“The feeling of being trapped and helpless was quite strong.”

Around 11:30 or 12 one night after work, I took a bus route that required me to walk a few blocks to my apartment. My building is right on a busy street and the front door was always unlocked. Among the people on the bus were a group of giddy young girls and an older, shady-looking man. He had been focused on the girls, but when I stood up for my stop, he got off the bus with me.

He followed me for three blocks, while I crossed and re-crossed the street and paused to see if he would pass (he didn’t). I reached my building but was afraid to go in because he would see it was unlocked. I waited at a well-lit bus stop, where a young man was waiting as well. The stalker remained across the street, occasionally staring at me (I stared back) and patiently waiting for me to move. I contemplated crossing the street to talk to him, but reflected the streets were quiet and he might be stronger (and faster) than he looked. I was stuck and helpless.

Fortunately, my live-in boyfriend was at home and came out to walk me around the back and inside my building, but otherwise, I would have had few options – nearly all the stores were closed and I didn’t have any friends nearby. The feeling of being trapped and helpless was quite strong. As a young woman, I am tired of being targeted by unsavory, creepy men. I shouldn’t have to walk around with a constant fear of being followed, watched or accosted.

– Victoria

Location: Eglinton Ave. W and Avenue Road, Toronto, Canada

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.

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