My roommate and I live in the Fan district in Richmond, Va. It’s all too common to be followed home (either on foot or scarier, in slow moving cars) by random sketchy men. The best thing you can try and do is ignore it, but there’s this primal fear that kicks in when you’re being followed by someone who could easily overpower you. Most of the time they’re not that aggressive, but every now and then you get some real creepers.
Once we were walking to the 7-11 near our apartment in broad daylight when a group of six men circled around us and demanded that we “talk” to them, and they tried to touch my roommate and myself on the shoulder. Then they started moving in closer and tried to convince us to get into their car to go “hang out” with them. I told them no and they moved in closer and tried to grab us. My roommate is a lot more passive than I am and she froze, so I grabbed her by the arm and pushed through two of the men. They followed after us and yelled at us for about a block, then they finally called us frigid bitches and turned around.
More than anything, I’m glad that I was there to look out for my roommate. The whole ordeal was infuriating, but the most important thing I learned from this is that there is safety in numbers. What bothers me the most about this is that it happened during the day with several people around, and no one stepped in to help us even when we were clearly being harassed.
Location: Richmond, VA