Nonverbal Harassment, Story

Soleil’s Story: Unwanted Kiss

I was 16 years old at the time, however I am fairly tall for my age and appear to be older than I really am, not that that should make ANY difference. I was taking the train to downtown Toronto by myself and walking to a little place called Kensington Market to meet my mother and sister who were already downtown. It was about a 15 minute walk from the train station and I felt confident walking alone downtown. As I was nearing the market I see a man riding his bicycle coming in my direction. I am a pretty polite girl so I simply smiled back at the man. As the man rode closer on his bike he seemed to be leaning closer to me and when he passed by he leaned ever further and TRIED TO KISS ME while he passed me on his damn bike! I totally did not see this coming and I was in complete shock. Sure I am used to getting cat calls very often but I have never experienced something like this. I had no idea what to do. I simply just kind of stood there in shock not knowing wether to cry or scream. I couldn’t do much either way because the man had simply continued to bike passed me like nothing had happened. It was disgusting and I will never forget.

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Story, Verbal

Annie’s Story: Harassed in the Shopping Centre

I was in London on business, for the first time I’d come by myself. Once finished I went to the Westfield Shopping Centre at 3 in the afternoon. I was wearing a shirt that was buttoned all the way up, not that it should matter in the slightest. Two guys started walking either side of me in the middle of the shopping centre, one yelled, ‘Great boobs’, whilst the other made growling noises. I felt really intimidated and upset, and ended up going home shortly after. Mostly I felt humiliated, there were lots of people around, no one said anything to these men. This is one story of so many incidents I’ve experienced.

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Nonverbal Harassment, Story

Abby’s Story: On the Train

I was victimized horrifically by a subway sex abuser earlier this fall, on the E train during the morning rush. It was probably the most humiliating and degrading moment of my life. That day the platform was extra crowded because of delays, and so to avoid being late, I had to squeeze on behind this large lady. I barely made it on myself, so I was irritated when, as the doors were whooshing shut, this young man shoe-horns himself in behind me. His body was plastered against mine, and I could feel his junk crushed against my behind. But I thought it was an accident. When I craned to look behind me, he was a nicely dressed, pretty good looking white guy who didn’t seem like he’d have trouble getting dates. I figured he was probably even more embarrassed at our awkward situation than I was. So I ignored it – at first.

As the train rumbles along, and my butt bounces against him, he starts sprouting this huge erection right in the crack of my ass. Using the motion of the train as an excuse, he keeps poking it in as deep he could. I thought, I am being dry humped against my will in the middle of a bunch of people! Totally disgusted, I tried moving forward, but the big woman wouldn’t budge, in fact she elbowed me. When the train pulled into the next station, I prayed people would get off, but just the opposite happened. A wave of new passengers shoved on, and the pervert squashed against me even tighter. The train took off again, rocking back and forth, and it felt like I had a thick wooden broomstick wedged between my buttocks.

I thought of screaming, “Get off me, jerk,” but I was too embarrassed and didn’t want to make a scene. The next stop was in about ten minutes and I told myself I could stand it that long. Then, of all the freaking luck, the train STOPPED between stations for about 5 minutes. You’d think maybe this slimy creep would stop without the movement of the car giving him cover, but he actually became more aggressive, brazenly thrusting way up in between my cheeks. I was so shocked and paralyzed with fear, I could hardly breathe. And then the most horrible part. The vile piece of shit leans in and whispers in my ear in this creepy little voice, “If my girlfriend knew we were doing this, she’d kill me.”

That was almost worse than anything, because it made it sound like I was his partner in his sick act. The train finally moved again, and I guess my assailant realized I wasn’t going to do anything, so he just started POUNDING, very hard and fast. By this point I had my head down and my eyes were watering. I felt completely worthless. For all intents and purposes, I was being anally raped through my skirt. Well, I guess you can figure what happened next: He tensed up, his penis lashed around behind me for a few seconds, then I felt a wetness on my butt. I hoped it was my imagination, but when I got off the train and reached back, I was repulsed to feel the slimy gook. I hastily wiped it off with a Kleenex, but the whole time at work I couldn’t concentrate because I hoped no one would notice.

Later at home, I told my boyfriend what happened and he was livid. He said I “clearly” must have done something to “encourage” the bastard, and that if I wasn’t enjoying it, I would have stepped on the guy’s foot or screamed. His not being supportive is one reason I am having a hard time getting over this traumatizing experience.

I’ve spotted the nasty train molester 3 times since the incident. Once grinding another woman and twice just standing nonchalantly on the platform. The scumbag didn’t appear to recognize me. I guess I was just one of hundreds, maybe thousands, he’d used to relieve himself.

Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: Sound System cat calling

Walking my dog at 10 o’clock, apparently the new things is to have speakers installed on the outside your car and a microphone so you can more anonymously make women uncomfortable enemy you pull up beside them and cat call, backing up slowly add we walk past. Uncomfortable enough that I went and got my boyfriend and you immediately felt scared off and decided to leave me alone. Leaving me wishing I had confronted you myself, because my martial arts training means I probably could’ve kicked your ass myself, but I don’t feel that kind of confidence.

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groping, Story

Megan’s Story: Groped from Behind

Someone ran up behind me and forcefully groped my bottom while I was walking home. I have a stun gun but couldn’t get him before he skateboarded away. He was wearing a black coat with a camo hoodie underneath and the skateboard was black.

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Story, Verbal

Mollie’s Story: “I see a lot of pussies here.”

While with a group of friends (four other women and four men), a male (wouldn’t call him a man) approached us and said, “I see a lot of pussies here.” He continued talking about our vaginas, so one friend and I screamed at him to leave us alone. Several strangers were around and didn’t help us out, but finally told the server at the stand we were at to call the police. The person harassing us continued to make sexual comments at us. He then began calling me fat and ugly and walked away, but not before I snapped a picture of him and shared it with my mother, who works with the Oakland Police Department. We were all angry and disgusted by this harassment.

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Story, Verbal

Lauren’s Story: “hey cigarette girl”

I was outisde a starbucks, on the phone with my mother of all people, when a group of 3 men in a car pulled up and said “hey cigarette girl” and when i didn’t respond they persisted with “what, you don’t like blacks?” It was dark outside, i was on my own, and i’m 14. It scared me and ruined my day.

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Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: Woman and Her Children Verbally Harass Me On My Way Home

Walking home at around 2 in the afternoon I was verbally attacked for no reason at all by a woman and her young daughters. I was a block away from my house and they started calling me a “raggedy ann bitch” repeatedly and yelling at me to get out. They continued to taunt me but I didn’t react, just continued walking. I crossed the street and apparently crossed into their ‘territory’ or something because there were two more young girls on the corner who stared straight at me and yelled at me for being a “raggedy ann bitch.” I continue walking, getting upset and yelled back to stop at which point the mother yelled at me for talking back and threatened to beat me with a brick that she had picked up. The entire family began to follow me at a distance at this point and I yelled back to leave me alone, fuck off, and stop following me. They continued at which point I tried to call a friend but her phone was dead. When they saw me get out my phone they made comments about what was I doing trying to call someone to get out of their territory etc. Finally I got to my house (in a gated community) and locked the gate behind me. Two of the daughters come up to the gate a minute later and started yelling at me that I was a bitch at which point I yelled back at full force to fuck off. One of the girls then got down and went under the car gate and started following me through the complex! I started walking towards a man in a van inside and waving at him to help me but he ignored me. I had also tried to get the attention of a cyclist earlier who continued on as well. Finally the girl turned around and left and By the time I got to my apartment I was shaking and crying.

I just couldnt believe that they started verbally abusing me like that for no apparent reason, and that it was an entire family of women involved as well! I am so upset and scared to leave my house and run into them again because I don’t know what they will do if they recognize me. I just wish someone who had witnessed this happening to me had stood up for me as well…

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Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: sexism exists

I was waiting for the bus to get to work, a man drove up and asked if I was waiting for the bus. I nodded, he than told me to get in his car (no he did not say, “would you like a ride”, he said ” get in my car”). I shook my head for “no”, than he started telling me what he would do to me once I got in his car, it was very vulgar and sexual. I picked up a rock and threw it at his car. It was a small rock and I’m sure it did no damage however I got the reaction I was expecting, he called me a bitch and started to drive away so I threw a soda it his car, it went through the window and soaked him. He drove away. I wouldn’t recommend doing this, it was in the heat if the moment and I was very angry, but to say the least I’ve seen the same guy since and he crosses the street when he sees me.

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Story, Verbal

Ali’s Story: “I’m tired of this. Tired of no back up.”

Well I’ve put ‘verbal’ but this guy was walking towards me with his arms out as if to hug me on a dark station platform late at night with his two friends in tow and I didn’t know if he was going to grab me, lift me up or push me into the tracks! This is in an area where there has recently been very high profile sexual assaults of several women and also the rape of a young girl just down the road. I was tired after a 12 hour shift and as a reflex (why am I even explaining the reasons for my reaction?!) I said “get away from me” as he got so close his face was in mine. At this point he immediately launched into firing insults about every aspect of my physical appearance. It was constant “look at the state of you look at the state of you look at your disgusting face bla bla etc”
I responded by saying I didn’t care and that I am 36 years old where upon he said “you look 46.” I told him very calmly that I didn’t care what I looked like and that I liked to read and learn things and that’s what was important. He shouted in my face “stop talking stop talking” “you’re so ugly you should kill yourself.”
I don’t know why and I regret it a bit but I decided to say “yes yes! Oooh im incredibly ugly yes look at the terrible state of me oh it’s awful isn’t it I’m a disgusting mess etc” then the station staff man who was in the little unit box thing on the platform opened his door, I think he could see I was surrounded by these three men. At this point the guy who tried to hug me said to him “she started on me!”
I laughed.
I said “I was just minding my business!”
My train came and I walked far away in case they were in my carriage but they weren’t even getting in the train and it sailed past all three who looked at me as the train went by.
How unnecessary the whole thing is! I wish I’d said more, of course in retrospect I thought of a million better things to say but my heart was racing and my legs were shaking. I thought he would punch me I really did, he looked so angry.
I wish I’d said something like “one day when you’re about 54 you’ll probably be married and work in IT and gave two children one probably a girl and when this happens to her, when a man walks towards her at night you’ll hope she can stand up for herself and say “out of my way” but you punished me for doing it with the typical lazy reaction of “oh god you’re so ugly!” You’ll live your daughter and want to hurt those people but now, when you could actually make a difference to your culture you choose to be a coward.
I went home and have tried to feel strong but you know what? I’ve been looking in the mirror and thinking “yes, you are ugly!” “Yes, the time you were homeless took its toll and shows in your face” “yes, the death of your father at age 7 probably gave you a permanently sad face and his absence probably also gave you no self esteem” etc etc on and on.
I know this is because I’m programmed. I look the same as I did when I left my friend’s earlier and felt fairly ok about life. Weird thing is, I was not standing there claiming to be a great beauty. His remarks were as if he were refuting done statement if made. I admit it, I feed sadder than I did before it happened. It’s one more nail in a long long coffin of comments and shouting and being grabbed and insulted, often complimented and then insulted when I haven’t wanted to talk. I’m tired. I’m so tired of knowing that I either acquiesce or have my existence and appearance torn apart. It’s so cowardly. Bored of it. Bored and angry and sad and frustrated. I have so many stories from over the years. Always I am verbally ripped to pieces when I answer back. I’m tired that I was forced into a conversation I didn’t want, yet again. I’m sure I could have avoided all the esteem destroying remarks had I hugged him or smiled or made some kind of simmering sounds of non threatening friendliness but why should I? It would be an act and an act of fear. So, there’s the deal. I think every time we answer back we risk a personal inventory of our faults so perhaps that’s why many people do not answer back and the whole thing continues. I’m tired of this. Tired of no back up. I do not drive and work hard so I am alone on public transport a lot which I should be able to be!
The anger expressed when I do not stop to chat or smile or if I just ignore the shouts. The anger and insults. I don’t want conversations with men I don’t know in the street! Why are they angry when I speak my mind? Don’t they have mothers or sisters? Daughters?
I am baffled and as I think I said. Tired.
Thank you.

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