Man harasses, follows woman and her 8-year-old daughter

A man slowed his car to follow me & my daughter (8 yrs old) on foot. He followed us for about a block yelling out his window that I’m sexy, I need to give him my number, at least my name, just hop in & talk to him for a little bit….

My daughter was obviously confused & uncomfortable, but I ignored him hoping she might think he wasn’t talking to me. I have a history of sexual assault & was merely focusing on controling my senses so that I wouldn’t dissociate. Then he pulled up into the driveway in front of us, cutting us off & yelled at my daughter: “Your mom is a fucking bitch-cunt-whore” before leaving in a fury. My amazing daughter yelled back that he was a stupid jerk & pulled me off the sidewalk, toward the park nearby where there was more people on foot.

Now, even though my only “invitation” for such threateningly creeptastical behavior was to fearfully ignore his graphic catcalls, the other family nearby looked at me instead as if I had caused the entire interaction & they held their children closer as we walked by. I do recognize the difference between a glance of disgust and a glance of pity. They directed their blame at the wrong person, just like when a rape victim is told she shouldn’t have gone out or she shouldn’t have worn a V-neck shirt. A more appropriate response would have been to ask if we’re alright!

My daughter asked me what the man’s words meant & why did all of that family look so mean at us. I told her there are no good answers to those questions. I told her I wish I’d been strong enough to tell him to go away when he first opened his mouth because following us was illegal. She said she knew I was scared because my hand was shaking in hers & that she would always be my hero when I need one.

We wanted to walk to the police station but we couldn’t remember what color the car was or any other details. We agreed that next time we would just tell such a person, “You’re breaking the law” & then we would tell them what they look like so they would know we would remember them.

– Tiffany Brown

Location: Small town outside of Syracuse, New York

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.

6 Responses to Man harasses, follows woman and her 8-year-old daughter

  1. Clarice says:

    I am disgusted. Why would an adult man shout obsenities like that infront of an 8 year old? Absolutely dispicable! Im sorry this happened to you.

  2. Emburr Starshower says:

    That really is disgusting! But what a wonderful daughter you have. She will grow up to be a strong woman.

  3. Kelly says:

    That was a digusting thing for him to do he was being unbelievablely innapropraite to try and pick up women from his car let alone women with children. What kind mindset do you have when you think that’s in anyway acceptable. Then attack you through your child, I cannot believe percieved entitlement of low life bastard. Your daughter sounds very resilient it’s a shame that she had to be exposed to such crude behaviour.

    I’m trying to understand his motivation does he expect women to hop in the car with a stranger? What was he thinking trying to pick up a women with children I mean a childs presence alone should be a detterant to most  idiots. What’s almost as bad is that family treated you as the one to held in contempt, by what strange logic is the one being cursed at the one to blame.

  4. Marty Langelan says:

    Hi, Tiffany — please give your daughter a huge hug from all of us! It was wonderful the way she spoke up.

    And it’s great the way you and she strategized about what to do next time.

    Best thing to yell back is some version of the All-Purpose Anti-Harassment Statement: “Stop harassing women. I don’t like it, no one likes it. You’re breaking the law.”

    You’re right that harassment is especially hard on women who have past experiences of sexual violence — it really hits us right in the gut. Just like when a combat veteran gets back from Iraq and can’t help but jump every time he hears anything that sounds like a gunshot….

    It’s hard to do, in the moment, but if possible, if you can get even a partial description of the car or the license tag number, it’s good to report it — we know that most of the jerks who do this kind of drive-by harassment are repeat offenders.

    And I’m so sorry that you had to deal with victim-blaming, by that family, on top of the harassment. That’s really the pits. Our research shows that victim-blaming is a psychological defense mechanism —
    deep down, some people are so afraid that the same thing could happen to them, that they’ll immediately, automatically go thru all kinds of illogical thinking to try to tell themselves that it was the victim’s fault. If they recognize the fact that it was the aggressor’s fault, that he chose to do it to you, well, that means he could do it to them, too, any time — and that’s just too scary for them to admit.

    You and your daughter are part of a world-wide movement to stop this creepy, harmful behavior — both street harassment and victim-blaming have got to stop.

    Marty Langelan

  5. delila says:

    that guy was clearlya fucking did nothin nothing at all to attract have brought your daughter up strong.i commend you.and your wise daughter..the other people are pathetic and extremely ignornat thats all..
    you guys are on the right track, just keep believing
    in yourselves..

  6. delila says:

    and thankyou marty for your educated comments .i just cannot be bothered and want to tell it like it bloody is ..but thankyou..that makes alot of sense of things that do not make any people always being so un empathetic..thank goddess for ppl in this world with knowledge that freely share it ..
    bless you.

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