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Submitted by Jill
I am a Bisexual Asian male who has experienced extreme harassment. My neighbor, the elderly man next door– Slandered, harassed and sexually harassed me for 2 years since I moved here from California. At first, when I got here, I was really thin and looked like a girl to most people. He told me he wanted to give me a sex change operation and rape me. For the next several months he slandered me, spread rumors I was a rapist, sex offender, child molester and people called me that in the neighborhood and on the train a few times. He was angry that I was a guy and not a girl and that I was making him gay. When I joined meetup.com and come home late at night, he would wait in front of my house every night ‘til I stop going. I saw him half naked filming me twice from his 3rd floor window a few months ago when I opened my blinds in the morning and I dare not to open my blinds in the morning anymore. People gossiped about seeing videos of me naked or me sleeping, etc in my bedroom on some pervert website. I overheard people talking in Chinatown and on the set of Fordham University during my filming of the “adjustment bureau” a Matt Damon movie where I worked as an extra.
Recently, He and his friends were yelling they want to castrate me, rape me. They called me a queer, fag and chink 2 weeks ago outside my house, heckling me.
I am a victim of racism and sexual harassment. I filed a harassment report by calling 911 on December 10, 2009 Thursday around 9:45PM when 2 female police officers drove to my house and alerted me to come outside to talk to them. The two female police officers is a female Black woman and a Spanish woman. I was told to call 718-627-6611 for Precinct 61 for the status of my complaint. I called again on December 15, 2009 and the officer who answered the phone said the complaint is closed and is on record and no arrests was made because my neighbor harassed me but didn’t assault me. I wrote to NBC news but to no avail. I don’t know who to turn to for help. I am a victim of sexual harassment and video voyeurism and slander and I think he is trying to get me killed because I look feminine and because of my sexual orientation. If this happened to a woman he work be arrested by now, but I am a guy, a bisexual guy and no one cares. I want the harassment to stop.
Submitted by Michael
Just want to share my recent episode of street harassment there are so many to share. I was walking down the street (of course) and a gypsy taxi driver ask me if I needed a taxi. I said no thank you. Of course he took this opportunity to make a slick remark about how sexy I was to him. I ignored like I didn’t here anything.
Then I went into the store. He watch for me to come out. and I purposely avoided going back in his direction. he then started yell things like “sexy” and then he yelled “champion” I kept walking like I didn’t hear him I guess he got angry any then yelled out “Big Draws.” I maintained my composure although I wanted to say some thing back.
Then to add on more embarrassment I called 311 to complain about the gypsy taxi drivers and their constant street harassment. They then referred me to 911 and told me they would have to send a police officer to my home in order to make a complaint.
Submitted by Teisha
Living in New York CIty, I’ve dealt with so much street harassment that I’ve come to feel it’s not even worth the effort to say or do anything in response… I just continue walking and hope that a terrible tragedy befalls the catcaller/hisser/groper/leerer/perv as soon as he’s out of my line of vision. Still, I’ve never really felt unsafe because I stick to populous, well-lit areas.
That all changed about a week ago when I was walking near the corner of 34th St. and 2nd Ave. around 2 pm on a Saturday. As I turned the corner from 2nd Ave. onto 34th Street, the creepiest-looking toothless man started yelling and cussing at me as he walked towards me, aggressively calling me a bitch and making a scene. No one who was walking by did a thing or even looked our way. Anyway, I just sneered at him, and then he really got in my face, yelling “BITCH! BITCH! BITCH!” over and over again. I flipped him off and kept walking because this guy seemed pretty unstable and I didn’t want to get into a physical confrontation with him.
As he passed me (he was walking in the opposite direction), I heard him continue to yell increasingly obscene slurs. I turned around and saw him making repulsive gestures with his hands that obviously simulated rape. Then he yelled, “I’M GONNA STICK MY DICK IN YOUR ASS AND PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH,” along with other absolutely repulsive things.
A few seconds later, after he was a bit farther down the block, the shock of this harassment had worn off and I was just plain furious. I backtracked and, because he was walking slowly, turned around to see him him turn the corner onto 2nd Ave (the corner I originally came from). I walked really slowly and kept my eye on him until he took a seat on a planter near the corner. As I walked toward him, I kept my eyes on my cell phone, pretending I was texting. Then I stopped, and when he noticed me there (I was about 30 feet away), he started yelling “BITCH!” over and over again at him.
I glared at him, and the only thing I could think to say to him that wouldn’t gratify him was just to say calmly and very condescendingly, “You are so, so sad.” Then I walked away, hearing him yell maniacally at me as I walked away. It was gratifying to have the last word, and to keep my cool and show him that no matter what he yelled, I would neither stoop to his level nor give him any indication that his behavior was acceptable.
I think the worst part of this incident, however, was that I felt completely humiliated, as if my old gray sweatpants and faded windbreaker had somehow invited this harassment. It was degrading just to repeat to my boyfriend the things this guy had said to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear about HollaBack until after the incident (I saw the New York Times article that mentioned it) so I didn’t take a pic… but I wish I had. I would’ve taken an entire photo album (joking… kind of) especially to warn other women in the Murray Hill area who might come across this jerk.
Looking back on it, I’m not sure if I would approach anyone like that again simply because I don’t want to risk putting my life in danger. Even now, as I write about what happened, my pulse is racing, both out of anger and from a feeling of being threatened by this loser.
I also didn’t know until a few days ago that calling 911 to report disorderly conduct could’ve resulted in a ticket for the perv. I’ve resolved to call 911 in the future when I’m harassed, because let’s face it: seeing one of the multitude of pervs in NYC being accosted by the police would be infinitely more rewarding than saying anything to men like the one I faced that Saturday.
Submitted by Allison
Not only does street harassment make you feel degraded. It is embarrassing, particularly when everyone around you is simply ignoring the situation. None of us should be alone in this, let Allison know that you have her back by donating here!
i was parking in the parking structure at work at university of Michigan hospital. as i turned around the corner i saw 3 men walking up the ramp towards the door of the hospital. as i drove by one of them yelled something about showing him my titties. i stopped my car and yelled “are you talking to me?” and he says “show us your titties, cigarette girl.” i told them to go fuck themselves and then i went inside and told security. they sent an officer out to talk to them and also kicked them out as they didn’t have any reason to be there. the officer asked if i wanted to press charges but i said no. i didn’t want to deal with the “justice” system. although after reading this site i wish i would have since so many women don’t really have this opportunity.
Submitted by Chelsea
Submitted by Mary
My boyfriend lives downtown, and to reach him I have to walk two blocks to get to the N, R, or W train at 6th ave. This requires me to walk down west 28th street, and it is a eventful walk every time I do.
Every time I walk down 28th, one or more men feel like they have to say something to me. Its the flower district, and when the venders put all their plants out on the street, I am forced to walk through a jungle and been in close spaces with several men who are always giving me the up-down, I feel them start to enclose on me and get too close for comfort. It seems like every time I make that walk to the subway, someone will tell me I am “beautiful” or that they “want to talk to me”. Recently, I had more than the normal amount of comments..
I was returning from my boyfriend’s place, and as I walked out of the subway stairs, immediately after a man standing right outside the exit said “hey miss I wanna talk to you”, and even followed me for a bit! I held my breath and walked faster, but as I passed a parking garage another man started to comment on my appearance! So I walked faster… and then as I reached 29th street ANOTHER man started to make kissing faces at me! All of this happened within three minutes, and I felt like my security was being stripped away with each harassment.
Now I find myself trying to avoid taking the N R or W even though it is the closest and most convenient subway. Sometimes I’ll make my trip 20 minutes longer if it means I don’t have to walk on 28th. If I am leaving my boyfriend’s place after dark, I’ll shell out the extra money for a taxi, have him escort me, or even call my friends and tell them to meet me on the platform. Literally, every time I am on that street a man has to make some obscene comment to me. The walk from my place to that subway is only 10 minutes, but it is always the longest walk of my life.
Submitted by Susanna
I’ve never felt unsafe before. That may be surprising, as I live in New York City, but I’ve never really feared for my physical safety. I’m a big lady and I’ve always felt comfortable walking or biking or taking the train at any hour of the day or night.
Last night, two men on a dark street stripped me of that sense of security.
I was riding my bike home from my friend’s house around 1:30AM. I had dressed up for Shabbat services in a cute, short dress and was feeling a little chilly. I was riding mechanically slowly, really only looking forward to getting home so I could curl up in my warm bed and watch some dumb recorded tv shows.
I ride through some pretty desolate areas on this route. Keep in mind, I’ve ridden this route several times a week since I started biking. I’ve ridden it at four in the morning before. It is the only way I use to get home when I’ve gone anywhere east of Prospect Park.
I approached the overpass of the D train on 39th street right near my apartment and passed two men. All of the sudden I heard someone running behind me and I turned around to see one of them chasing me on my bike. He was running full out only a few feet behind me. I screamed out “What the fuck are you doing?” and started pedaling as fast as I could. They screamed “bitch” at me and threw a glass bottle which shattered near my tires.
I was three blocks from my home.
I rode at full speed the last three blocks. When I got to my house, my hands were shaking so badly I could hardly lock up my bike. I was terrified that the men would have followed me home. I ran up my stairs and locked the door, finding an empty apartment. I sat on my bed shivering with fear, unable to really process what had just happened.
When I looked back at that man chasing me, I truly thought that he would overtake me and pull me off my bike. There aren’t a lot of street lights in that area and even less people out on the street. If they had wanted to take my bag, they could have. If they had wanted to sexually assault me and slit my throat, they could have. These are the thoughts that kept me awake as I huddled in my bed, to scared even to cry.
I don’t know what they’ve left me. I ride my bike every single day. I ride it to work, to friend’s houses, to the grocery store, to rehearsal, to meetings, to parties, and anywhere I want to go. I haven’t bought a monthly metrocard since June. My bike is an essential part of how I interact with the city. It’s my life. Yet now, when I think about riding in some of the areas where I travel on a regular basis — I am terrified. What if this happens again? What if next time I’m not fast enough? What if they do get me off my bike? I’m so scared, but I’m not allowed to be — I need my bike.
How can I reclaim the sense of physical security that they’ve taken from me?
Submitted by Emma
I live in Philly but since we are almost a New York suburb and we have no Holla Back yet, I’m sending my story to you.
I walk into a bookstore in Old City, it’s one of my favorites because it’s all used books and there are so many books, they pile them up everywhere, it’s like cairns up and down the aisles. It’s always an adventure to go in and generally fun to strike up conversation with fellow book lovers. That evening was hot and humid, I had a sun dress on. I found my favorite section and started scanning for books. I hear someone walking down the aisle and press up against the shelves to make room (there were 5 or 6 towers of books near my feet), I hear the individual say something, Hey, Hi, What’s up sort of greeting, but at the same moment I feel him graze my butt.
In that instant two things cross my mind – it was an accident/he did it on purpose. The blood rushes to my face because I know it was no accident. I lean back from the shelves and dig my nails into the book I’m holding. I look at him, he doesn’t look back. I pay for the book, he quickly leaves the store but turns back to look at me as he passes the window. All manner of gruesome scenarios invade my mind and I count to 20 and leave the store.
Two blocks down the street, I’m still boiling, mostly that I didn’t do anything, and then I hear it. “Hey, hey miss” I turn to find him jogging down the block towards me across the street. I cross the street screaming any and all obscenities at him, and so the people near us get the picture, yell at him for groping me in a bookstore, being a pervert, asshole and the like. He turns, walks away, turns again and then starts running down the street.
I hope I have scared him one tenth of what he scared me.
Submitted by Emily