Story, Verbal

Kara’s Story: Get Lost, Screaming Creeper

My fiancé and I were taking a stroll at night near Main street in our town. There are a lot of bars down Main and it’s intersecting streets, so there were some drunk patrons leaving one of the bars that we passed by. I noticed one of them was a guy I had known in high school, and I remembered that this guy had been very creepy and didn’t have a sense of personal space and I had been harassed by him many times before in several situations, so I urged my fiancé to walk a little faster and hope that he wouldn’t notice me.

He did…and he started shouting at me from behind.

“Damn! Look that that ASS!” he said “Girl you must work out!”

My fiancé put his arm around me and pulled me a little closer. This guy was drunk, but I remembered that he is no less creepy when sober. I knew there would be a confrontation in the street if I turned around and said anything, so we walked a little faster, trying to get to the traffic signal to cross the street, and told my fiancé to not acknowledge him.

“Come on girl, I see dat ass, lemme see your face!”

“Keep walking….keep walking…he’s not there…” I said in a hushed voice.

We got to the signal, but it had JUST changed and now cars were going by. We quickly turned the corner out of sight and ran behind one of the buildings so the harasser lost us. We ended up going in a circle back to the other end of the street where the bar was.

Every time I see this guy in public, I turn the other way. Whether he’s drunk or sober, he always creeps me out.

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20+

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Story, Verbal

Lauren’s Story: Flippin’ him the bird

I was walking when a guy was just standing in the sidewalk yelled at me “I bet you have a nice ass” As I passed him, I turned and gave him the middle finger.

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19+

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Nonverbal Harassment, Story, Verbal

Lauren’s Story: Just plain creepy

This happened when I was a teenager, maybe 16 or so. I was walking into a grocery store when I passed this creepy guy eyeballing me, as he walked away I overheard him say “too young” in a disappointed way. The town I was in is known for its high number of sex offenders. It was just creepy. I don’t like to grocery shop often anymore.

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13+

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Story, Verbal

Pari’s story: interpreting politeness

I was standing in the metro. Some guys were standing next to me ( They didn’t understand german, just arabic, so I assume they were from an arabic country, although this isn’t a matter of nationality) and were chatting, they seemed to be in their 20s. I want to add that I directly came from school and I was dressed very modestly. When the train stopped at the station, they guy next to me let me leave the train first . I liked this act of politeness very much, that’s why thanked him and smiled to him very nicely. It wasn’t meant as flirtation or anything, I just wanted to be polite. But when I left, I heard them laughing : oooooooooooh Dankeschön Dankeschön ( which is the german word for thank you, that i used). They said it in a weird tone , then they started to say something in arabic. Of course I don’t really know what they said, but I am sure that they thought that the fact I thanked him in a friendly way, was a sign that I liked him. They continued grinning into my direction and that really upset me.
Generally, I have experienced that guys from the middleeast sometimes misinterpret politeness from girls. I am from Iran, and Iranians also behave this way. Another time, I was in the metro with my friend when a Iranian guy started talking to me, in the middle of our conversation! I replied politely but reluctantly. still, when my friend left the train, he talked to me all they way, asking how old i was and if i would give him my phone number . he was actually pretty nice, but it was still a bit awkward for me.
When I am in Iran, I experienced that if you look into a guys eyes for a few seconds or smile at him, he thinks you are interested in him. That really sucks. so – guys ! even if I am polite to you – it doesn’t mean I want to date you our stuff okay?

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42+

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Story, Verbal

GG’s story: My dad was within feet of me.

My car broke down on the side of a busy but small road during 5 o’clock traffic. My dad was with me and he was standing outside looking under my hood. I was way too uncomfy to get out of the car because I was wearing a short dress and wasn’t anticipating having to stand on the side of a road. I have been sexually assaulted and raped before so this adds to my extreme anxiety in situations such as this. I felt bad that I was not helping so I did step out of the car, and of course – as soon as I did I hear “DAMMMNNNN BABY” or something to that effect. This man was hanging out the driver’s side window making hand gestures at me and yelling, at a stop sign, with tons of other cars waiting behind him and all around. Although my stress level heightens in situations like this I always have something to say back. I look at him, gave him the finger and just said “NO. NOPE.” with a super bitch look on my face. He THEN yelled “Whatever, BITCH!” and drove away, continuing to look at me. My dad was within feet of me. There were TWO OTHER men standing with us and he STILL had the audacity to do it. My dad an the other men did not hear it, luckily. Otherwise we would have had a bigger problem.

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43+

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Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: Advice needed.

I have gone to my friends’ house to meet him as he was not well. After sometime, we decided to go out for a light stroll. Some boys standing outside the apartment abused me without any reason. My friend got angry but I asked him not to loose his patience as they were in large numbers. But, still I am not able to forget that incident and I really feel insulted. How to overcome this?

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17+

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Stalking, Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: ongoing harassment…

Harassed for several weeks. Contacted my employees, verbally attacked me.

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13+

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Story, Verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO: #pathetic

For some reason even though I have my two kids with me and my wedding ring on my hand men still come up to me it’s really pathetic.

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16+

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Story, Verbal

Natalie’s story: #bystanderFAIL

So me and a friend of mine are walking through downtown Portland Oregon to the mall to get some Christmas shopping done. As we’re crossing the street, a man comes up to me and my friend and starts screaming 6 inches from our faces
“I WANT TO F*CK YOU, F*CK ME RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW MAKE LOVE TO ME”
After being startled half to death I finally worked up the courage to scream right back, “GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM US BEFORE I BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF YOU!!” He didn’t back off so we shoved our way through and kept walking.
What bothers me the most was that there were 20 or 30 people around us at the pioneer courthouse square and not ONE person did anything or asked us if we were okay.

This is only one of numerous times ive been harassed on my way to work/class/at work.

I cant shake the feeling these encounters gives me. Something has got to be done.

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41+

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Story, Verbal, youth

Joee’s story: “that intuitive prickling sensation we all experience as a primitive warning system”

There have been so many times throughout my life that I’ve experienced street harassment without even realizing what it truly was. Like many women, it began around the time I reached adolescence and has only gotten worse. Unfortunately, I have too many stories to share here at once, but there is one from several years ago that still sticks out in my mind like it was yesterday, and probably always will.
I had just turned 16 and gotten my first job hostessing at a restaurant in the small town I lived in. One spring afternoon, a friend from work and I decided to go shopping at an outdoor plaza and take a walk around the park across from it. We went in and out of a few stores, having a nice time. My friend needed to make a quick stop at a store in the plaza and since I didn’t need to go in that store I told her that I’d walk across the street to the park to get some ice cream and we agreed to meet back up by the ice cream stand in a few minutes.
I did just that, but the line for ice cream was short and my friend was no-where to be seen. I sat on a bench in the park and ate my ice cream out of a little cup, waiting and watching the few people there walking around the track. I pitched my empty cup in the garbage bin beside the bench and that’s when I saw him: an elderly man, perhaps 70 or 75 years old, walking a bicycle, overtly staring at me and making a beeline in my direction. I didn’t pay him much heed until he came to a halt right in front of me. I looked up, confused, and he said, “Sure is a lovely day, isn’t it?” I replied that it was. He then backed up a bit so he and his bike were close beside me and I was beginning to feel that intuitive prickling sensation we all experience as a primitive warning system, but try to ignore. He said, “What’s a pretty girl like you doing alone in the park?” He leaned closer to me. I had been sexually assaulted less than a year before and was still slightly skittish around strange men approaching me. I tensed and began feeling like a cornered animal, prey; his body and bicycle were blocking my most immediate exit. I tried to think of an appropriate response that might discourage him. “I’m waiting for my boyfriend,” I said. “He’s just on the other side of the park.” I thought that may be enough, but it only gave him more to question me with. “Do you like to have fun with him? I don’t think there’s nothin’ wrong with two adults having fun.” I knew what he was implying and I knew there was no way he thought I was older than I was, let alone an adult. With my tiny frame and still slightly child-like face, I was often mistaken as being even younger than I was. ‘Is he a pedophile?’ I thought, and it alarmed me even further. I smiled sheepishly, uncomfortably, hoping he wouldn’t sense my unease and prey on it like a canine when it smells fear.
“So you like to have fun? I live around here, I just got this real nice place. We could walk over there if you wanna. We’ll have fun.” He smiled. Creepy. His words themselves were innocuous but the implied meaning was clear. I looked around as discreetly as I could, hoping to see my friend or another person, anyone, nearby. I didn’t, but I wanted away from him right then. “Oh look, there comes my boyfriend!” I stood up abruptly, causing him to stagger backward a step, and power-walked with no real destination in my mind; just away from him. He got on his bike and rode out of the park.
I crossed the street, heading to the store my friend was in just as she came out of the door. I called her name and she must have seen something in my eyes I was unaware of because she sounded alarmed when she asked, “What’s wrong?!”
I relayed my experience to her and we got in her car. She was determined to find the man and we circled every block in the vicinity, but we never saw him. Although the panic I felt was nearly gone, adrenaline was still pumping through my veins, and I was shaken. I told her I just wanted to go home. As I was getting out at my house, I sincerely thanked her for her concern and efforts in trying to find the man.
Only when I was alone in my bedroom at last did I allow the tears to flow unbidden. I felt ashamed, scared, powerless, sullied, but most of all I felt angry. Angry not only at this one creep, but for all the women who have to live with men like him and their lecherous glances and words that poison innocence. I was angry with myself for not standing up, not reporting him right then because I realized that with the confidence and persuasion he exuded towards me, he must have done this before and will undoubtedly do it again, perhaps to an even younger or more naive girl who will follow him home.
I realized I needed to take a stand, and I have. Not only for myself, but for every person who has ever experienced sexual harassment. I’m so thankful for organizations like Ihollaback for raising awareness for something so vitally important. From me, and I’m sure from women everywhere, thank you for showing us we have the strength to holla back!

I've got your back!
56+

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