Nonverbal Harassment, Story

Man Secretly Taking Pictures of Me Without Consent

This creep was taking pictures of me as he walked behind me. Another man came up alongside and said loudly, “That guy is taking pictures of you.” I stopped, surprised and confused, and looked back to see a man of the following profile:

~6’2″
Middle-aged
Overweight
Smartly dressed, navy blue suit and tie
Balding-ish–had thinning hair

with his phone up, half “hidden” behind a newspaper. He dashed behind a coffee cart to “hide,” and as the second man was saying, “You can sue for that, you know,” Creep walked back the other way. I was too surprised by the encounter to react quickly and get his photo or otherwise publicly shame him, but just to say ladies, watch out and speak up when you see this disgusting carry on happening.

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groping, Story

Penn Station Harasser

I was standing in Penn Station, NYC – waiting to get my train out of the city, I was looking at the screen to see which platform my train would arrive on. It was very crowded and hot, I was wearing leggings and a white t-shirt. People were piling through the station and suddenly a man from behind reached and squeezed my ass in a very aggressive and sexual manner. I was shocked and I turned around to see who had done it but it was so busy there was no sure way to tell. I spoke to two cops who tried to help me identify the man but as I was not 100% sure of who did it, there wasn’t much they could do. I was escorted by the police to my platform so that I was not followed.

It was very scary and I was very upset and had never experienced anything like that before. I regularly experience cat calls and verbal harassment, but never anything physical.

I am shocked at the way anyone could think that it is ok to reach out and touch somebody like that, it is disgraceful and incredibly disrespectful. I should not have to fear standing in a public space – I should not have to worry about being inappropriately touched.

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Stalking, Story

So grateful

It was my mothers birthday and we went to go get our eyebrows done at the mall. While my mom was waiting to get her brows done she realized she had forgotten her phone in the car. The mall wasn’t one we were familiar with or came to frequently (we just heard good reviews for the brow art).She asked me if I’d be okay walking to the car by myself and I told her it was no problem. On my way out of Macy’s there were these two guys just standing there, I vaguely remember seeing one out of the corner turn his head as I walked passed him into the parking lot. I got to the car and finished grabbing the phone and an older lady was waiting for me, she said that if those two guys were murdered they would have killed me (they were apparently leering very openly). Being only 14 (I’m tall for my age) I was freaked out because after the lady told me that, I looked up and saw that the 2 guys were standing right by my car. I’m so grateful that the lady saw that, waited for me and walked me back inside the mall. That experience was very scary, till this day I can’t understand why they followed me all the way to my car in the parking lot and it’s scary just thinking about what could have happened if it weren’t for that kind woman, no woman/young girl should ever be made that uncomfortable.

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Stalking, Story, Verbal

Running in the park

This summer, I decided to make a commitment to be a bit more fitter in my lifestyle. As a result, I have been running about 5 times a week at a large park near my town. On this particular day, I was exhausted and decided walk the entire loop of the park. As I strolled the pathway with headphones in, a tall man yelled something to me while walking towards my direction. I proceeded to take out my headphones and must have looked startled because he asked the question again with his unintelligible thick accent. He then pointed to his ring finger and asked if I was married. He kept following me as I walked the long path and stated that he has seen me run several times. During our conversation, he not only pressured me to come live with him in Jamaica, he asked me to marry him and exchange phone numbers. To be honest, I have never thought of myself as attractive and was never really given attention if I walked down a street. I never thought I would ever be harassed in such a place only because I had this preconception that Americans generally were not interested in Asians like me. This interaction, however, made me very scared and opened my eyes to the harrassment women have to endure on a daily basis.

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Story, Verbal

Make It Known!

I have been harassed 4 times this week by some men on scaffolding. Something I have come to accept in daily life as the norm. My male friends seem not to know or understand this is happening and my female friends don’t talk about it. After having these men shout again today at me more sexual profanities I decided to call the police once I took the long way home avoiding these men.

Once I was though to the police ( a woman) I was really happy to be talking to a woman. But not for long. The police woman seemed to think I was blowing everything out of proportion and suggested I go up to these men in the street and tell them how it was making me feel and that they should stop. Any woman who knows what type of situation this is will know that this will not only fan the flames and encourage but will bring the spotlight on me more. This will cause a scene and they will most likely laugh and shout more. I wouldn’t want them to see my face more and give them any kind of satisfaction of communicating with them. Plus since they are only a few houses away, they will know where I live.

After I told the police woman this, she then stated against me. “What are you even expecting them to do” she said to me. I held on the phone in science and in my mind felt like shouting ” Rape me” “Follow me” “Harass me more” isn’t it bad enough that they are already verbally abusing me everyday? I said “Sorry I don’t understand, why are you not taking me seriously?” I think she then was worried as she said should be then look up the address and try and call residents and tell them the police have had a complaint.

Since I was around 11 I have noticed and experienced this sort of abuse from men. Since I have been brought up only by my mother I had grown to think men and woman are equal. After hearing a woman police officer sympathise with these men I even questioned it myself. Maybe I was being too much of a wimp or that I need to be stronger… but NO! its not right, and it never is. I say complain every time, tell people what happened, educate friends about what you have gone through and MAKE IT KNOWN.

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NYPD FAIL, Story, Verbal

Julie’s Story: “Acted like I was somehow at fault”

This is just one of the many recent run-ins I’ve had with street harassers. I am a 27-year-old woman who has lived in New York for six years and I encounter these people just about every day. This one, was particularly scary, though, and stuck in my memory for many reasons.

I was just leaving my apartment building when a young man tapped me on the shoulder and made a sexual comment about my appearance. I was very put off by his comment and his physical contact so I told him to leave me alone and I went about my business picking up my dry cleaning. Like I said, I deal with street harassment almost every day so my tolerance and my patience for it has gotten very low over the years.

Minutes later, I was walking back and he was loitering outside of a housing project with some friends and they decided to start taunting me as I walked by. They made very lewd comments and I flipped out on him, called him a motherfucker and said he was raised by animals.

My harasser threatened to rape and to kill me. He also identified that he had seen me walking with my boyfriend in the vicinity before ( described him physically) and said he would kill him. I went to the police precinct and they were no help at all. The (make) officer told me that I was “very attractive” and that’s why get catcalled and threatened . He also told me not to “provoke” Street harassers acted like I was somehow at fault.

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Story, Verbal

Danielle’s Story: “at least say thank you”

After spending all day with my husband and not hearing a word from strange men on the street, not minutes after I left him with friends to go meet my friend for dinner a man shouted at me from his car something about my butt in my jeans. When I didn’t respond he angrily yelled that I should at least say thank you. This is my first time back in San Francisco in years and my mood instantly changed from being excited to be here and explore to wanting to leave and go back to the small town I now live in where I drive everywhere and can avoid street harassment for the most part.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Story

Rachelle’s Story

I was walking with my infant daughter in a carrier. I had just said goodbye to my partner, and walked towards riverside to go to my home. On the way there, a man jumped in my path and started cooing at my daughter — not an issue, happens often — but he wouldn’t let up, and blocked my path. I smiled thinly and waited it out, feeling uncomfortable and shifting my body so he couldn’t touch her. He touched me instead, running his hand along my back and arm, and started saying stuff about my body. I didn’t really know what to do — I was worried he would be mean or hurt us or yell and scare my daughter, and I didn’t want her to be scared or see me being scared, so I just kind of stood there and smiled.
I eventually pushed him off and walked with my head down, not listening to him as he called after us. When I hear other people’s stories and they say they were scared, I forget what that strange feeling of fear can be – it’s isolating and roots you in place. It’s nothing and something and overblown and serious at the same time. I always feel like I’m overreacting…and then suddenly like I’m not. I always doubt myself and, no matter how often I tell myself otherwise, somehow feel responsible for what happened. My daughter is 10 months old, and this is going to happen again — and then it’s going to happen to her. I want to know how to respond so that she doesn’t think I’m afraid, or that she knows this isn’t okay, but I’m still scared and I don’t ever want to endanger her. It feels hopeless somedays.
#hollaback

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Story, Verbal

Sarah’s Story: Harassed by my super

This morning it was very rainy and cold in NYC so I had my winter coat on with the hood up and buttoned and happened to see my superintendent of my apartment building walking towards me. I waved at him not realizing he didn’t recognize me all bundled up and he responded with, “Fuck yea, baby. I love those legs.” I ripped my hood off and screamed, “I live in your building, you work with my boyfriend who is the real estate agent of said building, and you need to learn how to respect women.” He walked right past me and ignored me as if we don’t see each other every day and say Hello, as if we don’t give him a Christmas present each year, as if I didn’t know he has a girlfriend and a baby to provide for. What do I do now when I see him every morning? When will a female be able to feel safe walking on her own street and wave to someone she knows?

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groping, Story, The Movement

Victoria’s Story

It was around 6 pm here in my city in PH. My friends and I were waiting for a public transport where all of a sudden a man groped my behind with two hands, one for each cheek. I was already having a bad day and this made it way worse. I was too shocked to react and when it finally registered in my brain, the man was already running with his obnoxious friends. I felt violated of all sorts. This happened about a year ago. Now, I’m currently working in my undergrad thesis and chose street harassment as my topic. Filipinos aren’t keen on street harassment. I grew up learning to just adapt it and accept that it will happen every now and then. It is now time to instill awareness to my folks. My resources are very limited and finding this site is like locating a treasure chest filled with gold and all priceless jewels. Thank you.

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