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This guy at my church is constantly asking for hugs…and when he hugs me he squeezes me and says ummm ugh unnnnn. I hate this. I asked several deacons to speak to him along with telling my Pastor. This guy who was supposed to be a deacon himself eventually left the church. I feel bad that he is no longer a member but I do feel safer. Now we have another weirdo there and his brother is a known serial killer. He is always trying to help me and asking me questions out of just trying to get my attention. I always try to be pleasant and usually decline his offers of assistance. He is always persistent but I am always firm and tell him I do not need help. To all women who are having this issue….I will tell you that you need to keep your distance from men like this, because they have the potential to become extremely aggressive, disrespectful, untrustworthy and above all unpredictable. Never let your guards down and never be caught in a situation where you are alone with a person with this personality.
Submitted by Shelly La Mar
Okay. This isn’t exactly my story but it just HAS to be told purely for its awesomeness.
My sister, aged 19, was getting home one night from her boyfriend’s place, which is only about 15 minutes away, but since it was quite late she thought it better to wait at one of the bus stops instead.
Cue the creepy guy who followed her all the way to the bus stop and proceeded to leer and ask ‘How much?’ (for sex). What did my sister do? She pulled out a bread knife from inside her pocket, aimed it straight at this guy, accompanied by a pretty vicious sounding ‘FUCK OFF’. The dude backed right off, but not before muttering ‘bitch’ under his breath, according to my sister. Oh yes. As if he was the victim in this scenario.
I know that physical confrontation isn’t always the wisest thing to do in these situations but I’d be a damn liar if I said I wasn’t proud of my younger sister for holding her own!
Submitted by Melissa Y
Hi, my name is Caree and I’m a senior in high school. One weekend, I got off work late (maybe 11 pm or 12 am) and stopped by Kroger, a grocery store, on my way home.
After about 15 minutes of shopping, I realized that I kept seeing the same guy around, everywhere I went. I would turn around and there he would be, staring right at me. When I made eye contact with him, he looked away and acted like he was shopping. So I keep shopping, and this happens again about 3 or 4 more times.
After 10 minutes of shopping around, I see that he has nothing in his shopping cart which I thought was proof: he was NOT shopping, and it was NOT just a coincidence that he was always shopping in the same area as me. He was following me around the freaking store and watching my every move.
This was before I had heard of this site, otherwise I would have walked right up to him and taken a photo of his face. Instead of doing that, I just turned around and looked straight at him. When we made eye contact, he looked away as usual, but eventually would look back my way thinking that I had moved on. I stared at him for about 60 seconds before he finally walked away. I wanted to let him know that I saw him and knew what he was doing. Men like him need to know that they will not get away with it, not with me anyway.
Even though he left me alone after that, I was scared. When I got out of the store I walked to my car quickly with my cell phone and keys in my hand. I was terrified that he was going to follow me out in the parking lot.
I’m not sure what I should have/could have done about the stalker. Telling the Kroger employees seemed useless. Confronting him seemed dangerous. And calling the police? It didn’t seem like he had committed any kind of tangible crime that I could accuse him of. I felt trapped and helpless. And now I feel like all I can do is hope it doesn’t happen again.
Submitted by Caree
Last summer I was at the park by Valley River Center (the local mall) babysitting my two year old nephew. I was pushing him in a stroller when a man on a bike started to coast right next to me. I tried to speed up my walking, but since he was on his bike there was no way to lose him. He was asking me all sorts of questions about the child I was with, such as his name and if we lived nearby. Finally he asked me if he could touch my boobs and I instinctively stopped and said no. In less than a second he grabbed my breast and rode off. It was so fast that I had very little time to react.
Obviously I wasn’t physically injured, but the fact that he had asked me before groping me is sicking. He was getting off on the non-consensual aspect of it, and that is terrifying. It was also terrifying because I was with my two year old nephew. He had specifically targeted a woman with a baby.
Submitted by Barbara Ann
I was walking home from the grocery store on a chilly January afternoon last year when two guys in a black low-rider whistled at me. I flipped them off and kept walking. They hung a U-Turn, pulled their car up on the curb, blocking me, and started saying dirty things to me.
I started throwing produce at their car. They peeled out and drove off.
Submitted by Teresa
I work as a waitress in the lower east side one night a week. I was leaving work around 12:30 in a neighborhood that I have grown very comfortable in over the last year. I stayed with my coworker to shut the gate and we each walked toward our train stops (mine was the Grand Street B/D).
About 30 second away from the door I saw a man looking at me as I walked toward him. Not uncommon in the lower east side I continued as he adjusted his pants. When I was about 5 feet from him I realize he had he was jerking off as he stared at me. I decided to ignore him and walk past. He lunged at me , and I quickly veered passed him and around the corner, thinking he was just some crazy guy being nasty on the side of the road.
I walked about half way down the next block when I checked over my shoulder and realized he was following me. I picked up the pace, and saw a group of two women and two men ahead of me. I thought about stopping and saying something but I was nervous about slowing down so I sped passed them and took a quick right across traffic at Grand. From there it’s about three blocks to the B/D so I got at it quick.
I looked over my shoulder after I crossed Allen and didn’t see him so relaxed a bit, but looked again before I crossed the next street and he was a lot closer to me than I thought.
I picked up the pace but realized that he was jogging while I wasn’t looking or something because he was catching up to me really fast and there weren’t really any people on the street. The last block before the subway I didn’t see any people and he seemed to be getting close so I started to run. I looked back and he was running after me which made me really scared.
I got to the subway and went the MTA ticket guy and told him what had happened. He asked if the guy was in the station and I said no as I nervously looked toward the entrance. He said to just get on the train and that he would look out for me (even though I asked to talk to a police officer). I was grateful to be safe but felt weird about evading the situation and not letting the police know.
The next morning I worked again and was really surprised by the anxiety that I felt on the subway heading to work. I told my manager when I arrived and she urged me to call the police. I did. They came. I told them and even suggested some leads as to which businesses might have cameras outside that might lead to some kind of arrest. They not only ignored my leads but didn’t even ask me for a description of the guy. As I began to cry in front of them out of frustration they told me not to be scared. They assured me that they were working a double tonight and they would come by whenever I got out of work. THAT DOES NOT SOLVE THIS ISSUE!!
I told them no thanks if they were not going to follow up on the information that I gave them.
It seems that the community board that my job is involved with in combination with my work of mouth activism is the best defense we have in the lower east side. Please! Do not rely on the police for defense in this issue. They advised me next time to buy some pepper spray and/or ride the subway with a friend. Good luck servers of Manhattan. How many of you have a subway buddy? I certainly don’t.
I hope that all people who work on Broome will take the time to look out for themselves, and keep there phone in there pocket to get a picture of any asshole masterbating on the street so maybe the police will have some incentive to do their jobs.
Submitted by Rheanna
Being a redhead and, what has delicately been put to me as, ‘rather unfortunate looking’, I’m no stranger to being shouted at on the streets. Having said that, my encounter with this guy was in an entirely different league.
It was 3 in the afternoon on a nice autumn day. There were families about with young children and I was out for a walk in my local park. Stupidly thinking it was a safe day to do so, I turned off the major paths and onto one of the small paths in the trees. After a few feet it became obvious that the dodgy looking guy standing near the path intersection had followed me in.
Trying not to jump to conclusions, I first turned onto another path to establish whether he was actually following me. He was. Having established that, I was more than a little pissed off (and somewhat scared), so I fisted my keys in case he gave me any trouble and then turned around to let him go past – just in case he wasn’t following me and it had all been a horrible mix up. I stopped and turned. He stopped. I gestured for him to go past. He didn’t, so I made to cut through back to the main path again. He came up to me and asked
“Are you working?”
Utterly confused by this question, I asked “Here in the graveyard?”
“Uh no, I’m not a warden or anything. Do you need to find one?”
We were clearly talking at cross purposes here, so the guy says,
“No, I mean do you want some of this?”
And gets his dick out to illustrate his point. Flabbergasted is how I must have looked because he added, “I’ll pay you!”
Fighting the urge to laugh/throw up/kick him in the nuts, I told him, “No thank you, I’m really not that kind of person.”
(Being too polite is one of my downfalls.) And then left speedily.
Although the incident was actually pretty funny, afterwards I felt really odd. I hesitate to use the term ‘violated’ because it was so mild an encounter. More like uncomfortable, and actually quite angry for reasons I couldn’t explain to my friends or my boyfriend. I do realise I got lucky in this case, it could have been much worse. And I’ve stopped walking by myself in that area, as angry as that makes me. I hate that I cannot walk where I want in this city even on a brightly lit afternoon.
Oh I do wish I’d kicked him in the nuts.
Submitted by Fiona
A lady friend and I were walking home late at night from the F train. We were along Avenue U which is usually lively in the day but we were walking down a desolate street where a man stood alone in the cold. There was only a 24 hr deli across the big avenue. We started to cross to the other side of the street and I looked back and saw he was still eying us. A second later I look ahead again and my friend shouts “Run run! Run into the deli!”, because she saw him turn and dart toward us like he was GOING to attack us. It was one of the realist moments of my life. Luckily, when we reached the deli the store owner did his best to stall the man as one of his employees walked us a few blocks down, but in the back the man was shouting and walking in our general direction. Once at the corner, we ran to the house safely.
Submitted by Jen
I was just trying to throw out my trash. it was a bit late around 9pm. we live on a main street and there are always people going by. While walking to the trash I hear someone call “hey, hey girl.” I turn around and this guy on a bike is riding up my driveway. I know I looked terrified and begun to start walking towards the door. He keeps coming at me saying ” let me talk to you come here.” I’m like “nah” and get up on the porch thats when my boyfriend come outside. The dude looks shocked and finally starts to back up to the street again. my boyfriend shouts” hey homie WTF do you want.” the guy just says ” just trying to sell some tools.” and heads off. Cant even be on your own property these days
Submitted by Monique
Have you ever wished there was some sort of garbage disposal hotline to call when confronted with ugly street harassers? We’ll put that on our holiday wish list. Something else on our holiday wish list?? Some green from YOU, about $5 worth.
In a follow up to her “New Phone Apps Aim to Combat Harassment” article published in the NYT on Monday, reporter and now HollaHERO Karen Zraick publishes her own personal hollaback in today’s City Room blog.
As if we couldn’t have guessed, within hours, there are 47 comments all containing one, two, three, and sometimes more, horrifying stories of women’s own personal experiences with street harassment. And it isn’t over yet. NOW THAT IS ONE HELLUVA HOLLABACK!
“It’s infuriating to see this described as a ‘quality of life issue’, writes one woman. “This isn’t a ‘quality of life’ issue, okay? It’s not my neighbors having a loud party, or a dog barking next door!”
At Hollaback, we couldn’t have said it better.
Now this is one holla the city will NOT be able to ignore. Read Karen’s story and the accompanying comments here.
If I had a dollar for every NYT reporter who has come forward with her own hollaback…well, I wouldn’t have very much money. But if I had $5 from every woman who read this story, including you, now I might have something to talk about…raise us $5?