Arrested for defending self against street harasser

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, light skinned hispanic or black 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 30 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. 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 if you had 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!

BTW the sickening aspect of it was that the cops was asking the guy if he would accept an apology from ME!
– anonymous
Location: Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Include your location and it will be added to the Street Harassment Map.

10 Responses to Arrested for defending self against street harasser

  1. elaine says:

    This is horrifying. The message is clear: even minority males, who are supposedly such an ‘endangered species’ in our society, are still more deserving of decent treatment at the hands of law enforcement, strictly because *they are male*. Women belong in some strictly sub- or other than-human category, and are not entitled to the same protections as even the most lowly man. For anyone who thought that this attitude obtained strictly in Third World countries, or countries run by intolerant religious fanatics, this post should most certainly make you think again.

    You have my heartfelt sympathies on this, and I’m just thankful that the POS didn’t succeed in doing you worse hurt. I’m totally and utterly outraged over this. If ever a story ot this nature deserved glaring national media attention, this one would DEFINITELY be it.

  2. Margaret says:

    I am very sorry that this happened to you. It’s terrible that this attitude of blaming the woman for the man’s behavior is so prevalent.

  3. Golden Silence says:

    I commend you for having the guts to stand up for youself and I am so sorry that this happened to you! I hate how harassers can do and say all they want but when we stand up to them we get blamed. This society is so misogynistic.

    I hope you can find someone willing to work pro bono for your case.

  4. Sarah says:

    I feel your pain OP. I had a similar experience (some “man” got out of his car at a red light and starting calling me a fucking cunt, a fucking whore, fucking bitch etc) I called him some names and followed him to a parking lot. HE called the police on ME because I called him a fucking asshole and told him he was a dickless bastard. I told my side of the story and the cops said it was probably road rage on his part (WTF?!) I asked them, “if he called me a nigger or a dirty jew would that have been considered a hate crime?” they said, “yes”. So, it’s okay for him to call me a slut, whore, bitch, cunt etc but it’s not okay for him to call me a nigger. Nice to know. Thanks Canadian “justice” system.

    Anyway, hang in there. You’re not alone.

  5. YW says:

    You need to look at the following link. It may explain why you are experiencing this foolishness. It seems there is a law in CA that fully encourages harassment, stalking, molestation, rape, etc.

    http://www.freedomusa.org/coyotela/badlaws.html

    Also, you may want to go to http://www.yellowpages.com and look for domestic violence attorneys/lawyers since activities like harassment and stalking will most likely be issues they handle!

    PS: Here is a link to a pro bono legal site.

    http://www.publiccounsel.org/

  6. YW says:

    Here is another site.

    http://www.cwlc.org/

  7. Xanni says:

    Everyone should stay calm in the face of street harassment and call the cops. If possible, get the man’s car plates. Main thing not to let THEM turn you into a victim of the system and get you arrested instead of them. If they cuss you out–cuss them out. If they threaten you–threaten them right back. But don’t do anything physical, like using pepper spray, hitting their vehicle, etc, cause this lets THEM turn the system against you. Most of these animals (yep, I don’t consider them human) know the system very well (they had a lot of practice) and they WILL call the police on YOU. Stay cool, stay calm and don’t let yourself be turned into criminal by the unfair “justice” system. Point cellphone at them, call 911, photograph their car plates, wave that pepper spray or swing that bat (if you’re sure their cell camera isn’t on) but don’t d anything physical, like actually spraying, hitting or touching. If there’re witnesses, don’t even swing any items, etc cause it’s all going to be turned against you. Today, I had a bad run-in with one of these dogs… well right now the cops are looking for them and they will find them cause the cops had seen them loitering before, they know where they are :X. These shitts knew I was going to fight them if necessary (i’m an athlete), but I got into my car, put it on emergency flashers, run the honk and called 911–the dogs were running away real fast.

  8. Xanni says:

    What’s very amazing, I had been told by a female police officer (while male officers went looking for the perps) today that the same animals that tried to harass me had harassed her, on duty (!)… Wow. She said it with a smile like it’s something funny. Apparently, the officer (young attractive girl), thinks it’s OKAY for a female officers be harassed by males! That’s how backwards and misogynist our society is, women are brainwashed that they are SUPPOSED to be harassed–even if they’re female law enforcement. I’m in SF bay (South bay). All I know I used to live in New Yawk and there if they “harassed a police officer” they’d be shot dead before they’d open their filthy mouths to say good-byes :XXXXXXXX

  9. Xanni says:

    PS: Girl, didn’t u see an item shaped like a gun pointed at ya there at Wilshire? You need new eyeglasses methinks ;/ Men are dogs… and with the dogs… there’s only one way to deal with them. I know I sound hateful, but 37 years of live, including overseas where women were nothing but 2nd class humans is going to do this to you.

  10. Believe says:

    I have gone through the same thing except my stalkers and abusers are my family. The police helped them by saying I deserve to be beat up and that I should be ashamed of myself for MY behavior. I have contacted the FBI against the local police and that stopped the police from threatening me on the streets. I was put under FBI protection and the local police could not give me a speeding ticket. I have moved 3 times only to find a death in the family and my name and where abouts was put in the obiturary. I contacted the politicians in my state to report the stalking. The local police where I live now have in their own way let me know that they will not give me a hard time but I still do not feel safe. I just wanted to let people know what I have done so far and that is go to the FBI on the local police and talk to your local politicians. It has helped a little which is better than nothing.

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