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 
demonstration, Stalking

Jen’s story: Serenading Stalkers with F.U. Songs (love it!)

In the summer before my senior year of High School, my mother decided to host a party for her coworkers. Myself and my brothers were there to help watch the younger children, grill the hamburgers and hotdogs and my mother enlisted me to be the official ‘bartender’. The party was in full swing and going well when one of the night-shift nurses showed up with her two daughters and her husband. She pulled me off to the side and asked me to make her husband something very strong as he didn’t want to be at the party. So I made him a drink and took it over to where he was sulking by the pool and told him to drink it, “orders from your wife”. He laughed a bit and every once and a while would come up and ask for a refill before going back to where he was sitting.

A little while later, one of my brothers and I were watching the kids while they swam and I was teaching his daughters how use pool noodles as squirt guns, etc. I noticed him staring, but I didn’t think much of it. After we tired the kids out, my brother made them popcorn and put on a movie for them. While I was in the kitchen getting a soda he came up behind me, brushed my hair over my shoulder and creepily whispered to me that I was “really good with his girls”. This made me extremely uncomfortable, and I just made some weird noises and muttered “thanks”. His family and him all left not long after that, but that was not the end of it.

Around midnight, when the only people left at the party were some of the younger hospital workers without kids, he turned up again. My oldest brother came to the backyard and told me that there was some guy outside asking for me. I was very confused and thought it might’ve been one of my friends, so I walked out to the front of the house. When I saw who it was, I immediately felt scared and uncomfortable, so I called to my brother and asked him to stay close before going outside. He had driven to our house and was very obviously drunk and reeked of weed. He came up to me, well within my personal bubble and seemed very happy to see me. I didn’t understand most of what he said because it was all drunken slurs, but I do know that at one point he pulled a pipe out of his pocket and asked me if I wanted to go toke up with him in his truck. At this point I was rather fed up and I could see my brother looking very angry in the doorway, so I very pointedly told him that he had a wife and two children waiting for him at home, and even if he didn’t I wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot pole, and that he was far to drunk to drive and if he wanted me to call him a cab (all in a very sickly sweet voice). He got rather ticked off at my comment so he grabbed my arm and started to say something but my brother twisted his arm and threw him to the ground before he got anything out (my brother studies martial arts) and told the man to get “the fuck off our property before I blow a hole through you, and don’t touch my sister again”.

I later found out from my mother that he crashed on his way home and received a DUI, and he wife filed for a divorce not to long after (which I was very happy to hear, I didn’t think he belonged around children).

During that same summer I was driving one of my friends home late at night when some guys pulled up next to us. It was a hot night, so I had the windows rolled down, and they started to make rather lewd comments and gestures at us. The light turned green so I sped off and turned into a random neighborhood, but they followed us and honked their horn and flashed their lights at us constantly. I pulled back on to a main road and got stuck at another stop light when they pulled up next to us again and resumed yelling. So I switched the song and turned up my car speakers all the way and turned to them and began serenading them with this song (Another F.U. Song):

My friend burst out laughing and they tried to yell over the music, but I just turned it up more. They eventually gave up and sped off.

no comments 
demonstration, Stalking, Verbal

Catherine’s story: She’s a hollaback girl now!

Every morning, I take the city bus to school. The bus terminal near my apartment is pretty busy and it’s not uncommon for me to get verbally harassed by men while I’m there waiting for my bus. Because of this, I was trying to mind my own business the other morning when a man approached me. I had my ipod in when I noticed him coming directly towards me. I avoided looking at him, hoping he would leave me alone, but no such luck. The next thing I knew, he was standing way too close to me and was talking to me. I turned my ipod off and asked him what he had said. He started asking me questions about my ipod and then asked me how old I was. I told him I was 20 and he looked me up and down and said “Some pretty for only 20…” I started to text my friend hoping that if I ignored him he’d move away, but he didn’t. Each time I stepped away from him, he’d step closer again.I was starting to feel threatened so I walked away to the other side of the terminal, pretending to look at the bus schedule. The man followed behind me without hesitation. As I was looking at the schedule he started asking me what bus I was taking, I ignored him and walked away again, back where I had come from. He continued following me. I walked into an area with a larger group of people and he still followed me. He was still standing too close, and was looking me up and down my body. I was so creeped out and my heart was beating so fast. He had this look in his eye that told me there was something not right with him. I wanted to tell him to get away from me, but at the time I was so scared. I was worried that if I told him to leave he may react badly, I didn’t want to escalate the situation.
After what felt like a lifetime, but was really a few minutes, his bus came and he left. Shortly after, a friend of mine arrived and we got on the bus to go to school. On the bus, I told her what had happened and we got to comparing stories about the various times that men have harassed us and about how generally messed up our society is. During this conversation, the man sitting in front of us kept peeking around and looking at us. It was clear that he was eavesdropping. When he got off the bus, he walked by our window and stared at us, then licked his lips and winked as we drove away. We were completely taken aback. After everything he had probably just heard us say, he had the nerve to do that!
I thought about that morning for the rest of the day. I was angry at myself for giving someone else the power to make me feel scared. I was angry at myself for not standing up when I should have. I am constantly being harassed by men, and ignoring it obviously is not working for me. I’m done with keeping my head down and my mouth shut. From now on I WILL hollaback!

one comment 
Stalking, Verbal

Kristin’s Story: Perverted stalker

A couple years ago I was living in Victoria and was going downtown to meet a friend for a show. I was probably 17 at the time, but my round face, short stature and plain clothes made me look 14 tops. My dad intended to drive me straight to the theatre, but I was thirsty so I asked him to drop me off at 7-Eleven so I could get a drink (he was uncomfortable, but since I was only a few blocks away from where I was going, I told him I’d be fine). When I came out of the convenience store there was a creepy man loitering outside, staring at me.  He got fairly close and stepped in front of me, glaring unapologetically at my chest. He told me my “necklace” was pretty, and asked if he could get a closer look at it.  He kept inching closer and it was obvious he intended on touching/molesting me. I smiled politely (an instinctual reaction), said “no thanks”, and went on walking. As I walked away he continued asking me if he could take a closer look at my necklace, and once I’d put enough distance between us to deter him from talking to me, he continued to follow in silence. He stalked me for two blocks until I finally met up with my friend, then he left. I told my friend what had happened, and we awkwardly laughed about it before brushing it off and going on with our night.

I find it disturbing that someone would behave like this towards someone who was so obviously underage, and uninterested.

4 comments 
Assault, Stalking, Verbal

Furious’s Story: Suspension is not enough

I work in a college where there are young students, mainly between the ages of 14-23, largely from underprivileged backgrounds, council estates and disenfranchised areas. I work as a senior manager, always dress professionally in a suit, button up shirt, dark tights and low heels. I unfortunately am one of the youngest people in the organisation, despite my status as a senior manager.

I frequently have students catcalling me in the corridors, as I pass between meeting rooms. It is disgraceful if it happens once, but for it to happen constantly, despite my demure appearance is ridiculous. My policy (depending on how urgent my meetings are), is to deal with incidents then and there, professionally, using the student policies designed to support and protect staff.

Unfortunately, the last (and potentially worst) situation happened last week. I was not only catcalled in the corridor, but was followed back to my secluded office up the stairs by 3 male students, who cornered me in an office, making me feel as if I was a piece of dirt, a piece of meat- IN MY WORKPLACE.

After being chased up the stairs, I ran into the closest room, screamed, locked the door and called security straightaway. The students were inevitably suspended, but following an investigation, with findings that the male students had a good academic record, and no previous disciplinary sanctions and on the grounds that NO assault occurred, they were let off with a verbal warning.

I am furious, totally furious, and cannot face going back to a workplace that puts harassment above the safety of their staff.

I know that harassment in the street is common, but in the workplace, its deplorable and inexcusable.

Do I need to be raped before it becomes serious enough to be dealt with????

no comments 
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