Stalking, Verbal

Dani’s Story: “Alarm bells went off in my head”

This incident happened around 5pm on 1st September 2015. It occurred outside building 51 opposite to Dracula’s.
I was just exiting RMIT Building 51 after finishing up some coursework , and was heading to the parking lot below building 51 to get my bicycle when I witnessed a man yelling at a cab driver. Thinking it was over a fare dispute (He was making a commotion about money, punching the car window on the driver’s passenger side), I ignored the affair until the said man stopped yelling and followed me into the carpark, attempting to proposition me for sex, saying he “Would give me money”. Alarm bells went off in my head, so I did the best Death Metal yell I could muster to stall him as he already showed that he could get physical, and it worked, thanks to the acoustics of the building.
Taken aback, he begun to avoid me, but decided to showcase his machismo by trying to confront and follow me again, this time raising his voice and shouting.
Frustrated, as I thought he would leave me alone like other creeps I experienced in the past, I turned around to have a good look at him while formulating an exit plan, and reached into my pocket for my student i.d that would unlock the bicycle cage. I intended to lock myself in the bike cage until he left, and considered using my bike lock (A U-lock) as a weapon if needed.
Fortunately, after having a good look at him and memorising his physical traits, he avoided me and took to an unlit corner of the parking lot and stayed there, allowing me to get safely into the bike cage without being locked in with him.
A short while later, two other cyclists showed up and I notified them of the man and what he did. The man left quickly.
Sadly, I do not have a picture of the man as I thought it was unsafe to retrieve my phone, due the constant state of vigilance I needed to exercise in the situation.
Many thanks for reading this, and I hope it will help you stay safe.

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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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Stalking, Verbal

I just want to get groceries

A man snuck up behind me when I was putting some vegetables in my cart. He was probably in his 50s. Goes “You know how to make those taste real good, girly?” Very close to me and blocking my cart. I said, “What?” Trying to figure out what to say next. He repeated himself without the “girly”, so I told him I roast them. He tried to keep talking so I politely told him I needed to finish shopping so I could go back to work, and backed up when he didn’t move out of my way. He followed me and continued to talk, and I only lost him when he wanted me to follow him down one aisle and I went the other way without saying anything. I left immediately and kept looking over my shoulder because I was afraid he would come up behind me again. I was in a public place so I was probably fine, but still not fun to feel like you’re being followed.

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Stalking, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: Unwanted Attention

After opening with “hey, are you afraid of Black guys?” I should’ve seen it coming – the man kept talking to me even after clear signals that I wasn’t interested. He opted to follow me across the Hopscotch bridge instead of going up North Capitol like which is where he said he was headed. He kept saying “C’mon” as though I was following him. Finally I turned to him and said, “look, I’m tired and I don’t want to talk to you. I’ve had a long day at work and I’m angry that you don’t understand that I don’t want to talk to you. Leave me alone.” Maybe the twinge of hysteria in my voice is what made him give up and finally leave. I was so shaky that I called a friend in my way across the bridge.

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Stalking, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: Are you married?

Two men approached me from across the street while I was walking. They followed me for half a block, commenting on my looks, and asking if I was married or had a boyfriend. I ignored them and they stopped as soon as I was near other pedestrians.

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flashing, Stalking

Flashed on my commute

I experience incidents everyday during my commute to the city. Some are “smaller” incidents like a man breathing in my face or holding his phone in an unusual position to photograph me and some are more serious incidents like being touched inappropriately. A few years ago, I experienced one of the more serious incidents. I was sitting on the train and reading something and didn’t notice that a man was standing in front of me. After I looked up from what I was reading, I noticed that his pants were unzipped and he was flashing me. I was shocked; I had never experienced anything like that and I thought I must have been mistaken. But when I looked again, I saw that I wasn’t wrong. At that point, the other people sitting next to me, including a middle aged man and a young woman, got up from their seats and began to move away. I wasn’t just shocked that I was being harassed, I was shocked that no one thought to help. Not one person who got up thought to tell me that someone was harassing me and not one of them tried to help. When I noticed that everyone had stood up, I stood up too and moved away. But he followed and I was too shocked to move to a different car. I still remember what he looks like and what he was wearing.

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Stalking

“Are you following me?”

One evening I was walking in downtown and I noticed this car was going straight, then turned and a man got out- he clearly was following me and I yelled “Are you following me?!” he said that he just wanted to talk to me. I yelled at him to stop following me and he kept walking after me once he saw that I got on my phone he stopped and went back. The fact that this man went completely out of his way to follow me was scary!

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Stalking, Story, Verbal

Emma’s Story: Scary experience

I was walking to class at about 8:45AM on Annie Glidden road and Stadium Drive, and a bigger man named John with dirty blondish hair, and short beard followed me to Graham Hall, and made gross comments about my body, “oh, look at that chick in the blue sweatshirt. She has some hot curves.” I started to walk faster, and then at the light near Graham, I turned around and saw him. He was the same shit stain that harassed me in Neptune dining hall a couple of times last year. He and his other shit face buddy gave me creepy looks, and John (shit stain) said, “Hello, miss. Why don’t you come with us.” Last year, I told him to leave me alone, but today, he followed me and did that. I barely know him, and I got scared… All I could say was “Why don’t you fuck off?!”, then I ran to my class. It was surprising that he remembered me. I wish I could have gotten a picture of him, but I couldn’t. A police report was filed. They said they couldn’t find him, but I could call the authorities if he bothers me again. I just hope he leaves me alone. I was wearing a blue courtoroy jacket that did not show anything, black pants, and “mom shoes”. I am 20 years old.

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Stalking, Story

Heather’s Story: “Thank god for tampons”

I’m a server, at a small family owned restaurant. I love it, but the hours are so crazy sometimes. I typically get out after midnight. This night in particular I had to stop by Kroger on the way home to grab some tampons and groceries. No big deal. But as I was walking down the bread isle, some guy crosses my path and doubles back. He’s around my age. Frat guy looking. And I’m thinking “okay here we go.” So he keeps pace behind me. Doesn’t say anything. So I’m like “well maybe he’s forgotten something ahead and I’m being paranoid.” No. He follows me down several isles. He pretends to look at things as I continue to shop. He hasn’t even picked anything up. He doesn’t have a cart or a basket. So I start to get weirded out. Then I guess he musters up the courage to talk to me, so he says “having a good night, darlin?” And it’s so freaking creepy. He’s not even making eye contact with me, just staring at my body like I’m meat on the grill. So I’m like “I was, creep.” And I turn and walk away. This I guess, pisses him off. So he follows me in a huff and I can hear him muttering to him self “bitch” so I decide, ‘you know, I really need a giant box of tampons and pads.’ So I turn down the feminine hygiene isle. I guess he realizes where he is, and is disgusted, so he turns around and leaves. I made sure I had a manager walk me to my car. Thank god for tampons.

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Stalking, Story, Verbal

Miriam’s Story: “I hid so he wouldn’t be able to tell where I live…”

I am an avid yogi and I work hard to make it to yoga class every day with my busy schedule. I was so excited when I moved into the city within walking distance from my yoga studio. I usually walk the 5 minutes to class then walk home when it’s over, still in my yoga clothes. Apparently me wearing yoga pants is an invitation for men to comment on my most blessed attributes. Two days ago I was walking home from class when about 3 blocks from my house a white car drove up next to me, rolled down the side window and said “damn girl look at that ass”. I ignored them as I always do… the car drove down the block, turned around at the round about and rolled past me again, “ASS all day!”. He did this turn around/drive-by and yell thing about 6 times before I ended up running the last block home. I hid in the alley behind my house so that he wouldn’t be able to tell where I live and I cried. I now drive the 7 blocks to my yoga studio everyday out of fear that the same man or someone else might take it even further than that.

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