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When it comes to street harassment, you are not alone.

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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.

 

Story, Verbal

Make It Known!

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 am

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NYPD FAIL, Story, Verbal

Julie’s Story: “Acted like I was somehow at fault”

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 pm

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Story, Verbal

Danielle’s Story: “at least say thank you”

After spending all day with my husband and not hearing a word from strange men on the street, not minutes after I left him with friends to go meet my friend for dinner a man shouted at me from his car something about my butt in my jeans. When I didn’t respond he angrily yelled that I should at least say thank you. This is my first time back in San Francisco in years and my mood instantly changed from being excited to be here and explore to wanting to leave and go back to the small town I now live in where I drive everywhere and can avoid street harassment for the most part.

Published on April 22, 2016 at 2:36 pm

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Nonverbal Harassment, Story

Rachelle’s Story

I was walking with my infant daughter in a carrier. I had just said goodbye to my partner, and walked towards riverside to go to my home. On the way there, a man jumped in my path and started cooing at my daughter — not an issue, happens often — but he wouldn’t let up, and blocked my path. I smiled thinly and waited it out, feeling uncomfortable and shifting my body so he couldn’t touch her. He touched me instead, running his hand along my back and arm, and started saying stuff about my body. I didn’t really know what to do — I was worried he would be mean or hurt us or yell and scare my daughter, and I didn’t want her to be scared or see me being scared, so I just kind of stood there and smiled.
I eventually pushed him off and walked with my head down, not listening to him as he called after us. When I hear other people’s stories and they say they were scared, I forget what that strange feeling of fear can be – it’s isolating and roots you in place. It’s nothing and something and overblown and serious at the same time. I always feel like I’m overreacting…and then suddenly like I’m not. I always doubt myself and, no matter how often I tell myself otherwise, somehow feel responsible for what happened. My daughter is 10 months old, and this is going to happen again — and then it’s going to happen to her. I want to know how to respond so that she doesn’t think I’m afraid, or that she knows this isn’t okay, but I’m still scared and I don’t ever want to endanger her. It feels hopeless somedays.
#hollaback

Published on April 13, 2016 at 11:51 am

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Story, Verbal

Sarah’s Story: Harassed by my super

This morning it was very rainy and cold in NYC so I had my winter coat on with the hood up and buttoned and happened to see my superintendent of my apartment building walking towards me. I waved at him not realizing he didn’t recognize me all bundled up and he responded with, “Fuck yea, baby. I love those legs.” I ripped my hood off and screamed, “I live in your building, you work with my boyfriend who is the real estate agent of said building, and you need to learn how to respect women.” He walked right past me and ignored me as if we don’t see each other every day and say Hello, as if we don’t give him a Christmas present each year, as if I didn’t know he has a girlfriend and a baby to provide for. What do I do now when I see him every morning? When will a female be able to feel safe walking on her own street and wave to someone she knows?

Published on February 26, 2016 at 10:17 am

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