The NY Daily News has photos and more information about the two women who were hit by a street harasser in New York on Friday. Sadly/infuriatingly one of the women died and the other woman, thankfully, will survive her injuries.
“When the two [women] ignored the men’s advances, the van slammed into the women, pinning Katsiambanis, before coming to a stop at a CitiBank, police said…Cops arrested Keston Brown, 27, of the Bronx, and charged him with driving while intoxicated and possession of marijuana. Sources said Brown, who has prior arrests, was flirting with the women while driving by them. When they spurned him, he lost his temper – and control of the van, they said.”
In the other news stories I’ve read in the last year where street harassment escalated to murder, the women similarly ignored or turned down the men’s advances. In my research I’ve found that women’s most common response to a harasser is ignoring them, for numerous reasons, like they don’t want to give the men any sign of encouragement. But harassers can escalate whether they are being ignored or whether they get a reaction from the person they are harassing. This is why ending harassment boils down to a focus on the harasser, not how women respond. It may not matter how women respond because different harassers are looking for different reactions and when they don’t get them, or if they do get them, they escalate the harassment.