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The stories below are recent encounters with street harassment from around the world. Click the “I’ve Got Your Back” button under each one to anonymously show your support.
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.
Published on July 28, 2016 at 3:22 pmno comments
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.
Published on July 12, 2016 at 10:19 amno comments
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.
Published on July 12, 2016 at 10:17 amno comments
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.
Published on June 21, 2016 at 10:51 amno comments
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.
Published on April 22, 2016 at 2:37 pmno comments