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I live in a city, and I deal with street harassment on almost a daily basis, but I recently experienced a situation worse than usual. I was walking alone downtown around midnight on a Friday night. There were no other people around. I hear yelling from behind me, “I want to f*** the s*** out of your a**!” and other similarly sexually explicit/aggressive statements. I started to freeze up and panic inside, but refused to turn around and look. I followed my typical course of action (now a reflex out of practice): Refuse eye contact and keep walking until you are a safe distance away.
This didn’t work. The yelling grew gradually closer and louder. The voices became threatening: “You need to look at me when I’m talking to you!” and “You know you want this!” followed by more yelling of what they wanted to do to me.
I finally was able to see my harassers without turning around; it was several guys in a car. They left as I approached a less deserted/more populated intersection.
This can’t be explained away as a compliment, a joke, or drunken stupidity. I can’t be accused of dressing provocatively; I was simply a young woman walking alone.
A man stalked me around the front of King Soopers when my car broke down around 3am. I was in the lobby calling anyone I could think of who was awake to try and help me, when he sat on the bench next to to where I was standing and started masturbating. After ignoring him and walking across the lobby, he followed me and asked if I would like to have sex in the bathroom. All of this was on camera – after complaining to night manager, no action taken. The man left after I faked a 911 call!
saturday 17 march 2014
A man came to me and proposed to me a bag of candy. He had a scary face. I didn’t accept it because the man was strange . I walked and he follow me but I went into a coffee shop and ordered a drink and saw the man in the window
I was very afraid to be in the street alone at night.
It happend one day I left work, when I was walking back home.
I was waiting for the subway, when I realized that one weird man was looking at me.
I had this strange feeling with that man and I forbide myself to look at him. I decided to ignore him.
Then came the subway, I came in and I saw the same man sitting next to me. I had two stations until my place.
At the next station I decided to get out of the subway and wait an other one. What I realized when I was waiting for the subway is that the weird man get out too and he was waiting like me.
I was pretty sure the guy followed me. Another subway arrived and I went in. I get out at my station (the same guy behind me). I was scared. Right outside the subway station, I saw three persons who seem to be my age, I ran to them and I asked them to pretend to be people I knew. To feel safe with a group. I looked at the weird guy and he saw that I was with people, he smiled at me and he went back into the subway station.
I was walking to class when I reached the 12th and Jefferson bus stop. Two men were blockig the sidewalk behind the bus stop shelter, and there was a crowd of people in front of it. I walked by and they immediately started looking me up and down, whistling, making gross kissing noises, and catcalling. No one said anything. I looked at them and said “don’t talk to me.” One started to follow me to class and I called the campus public safety. I was victim-blamed for being “a beautiful woman.”
While jogging, I was video tapped, cat called and followed for about 10 minutes. Infuriating!!
This is an old story. This is not new. Still, I think it is important people know what happens in a “quaint tourist town.”
I was 11 the first time I was wolf whistled at while walking in town. I didn’t even have boobs.
I was walking home from school at the age of 15, dressed in baggy clothes, when an old man kept circling the block. He later followed me and my friends to a grocery store.
I was walking home from work as a waitress at the age of 16, when I had a man in his 40s slow his car down and ask me “How much for a party?” He refused to leave me alone and refused to believe I wasn’t a prostitute until a cop car came by.
I was with my partner at the time and we were outside a grocery store. My partner was upset at the time and I was comforting her (hugging, kissing, etc.). I had noticed a car was circling the parking lot waiting for someone but they kept driving past us and after a while they kept saying, “Kiss her!” and smiling with other remarks I could not hear. It was very uncomfortable.
This happened several years back, but unfortunately I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a beautiful summers day, about 2 pm – broad daylight. I had gone to the local bookstore to buy a book & then the corner store for a large fountain drink. At that point I started the mile or so walk back home.
About 1/2 way home a car full of idiots slows down & pulls along side me.
“what ya reading sexy?” I say nothing, keep walking.
“why you gotta be that way? I just want to know what you’re reading?” (um, cause it’s your business how?)
“Is it the Kama Sutra?” (um, no, not even close)
The creeps in the car are all clearly pleased with this “clever” guess.
“You don’t need no book for that, I’ll teach you mami!”
More hooting & hollering & one of them even (I kid you not) barks like a dog.
“1st thing I’d do is rip off that sundress & suck your tits”
Ok, I’m done, I turned around, darted behind the car, quickly crossed the street & started walking in the opposite direction hoping they’d just drive on.
No such luck, the car makes a U-turn & pulls alongside me again. “why you gotta leave, I’m just telling you about your book honey?” (WHAT!?!)
“yeah, he was just getting to the good parts”
& so on & so forth…. it was pretty vulgar & disgusting. I’m walking down the street & this car of assholes is literally stalking me & hurling filthy obscenities.
I still haven’t said anything at this point, but I am FURIOUS!!!! These 4 knuckle dragging pigs are having the time of their lives & NOT ONE OF THEM cared how I might have felt. I’m walking down the street minding my own business & I have to deal with this!?!
At that point something in me snapped. I took my fountain drink (which still had quite a bit in it) & threw it through the open car window as hard as I could. It hit the drivers side headrest hard, the lid came off & pop “exploded” everywhere.
It was a satisfying feeling UNTIL the string of profanities & threats came. For the 2nd time that day I turned directions & ran the other way. I heard a car door shut & assumed 1 of them had jumped out of the car. I was terrified, but as luck would have it a police car turned onto the street headed in my direction. The cops stopped & the car of creeps took off super quickly.
The cops didn’t really do anything about the guys, but they did make sure I got back ok, which I was grateful for.
To this day there are 3 things I don’t know.
1. Did someone somehow see what was happening & call the cops for me, which is why they turned down that street, or did I just luck out? I didn’t think to ask at the time & they didn’t say.
2. Why did the creeps just take off like that? W/4 of them they could have ganged up on me & said they just asked for directions & I “went Crazy” & threw the drink at them. But they didn’t. Did they know what they did was just that wrong? Or were there some sort of outstanding warrants or other reasons they didn’t want to deal with the cops?
3. What would have happened to me if the cops hadn’t of turned on that street?
The only thing I do know for sure is that I didn’t deserve ANY of that. Nobody has the right to talk to another person like that & make them feel as terrible as I did.
While walking through the downtown arts district, on my way to get a sandwich, a man started walking very close to me. He asked me if he could follow me. I ignored him. He asked if I was afraid of him and said that most girls are. He continued to follow me for a few more blocks, asking if he could touch my dimples. Ew. Finally he gave up and walked away. This is only one experience of dozens I’ve had with street harassment on this block.