Story

Joline’s Story: Using clothes as a defense

I tried walking on a public street to the stores within a four mile radius of my house on three separate occasions recently, but every time I did, at least one person yelled out of car windows, honked at me, or both. I am not pretty, I am just average. I wore ordinary clothing, either t-shirt and jeans or t-shirt and running pants. No make-up. Hair in a ponytail. It didn’t matter. They honked and yelled anyway. I hated it. Every time I was startled and afraid someone would actually stop and get out of the car. So now I dress as a male when I walk on public roads. I wear men’s cargo pants and a loose button-up man’s shirt and a ball-cap. I even bought a chest binder and I usually wear it, too. No one honks or yells at me now. I think we should all start a yearly Dress Like a Man Day as a protest against harassment. If men want to appreciate feminine beauty on the street, let them do it quietly and politely! If some men won’t be civilized, maybe it’s time to take away their scenery.

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13+

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groping, Story

Nick’s Story: Coming forward and growing

I’m ashamed to say that 8 years ago I groped a young woman I was talking to her and I spanked her on the butt (playfully, I thought). She grabbed my hand away and told me off.

Her strong reaction made me embarrassed. If she had not spoken up I might have done it again. I think a site like yours is a good idea.

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7+

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Stalking, Story

Nikki’s Story: Followed to class

I live in one of my university dorms and was leaving for class in the middle of the day. Often, men, never women for some reason, hang around the corner by my building. Normally I don’t experience issues with the ones that are regularly there and have had some good conversations with them. One day there was a man I didn’t recognize standing at the corner. While I was waiting at the light he asked me if I had any change, which I did not as I rarely carry cash or change. When I said no he responded that it was ok, that my beautiful smile made up for it. Which was innocent enough and kind. As the light changed though he then remarked to his friend that “[he] would do [me]” and then commented to me that “[he] would f*** [me] given the chance.” I said nothing and crossed the street to get to my class and hoped that walking away would be enough to end the crude comments. Rather, he followed me for a couple of blocks until I reached my class. I was very glad he didn’t do anything but his remarks sent chills through my body and left me feeling very violated as he followed me to my class.

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8+

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Story, Verbal

Teresa’s Story: Chased from a car

I was leaving my school studio one evening (8-8:30) on campus to go back to my room. I am very slim (not busty, no butt to speak of). I had on bootcut jeans, red reeboks, a long sleeve button-up shirt and (just to be “safe”) an undershirt. I was carrying a huge portfolio and had a backpack.

As I left the studio and walked maybe 5 steps a young, big, chubby guy in a car pulls by and slows down. He immediately starts with the usual chatter “hey, baby”, “damn”, “oh, what’s your name” etc. It’s night time, I am alone and don’t typically appreciate strangers talking to me like that. It’s scary. He could have looked like a young Clive Owen, I would have still been very uncomfortable.

I didn’t acknowledge him or look in his direction. He continued to follow me and talking but he didn’t appreciate me not acknowledging him so he started to say: “oh you think you’re to good for me?” “you bitch” “I’m going to fucking kill you”. Verbatim, he said he was going to kill me for not acknowledging his “compliments”. I dropped my stuff and started to run, he followed me into the adjacent parking lot. I used to do track and I’m a good runner. I hauled it to the security call box (it was broken, I’m not kidding!!). He got the idea though and stopped the car. I thought he was going to get out of his car to grab me so I left the call box and ran to IT services across the campus lawn. He didn’t pursue. I was sure glad to get the flattering attention though. Is that why my heart was racing like a hunted animal?

So, in a nut shell, I don’t like cat calling. I find it really inappropriate. Men don’t realize how vulnerable women feel. Almost any man can easily physically overpower me. I think that type of behavior is about control, not about heart-felt compliments.

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11+

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groping, Story

HOLLA ON THE GO: Groped in transit

A man on the 58 bus put his hand over mine on the rail and then wrapped round the back of me pretending to get past but then pretending to fall and grabbed my boob

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5+

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Story

Erin’s Story: Harassed from a car

A guy in a red van looked at me outside of starbucks and licked his lips at me before driving by really slowly and doing it again

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4+

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Story

Louise’s Story: Pregnant and catcalled

I was 9 months pregnant, and sitting in my parked car at the side of the road preparing to heave my huge baby belly out of the seat and into my home. A car drive past and someone yelled ‘fat bitch!’ at me. I got really upset, due in part to the hormones but also I’ve always been sensitive about my weight even outside of pregnancy. I couldn’t help welling up with tears and to make it worse, my boyfriend who was in the car with me just got annoyed and told me not to be so stupid and sensitive. Even now, 5 years later (during which I’ve not been catcalled once) that memory still gets to me.

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80+

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groping, Story

Becks’ Story: Harassed at the bus stop

At around 5:45 yesterday I stopped to pick up some cleaning supplies and dinner about 4 blocks from my apartment on my way home from work. I decided to take the bus home and waited with a mixed group of about 8 people. A man approached me and offered to “keep me warm” and I ignored him. He watched me for about 5 minutes and then grabbed my arm, insisting it was too cold for me outside. I said “Please don’t touch me. I don’t know you.” He started screaming at me, saying things like “As big as you are? You’re lucky anyone is touching you!” I kept ignoring it. He walked up to the young man next to me and said loudly “I’m gonna go with her and show her not to disrespect men like that!” No one said anything so I went inside a nearby shop and asked to speak with a manager. Only then did I learn that a policeman had seen the entire thing and decided not to intervene. Instead, the cop just told me I did everything right and should take the next bus home. I left my food on the sidewalk and took the next bus home. I’m 22, 5 feet tall, and was wearing a medical boot for a broken ankle. I needed help and I still feel vulnerable.

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77+

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Story, youth

Mary’s Story: Lost in Italy

I am 15 and had a school exchange to Italy. In the first couple days I was in Rome, taking in all the sites. I wanted to walk around by myself when we had time to ourself to shop. I walked quite a while away from where we were allowed to go and since I didn’t know the city well enough I got lost. I stopped at an information centre on one very busy street. The guy helping me said I was very beautiful and he wanted to kiss me and asked me where I live and how long I was in Italy for. I lied. But was very polite because I thought he might get angry and follow me. He even spoke to other people and gave them directions while he told me to wait. He wasn’t giving me directions to where I wanted to go so I said I was alright and began to leave then he gave me directions. He then nodded at someone behind me so I got scared and thought if I left someone would follow me. I left and was very scared, the path he showed me had some dark streets but I began to run when I saw the logo of his information place on the side of a van near me, afraid I ran into stores and asked strangers to show me the way. A very nice american group was going to the same place as me and have me directions. I was so unbelievably scared for my life and I was only 15. It was the worst experience and the way this man made me feel was horrible….

I've got your back!
60+

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groping, Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: Grabbed by a stranger

While on the phone with a friend outside a bar, a man who was a complete stranger grabbed me around my waist proceeding to ask me a question.. I responded with, “don’t fucking touch me.” He responded by yelling and calling me a fucking psycho. I don’t know if not wanting to be grabbed by a complete stranger makes me a psycho.. But that’s just me.

I've got your back!
64+

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