“Leave the women alone!”

April 5, 2011

This happened years ago, but I was on a crowded tube train once when a woman was groped by a male passenger. I only became aware of this when another guy confronted the perpetrator and threw him out of the train at the next stop, shouting, “Leave the women alone!”

– Anonymous

Location: London, United Kingdom

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.


“This was the first time I felt in a position where I could do something”

March 28, 2011

I’m a man, I have never been harassed so I don’t know how degrading it feels but I do know it is awful to watch. I have been brought up by a very feminist Mother and a Father who treated me to stand up for others. I saw a young girl in a club who was being chatted up by a guy who was obviously drunk and much older by at least ten years but it progresses to being rather sexually aggressive as she turned him down. He started to grope and pinch as she walked away pulling her back and so on. It was embarrassing to watch and made me feel sick with anger, this was the first time I felt in a position where I could do something, I walked over and said, ‘Thats enough.’

He seemed startled but instantly his attention switched away from the girl, which was fortunate. Unfortunately his attention turned to me. I am not big or strong and I received a good beating. But I have never felt better about myself and would do it again if I saw it.

– C W-M

Location: Southend Night Club.

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


“No one else stepped up to the plate. I had to do something.”

January 14, 2011

ABC News did a very interesting experiment regarding street harassment and bystanders. They had three actors portray construction workers and had them harass an actress portraying a regular woman. Even as the men escalated, most people nearby did nothing. One woman bystander was too hesitant to confront the men, but suggested to the woman targeted to just ignore them and walk away.

But, across the time they were play-acting harassment, there were THREE good male bystanders who stepped up to the plate.

ABC News

Bystander #1 (you can see this exchange in the video clip):

“You don’t treat people that way. It’s wrong,” one man said to the construction workers.

As he stood next to our actress, he offered to apologize on behalf of our construction workers.

“Are you apologizing for men in general?” our actress asked.

“If I have to,” the man said.

Bystander #2:

“You are disrespecting this woman here. If you have a problem with her, you’re going to have a problem with me. Anyone who wants to be tough just stand up,” the man said.

“She’s flirting,” one of our actors said.

“She ain’t flirting,” the man shot back. “She’s over here and you guys are bothering her. Leave.”

When we [ABC] caught up with this man he told us, “I don’t know her. I don’t know them. I was pretty annoyed the way they were treating her. You know, three guys, a female … she’s very distressed. No one else stepped up to the plate. I had to do something.”

Bystander #3:

“Why don’t you get your lunch and take a hike” said one man.

He happened to be a construction manager who told us [ABC] that he sees a lot of what he called “shenanigans.”

“One, two, three of you picking on her?” he asked. “What are you guys doing? What is this?”

He told our construction workers that one day they might have a daughter and asked them if they would want somebody else to treat her the way they were treating our actress.

“I’m sure she has a father that wouldn’t appreciate that,” he said

“I don’t have a daughter and until then I’m going to have some fun,” one of our fake construction worker replied.

We noticed the man standing by the side of our actress, not allowing the construction workers to get any closer.

As the abuse continued from our workers, he decided the best thing to do would be to walk our actress away from the scene. When we caught up with him, he told us, “I saw one guy grabbing for her. If it went any further, I would probably have to lay him out,” he said.

At the end of the article, ABC said, “In the course of the day, many people witnessed our construction workers verbal assault on our actress. But we wondered; what would happen if our construction workers traded in their hardhats and boots for suits and ties? – Find out tonight at 9 p.m. EST”

Go ABC for addressing street harassment! I’m also interested to see what will happen when the harassers are wearing suits and ties since that ALSO happens despite the stereotype that it’s only construction workers or “blue collar” workers.

I know it can be challenging to be a bystander and the three men who “stepped up to the plate” are a great example for all of us. Here’s more info on being a good bystander as well as suggestions for what you can say or do if you’re the one being harassed.

[Update 1/15: You can watch the full episode online]


Stopping harassers

November 18, 2010

Was walking to a friend’s house in the early hours, heard someone shouting from a car at a woman walking in the opposite direction. The car was a Nissan Micra with three or four men in it. I watched as they stopped in the road and then began to slowly reverse back down the road with the window rolled down, obviously intending to pull level with the woman and follow her.

I started walking over towards the car, when the driver spotted me approaching he drove away. I caught up to the woman and asked if she was okay, if she was near home etc, had a short conversation with her, she seemed okay. This happens to my friends a lot, I’m very used to hearing about it, was glad to be there to do something about this time.

– p p bloxham

Location: Camden Town, London

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.


Terrible predator, good bystander, useless police

July 10, 2010

[Story may be triggering]

I was walking to the subway on the way to class (college) at 930 am last week. On a tuesday. An older gentleman, maybe in his mid-50’s, appeared to be on the phone, but started getting closer to me commenting about my breasts and my face saying into the phone “this is what i like right here, these are the kinds of girls i want to f*ck right here. this ones’ gonna get it”.

i started walking faster. i was shocked that the street was full of people but he would say such disgusting things. he followed me, saying similar things for two more blocks. I didn’t want him to follow me into the subway station, because i’d be trapped with him down there. So i finally worked up the nerve and turned around and yelled, “Can you just leave me alone??? you’re scaring me and you’re disgusting!”.

at about the same time i started screaming, a street sweeper pulled over and the driver jumped out and ran up to the pervert. the pervert started screaming about how he was going to rape me, leaned forward, and pulled my shirt down almost tearing it off. at this point, the street sweeper grabbed him in a head lock and a grocery owner ran outside saying he had called 9-11.

i was late for class, and the police refused to take a report saying nothing ‘serious’ had happened. i spent the day in class shaking. took an exam almost crying. it was awful. thank god for the man who intervened while everyone stood by staring.

– anonymous

Location: Brooklyn, NY

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.