14 block stalker

March 26, 2011

I grew up in Queens, NY, and I have a lot of street harassment stories. The most recent one happened one or two summers ago and was so frightening that it still scares me when I think about what could have happened.

I was walking on Avenue B from 14th Street. At one point I passed this big dude who made a comment; I thought nothing of it and passed on. But after a block or two I noticed that, even though I was wearing my ipod headphones, I could hear someone murmuring something. It was the dude and he kept saying “So sexy….so sexy.”

I turned off my ipod but kept the headphones in and kept walking. It was about 3 pm and a nice day with lots of people out. I didn’t want to duck into a store and let him know he’d won (stupid, I know, looking back) so I kept walking, but noticed that I could see his reflection in shop windows that I passed.

Finally, after about 14 blocks of his following me I picked up my phone, turned the corner at E. Houston and called someone. I probably should have called the cops, but I wasn’t thinking straight at that point. I watched him pass me and keep walking. I stood on that corner until all I could see of him was a blue dot representing his full ensemble of blue shirt and pants.

Looking back I would have called the cops once I reached that corner. Looking back, I wouldn’t have even waited until E. Houston and would have ducked into a hair salon or something. Thank goodness it ended the way it did.

– Anonymous

Location: New York City

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.


“It is not o.k. to follow women or to not take no for an answer”

October 8, 2010

I was recently almost at my apartment building in NYC when a man who was hanging outside the deli at the corner said, “Hey, you’re really gorgeous.”

I ignored him of course and walked the half a block to my front door when I realized he was right behind me. He cornered me at my front door and said, “I’m sorry to follow you but I want to know if you want to continue this conversation.”

I said, “No, I can’t” which was stupid, I guess, because he thought “I can’t” meant, “I want to but I’m busy.”

And he said, “You chose your words carefully see you said I can’t…” I then got very forceful and told him I did not want to talk to him and he needed to leave me alone and walk away.

He became very belligerent and started ranting about how I was “retarded” and didn’t know how things work in this neighborhood because I must be from “Ohio or Seattle” or something.

I’m not, but I didn’t tell him I just kept telling him to leave and stop harassing me. I had my key in the first lock of the door but I was afraid that if I tried to go into the building he would try to push in behind me. I figured I was probably safer on the street where there were a lot of people walking around. He finally backed up enough for me to go inside. He was ranting and cursing and obviously very drunk as he was not only a complete jerk but making absolutely no sense at all.

I was pretty shaken up and extremely angry when I got inside. It is not o.k. to follow women or to not take no for an answer.

– Anonymous

Location: East Village, New York City

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.


Sick of sleezy comments

June 14, 2010

I am so sick and tired of hearing sleezy comments and remarks from men. I ride the subway to work and school on a daily basis and at least once per trip I have to hear some annoying comment about my looks or body parts from some guy. I am very petite with a young looking face and often get mistaken for someone in their late teens. All that I am asking for is a pleasant ride to and from school/work without having to endure any sickening looks and comments.

– anonymous

Location: New York City, 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.


“Yet again. It never f***ing stops.”

April 5, 2010

I was walking in the early evening in the east village of Manhattan, on an upscale, populated street. In my usual defensive street manner, I was walking quickly, I was not smiling, and I was not making eye contact with anyone on the street.

I passed a man who I didn’t look at and then heard from behind me, “Hey, you got a nice ass.” I stopped and turned around, I had  enough that day. This happens everyday, sometimes twice or three times a day. This comment was particularly rude and blatantly disrespectful, and I didn’t want to ignore it anymore.

I yelled at him and told him to shut up and that he was being disrespectful, he yelled at me and called me a bitch, saying “I got a right to like a big fat ass.”

I took the high road on the fat ass comment, and said, “Some women may have been sexually assaulted or raped, and they don’t like being talked to like that.” (I have been sexually assaulted).

He said, “All you gotta do is tell me that.”

Oh, so my preemptive opener for any man should be, “I’ve been assaulted, do not talk to me.”

Yes, I was upset and yelling at him, but I was trying to explain something too, that he could have learned something from. Clearly I had no effect on him whatsoever, since when I turned around and walked away, he said, “You still got a nice ass though.”

He had to have the last word, didn’t he. One more time to assert his power, knowing that I was visibly upset and could not turn around again.

Evey day [I am harassed]. Every single day without fail. I’m so tired of it. I don’t know what I can do. I feel totally helpless and unable to enjoy being outside. I am afraid when I see men coming toward me on the street. I am afraid they are going to touch me or speak to me. When they’re walking toward me I am saying to myself “please don’t look at me, please don’t say anything.” This is no way to live! I am worried about how this is really affecting me. Any advice on how to deal with this or what I can do would be appreciated.

– Amie B.

Location: East Village, NYC

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.


Hell’s Kitchen Pervert

February 4, 2010

I was walking home from graduate school at around 2 am, on 9th Ave and 54th St, wearing a large sweater, leggings and rain boots. Then, a middle-aged white man in business attire, who was standing outside a bar said, “excuse me.”

I thought he was going to ask for directions, so I replied politely, “Yes?”

Instead, the pervert said, “Can I squeeze your little titties?”

I was so shocked that all I could say was, “You are disgusting,” and walked away. I looked back to see if he was following me, but thankfully he just kept standing there like a creep.

– LD

Location: 9th Ave and 54th St, New York City

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.


“Dressing Professionally Doesn’t Stop You from Getting Harassed”

January 6, 2010

A friend and I decided to meet half-way between our respective offices in Manhattan for a weekly “professionals” lunch. The logical meeting point was 28th street and Broadway on the R/W line. When we both were vulgarly harassed (I hate it when people say “God bless” or “So sexy,” half under their breath but it’s somehow much more degrading when p**** and f*** are said loud and clear) within seconds of emerging from the subway we decided it would be better to meet at a stop that was slightly further for one of us. (This part of Manhattan is what I like to call “sketchy” Broadway as it’s about a 10-block stretch of nothing but open trash bag after open trash bag filled with “fake” DVDs, purses, etc.)

– anonymous

Location: 28th Street & Broadway, New York City

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.


16 year-old attacked on subway, fights back

December 28, 2009

Cyan Brown, via NY Daily News

One of the fans of Stop Street Harassment on Facebook brought the following horrific story to my attention, so I’m already breaking my holiday hiatus and quickly posting about it.

The NY Daily News is reporting that as many as eight men surrounded a 16-year old girl outside a restaurant in Queens and harassed her. They say there may have been “unwanted sexual advances” and the men continued them as she went into a subway station. She ran onto a subway car and the men followed her and dragged her off. During the struggle, she fatally stabbed one of the men, then ran back to the subway and got on. The men chased her but did not catch her. The stabbed man had a long list of convictions, including attempted murder, which makes the fact that they were trying to drag her off even scarier.

While the narrative of what happens makes it seem very clear that this was a hurrendous case of street harassment and she was defending herself to prevent who knows what else from happening (how would YOU respond if a group of 7-8 men tried to drag you away somewhere), but the article says a police officer only “suspects” she acted in self defense. So… is there more to the story or are they being overly cautious about naming what happened? Because this sounds exactly like self defense.

Unless they reveal a whole other situation they better not charge her with anything other than self defense. As the Facebook Fan who alerted me to this story said,

“I think it’s important that we contact the DA to ensure that charges are not brought against this woman. She was clearly a victim of street harassment. If she didn’t defend herself god knows what these thugs would have done to her.”

Read more at Holla Back NYC