Today I was arrested for defending myself against a man who was sexually harassing me and verbally assaulting while putting my life in danger in my car. I was driving down Wilshire Blvd and there was a man who was driving a 4 Runner, driving alongside of me as I was driving my car. Intitally, he was on the left side on my passenger’s side making a pass towards me. I used my hand to indicate that I wasn’t interested and that is when he crossed lanes and got on my driver’s side and started calling me a “bitch,” and other hideous names. The whole time he was riding dangerously close to me. Feeling threatened, that is when I pulled out my mace and sprayed his car. He then proceeds to continue to stalk me as I drive through traffic. I arrive at a parking lot where I know the people and he gets out. I see him on the phone and that is when I call the cops. The cops came out after about 1 hr to 1 hr and a half minutes and the attitudes of the cops is what repulsed me even more. They tell that I shouldn’t of said or did anything, despite the fact that he was assaulting me (calling someone “bitch” is considered assault) and I really didn’t say anything. They told me that I should have called the cops even after I explained to them that in the past when I have called the cops for stuff like that, the cops would just dismiss it off as “A pretty girl complaining about a guy ‘bothering’ her,” and not take it seriously. They angrily told me that I shouldn’t of used the pepper spray and I saw them cajoling with the guy on “man stuff.” The worst thing of was when they said that, “All of this could have been avoided had I gone in another direction.” They also told me that had I cursed him out I would have been seen as the aggressor. They arrested me for it, then let me go, but not without taking my pepper spray and my camcorder. What I went through was pure horror and I didn’t deserve it. How dare a perp – who has prob gone to prison (I noticed he had prison tattoos) – have more rights over someone like myself simply because I was merely defending myself. The problem here is not me, but our society. No man or woman has the right to strike at someone simply because that person refuses to bend to their advances. Most importantly, that person shouldn’t have power to punish someone who was merely defending herself against a vicious assault on her personhood. Now I have to face the city attorney simply because I refused a man’s advances. Where did our system go wrong? I need legal counsel, information on places that deal specifically with ending street harassment and codifying it into law. The problem will persist as long as law enforcement not only turn a blind eye, but give the perps a “pass” by making it seem like it is a case of “boys will be boys,” while girls are supposed to be punished for being girls AND women. I don’t know what to do. I am pissed, but I don’t know what to do or where to go? If you have info on feminist lawyers or feminist/ anti-street harassment orgs, please forward them to me. This has got to stop. We live in America and, basically, in effect, the guy can curse me out, call me names, stalk me, etc, but the only way I can avoid issues is to not be seen nor walk out in public like women in Islamic countries. For the kicker, the man can attack me and call me any names he likes, yet, when I fight back by calling him a name or take action, it is MY fault! Funny thing was, when I had a man arrested for battery, the cops were cajoling with the perp with the male officer saying to me, “You know he can sue you for false arrest and imprisonment, right?” Basically, our judicial system is marred by a long time tradition of misogyny and anti-woman attitudes. What happened to me today; I didn’t deserve it NOR all the women victims of domestic violence who go silent since they know the cops will do nothing – as I explained to the three officers today – and will only then act when the woman decides to act in self defense all because the cops didn’t do anything!
As an addendum, when I tried to call the police (I filed an internal complaint regarding that comment) at 6:55pm, the phone call was not able to go through as if it was blocked by their system. When I called from an alternate number, surprise, surprise, the call went through, yet when I told them my name, it was blocked!
Submitted by Raven