Harassment starts so young

I grew up in Manhattan. One day in 6th or 7th grade, my friends and I got out of school kind of late because of an after-school program. When we left the building there was this homeless guy sitting outside and we didn’t pay him any attention, but were standing around trying to figure out what to do now that we were out for the day. He started mumbling something at us and we started feeling uncomfortable so we started to walk up the street and away from him. Finally, I guess he got mad that we ignored him and he says “Hey! Girl with the yellow back pack!” (I had a bright yellow Jansport,) “I wanna stick my d*ck up your a*s!”

I’ve never been so humiliated and horrified in my life! We all took off running up the street and I just remember looking back at some point and seeing him walking after us. We ducked into a convenience store and luckily it was crowded because he actually followed us in there! I saw him looking over people’s heads to see if he could find us but we stayed low and eventually he went away. Usually I took the train the opposite direction of all my friends to go home, but I was so scared I went home with one of them so I didn’t have to be alone. I was so scared he was going to find me.

My mom was really upset that I had went to my friend’s house without telling her. I remember being so angry that she didn’t understand how scared I was to take the train alone that day after what had happened…

-Ashley JC

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