning to become a little concerned for your wellbeing.

Maybe you’re so wrapped up in trolling the internet and leaving insightful comments that you don’t realize it has become an obsession and it is probably eating away at your already diminished mental health.

Since December you’ve left close to 50 comments on various posts on our site, some of them only minutes apart, usually very late at night (but at all times of day, really) when you should be sleeping soundly or out having fun with friends. And while we have published none of them, you continue to leave them. They offer such contributions to society and progressive social thought as:

“I touched ma ass. I’m turning myself in. Where do I go to get my brain enema?”

“endonde esta el bathroom? I need to do caci! Muchas gracias!”

“Chicas? Where can I find Lulu’s international house of chicas?”

“someone touched my peepee on the train. can you help me?”

“Got my rub on with my cat. Pass it on. I look at a girl’s booty on the train and now I’m full of guilt and remorse so flagellated myself while at the same time passing gas. It was awful. Pass it on.”

“Men of America, if you’re not a buff and thick top man like myself and you can’t live without your fish, forget U.S. women, they are not worth all their bullshit. Go overseas asap. Trust me. Leave the women on these shores to bitch and moan with each other. Pass it on.”

“Chicas chicas”

“Don’t hate punk bitches. love, Don Juan poo poo pants.”

and of course, the Chachi classic:

“SAY NO TO FISH!”


Your sense of humor is truly charming, we imagine that’s why you’re at home thinking about fish and chicas so often.

We’ll be blocking your IP address so that even we can’t see your sweet sweet poetry (as you can understand, the redundancy is getting a little boring), but please seek help for yourself.

Thanks and good luck,

Hollaback

p.s. Say yes to fish!

3 comments 
Stalking, Verbal

Kate’s Story: You have NO right to yell at me

Last Friday after work I decided to go for a run, it was a cool evening and it was starting to rain, which quickly turned to sleet and then light snow. I was less than a 1/4 mile into my run when I heard yelling — my ipod was between songs, otherwise I might have missed the specifics of it. There was a guy (I am assuming high school age) leaning out the window of a car on the other side of the street who screamed out, “Nice ass………WHORE!!!!!!!!!” I have to be honest, it wasn’t just the words that upset me, it was also how he said it — there was anger in his tone, and it felt threatening.

I tried to shake it off as just a bunch of immature kids with poor judgment and kept running.

Maybe a mile later I was on Beacon St in Cambridge when the same car drove by me again with this guy again hanging out the window screaming at me — I had my ipod cranked up so I don’t know what he said but the tone was, again, unmistakably angry & threatening. I was freaked out that this was the 2nd time they’d driven by me, and I was getting into less residential neighborhoods where there were fewer people on the streets — I had visions of the next time they drove past me, what if they pulled over? got out of the car? pulled me into the car?? I decided to listen to my gut, cut my run short, and turn around & head back for more populated streets & home.

Unfortunately I was not wearing my glasses & did not get the license plate #. I am getting over this but had an anxiety dream about it Friday night that involved me being cornered by a large man and calling for help that never came. I remain disturbed by the fact that somewhere, somehow, the boys/men in that car learned that harassing & threatening a woman in this way is acceptable.

no comments 
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