Afraid to walk on my own campus

When I was a senior in college in New Haven, CT, I was walking from my dorm to the gym and had to walk through a somewhat narrow passageway between two other college buildings. There was a man standing in a corner and he motioned to me to come over to him, he didn’t seem sketchy, just sort of random. I had to walk past him to get out and I realized he was masturbating while staring at me and following me. I ran away and when I got to the other side of the alley way, I call the police to report it, but I never heard anything back from them. It was so disgusting and I was afraid to walk from my dorm across campus to the gym alone for a very long time.

Submitted by Abby

One response to “Afraid to walk on my own campus

  1. Despite widespread fear of stranger danger, the majority of assaults against women are perpetuated by men that are known to the woman victim. Those that are initiated by strangers typically follow two methods of operation.

    The first method is to engage the woman in some type of a verbal interaction in order to get close enough to launch a surprise attack. The second method is to use to launch an “ambush” style attack from concealment. In either case, the element of surprise provides the attacker with a huge advantage. Reducing or eliminating this element of surprise is why “awareness” is critical for self-defense.

    In the case of the Pervert, The Creep, and the Crude Oaf, if a man exposes himself, publically masturbates, or calls out an offensive comment to you, he has effectively lost the element of surprise. He no longer has the ability to launch a surprise attack. He has just provided you with a key piece of information. You now know that he has a “bad intention”. By eliminated your uncertainty, he has made it easier for you to act with conviction. Any overtly aggressive movement by him towards you is your “Trigger to Act” and for you to escalate your defensive response.

    The rattle snake can be extremely dangerous to humans. It stalks his prey silently. Therefore, it is not in predatory mode when it is rattling its tail. It is in threatening mode. From a self-defense prospective, now that you have been warned of its presence, you don’t need to run away, you just need to avoid coming too close to it.

    The same is true for The Pervert, The Creep, and the Crude Oaf. Their overly threatening actions are inconsistent with enabling a predatory surprise attack. Therefore, while these types of harassers may look and act scary, their behavior is more bark than bite. Since they do not have the element of surprise they are less dangerous than the Opportunistic Predator and the Predatory Stalker who typically disguise their true intentions.

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