Scary harassment incidences in New Orleans

I’ve been experiencing typical forms of street harassment like catcalls etc. since I was a teen but in the last two weeks I have had multiple frightening and almost violent encounters. I live in New Orleans very close to Bourbon Street and work there but before you assume it is the location, I can honestly say I’ve lived here since August with few problems.

Last night was the worst. I chose to walk home from work on Bourbon St. specifically because it is busy and full of police officers. A man approached and attempted to make small talk as I walked. He was polite and non-threatening and I’m fairly friendly so I responded but kept walking. Then he suggested that we go some else. I explained that I had to go home. He suddenly grabbed my arm and attempted to pull me. I pushed him hard, cursing and yelling at him to never touch me again.

Out of nowhere this girl appears and lunged at me. I respond to violence with anger so I shoved her away from me. I’m guessing this couple worked as a team to either rob-or worse sexually assault-young women. It was like the female was waiting at the place the man stopped me at. Weird.

The worst part of the story is that a cop came into the scene. I immediately approached him and begged him to help me so that they wouldn’t follow me home.

His response, “Have you been drinking tonight?”

Stunned I say, “Yes, I’ve had a few I’m a dancer at a club. It’s part of my job. I’m just trying to get home.” He threatens to arrest ME for public drunkenness. I was not slurring my words or stumbling. Another man even stepped into vouch for me but the cop insisted that if I was still there when he got back I would be arrested.

A Good Samaritan luckily walked me home. My two attackers were standing a block away staring at me. I did report the incident to another police officer who was more understanding. I just couldn’t believe the first cop blew me off and treated me as the criminal. It is possible he thought it was a drunken fight between to women (if he hadn’t seen the man grab me). But still I spoke clearly and respectfully when I explained the situation.

I’ve had other less frightening versions of street harassment that also happened recently. One night my friend and I were walking and a group of guys started catcalling us. We ignored them. A few guys didn’t like our rejection so they followed us, closely, screaming obscenities. Her response was to ignore it because she feels they want a reaction. I don’t feel that I should ever have someone breathing down my neck. I told them “to back the F- off. We were not interested”. It worked, they stopped.

Another night a car full of guys began following me doing the whole catcalling routine. I wasn’t bothered until they drove the car in reverse to continue “talking” to me. They drove off finally and I went on my merry way to grab some food. On my way back those same guys passed again. They slowed down and followed me about half a block. As I tried to ignore them, and silently prayed that they aren’t going to abduct me, they ask, “Are we scaring you?”

Umm no how could it possibly be frightening to follow a single girl on a desolate street at night. Of course they knew it was frightening. Why ask if they didn’t.

I responded calmly, “No actually you aren’t scaring me. You’re annoying me. Please leave me alone now.” I looked them dead in the eye when I spoke.
I don’t understand how society considers letting men think it is ok to behave this way.

Thank you for this site.

–  Megan Kelley

Location: New Orleans, LA

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.

2 Responses to Scary harassment incidences in New Orleans

  1. Margaret says:

    Horrible! I can’t believe that police officer treated you like that. That angers me even more than the behavior of that man and woman, and believe me, that part riled me up too!

  2. Golden Silence says:

    I don’t understand how society considers letting men think it is ok to behave this way.

    Neither do I! The lack of respect never ceases to unnerve me.

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