“There is no where to go to escape it”

I’ve been harassed nearly everywhere I’ve gone, and no matter how I was dressed. I’ve had my boobs grabbed, my ass grabbed, my crotch grabbed, and some of the most filthy and disgusting things I never wanted to hear whispered into my ears. And it doesn’t just happen in the streets. Concerts, bars (even while I was clearly talking to a boyfriend), groceries stores, malls, in the workplace, there is no where to go to escape it. No one has ever done anything to stop it. When I ignore it or give the harasser an annoyed look, they start calling me an ungrateful bitch, or a whore. When others see me being harassed, they never do anything to stop it, as if it’s only worth the trouble if things turn to violence.

It started when I was thirteen, and I enjoyed the attention of whistles and honks from the car. It didn’t take long for me to get sick of hearing it, and for more serious trespasses to start. I was never even a sexy dresser. Jeans, t-shirt, no makeup. That didn’t effect things, either. I often wore old, dirty sweatpants and a torn up flannel shirt to a job I had loading trailers in college. For some reason, that just made them like me more, especially at gas stations. For years, I quit going to bars and concerts because I was so sick of dealing with the crowd. As I’ve gotten older, I don’t get it quite so much. Oddly, the business suit seems to work better as a deterrent than the sweat pants ever did.

All that time, I just figured it was something I had to live with and work around. This website and it’s message are great, and I hope it will help change the way we deal with this issue.

– KW

Location: Everywhere

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Find suggestions for what YOU can do about this human rights issue.

4 Responses to “There is no where to go to escape it”

  1. Kat says:

    I’ve been harassed everywhere I have went, at the gas station, at work, at home by my old apartments, every where, until I gained sixty five pounds in five years due to an accident and disability, and began being staying inside most of the time. It is wonderful not being harassed anymore. But I do want to lose the weight and get out more often, and I worry about facing that harassment again. Thank you for the business suit idea. I don’t know when I’d be able to afford one. But thanks for the idea. Good luck to you. P.S. Now they also regard me for my mind, soul, and personality, something everyone assumed I didn’t have and ignored it when I was in shape. But I have a right to have both.

  2. B. says:

    All I can tell you is that you’re not alone. I too feel as though there is no escaping it. I finally took to wearing headphones every time I walked anywhere alone so that I didn’t have to hear what was being said, but as I’m sure you understand, you still know when things are being said to you, even if you don’t hear it: You feel it, you read the lips, etc.

    And then there’s the fear that if you have your headphones on, you won’t hear the footsteps of the strange man walking up behind you to grab your ass or assault you entirely from behind.

    I often marvel at the face that we live in America, in the 21st century, and we still have to face this situation without any real relief or assistance at all. I’m as lost for solutions as you are.

    I can only help by letting you know that you are not alone.

    It really does make you feel like a prisoner in a 1st world country.

    Which is insane.

  3. Golden Silence says:

    Thank you for the business suit idea. I don’t know when I’d be able to afford one.

    Let me tell you that though this worked for the original poster, it may not necessarily work for you. I was in DC years back leaving a job fair and wearing a business suit, and this clown came up to me as if he knew me (“Girl, I didn’t see you at work today!”) and would not leave me alone when I told him “I don’t know you…back the hell away from me!” It just encouraged him more! Everyone has different harassment drama and you have to find what works specifically for you.

  4. Jen says:

    Exactly, Golden Silence. I’ve been harrassed wearing every combination of clothing I can think of. Weirdly, I personally seem to get it worse when I’m dressed down in jeans and trainers – I think it possibly makes me look younger…and the resulting street harassment hence even creepier. My most successful get-up seems to be when I’m in a heavy metal mood – black jeans, studded belts and tattoos seem to make most men back off a bit, maybe out of confusion about what to do more than anything else…

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