Violated at the Seattle DMV

December 20, 2010

I was in the Seattle DMV on 2nd and Spring and a man bent over as he was leaving, then stood up and said, “Thanks for that.”

It took me a few seconds to realize he had been looking up my skirt and was now thanking me.

I started shaking and yelled after him “fucking dick.” I didn’t have a cellphone and I was frozen.

He came back in and said, “Are you laughing at me?” and I said, “Get the fuck away from me now.”

After he left I went to the bathroom in tears thinking, “Call the police they will have his name. Call the police.”

I will forever hate myself for walking back out into the waiting room and not calling the cops. I feel like that is too high a price to pay for one man getting five seconds of his jollies. I wish I had done everything different. Next time I will.

– Sarah

Location: DMV on 2nd and Spring, Seattle, WA

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.


“I was crying too hard to drive”

December 2, 2010

Today I was in my favorite chain of gas stations in town. They are always well lit, clean and have 5 attendants on the clock at all times.

I went to the ATM,and got out my money (hovering close to the screen to block the view) and walked to the counter. Some guy got into a spat with a woman behind him because she would not buy something he wanted, she said “Son, we don’t have the money for that” and turned to go get into the far line away from me.

As I walked this dirty looking guy walked up behind me, and stood in line. I only noticed him because he was watching me closely, and he was the guy that snapped at his apparent mother.

My first thought was he might think of taking my money he looked at me so intensely, so I tucked my purse under my arm and zipped it up.

As the clerk came to me and I started counting the money, I felt the guy behind me get very close to me, close enough to feel his breath on the back of my neck. He finally bumped my ass, and I could actually feel his hand through my slacks!

I turned around abruptly and screamed at him, “Do not touch me! I don’t know you! You have plenty of room to stand here, you do not have to be so close to me!”

He jumped back and started calling me names and saying, “That guy behind me pushed me.”

I yelled back, “I don’t fucking care you have no right to touch me, back up right now!”

He looked about my age (early 20’s). I looked around the store at this point everyone was staring like I was a crazy woman. I even saw his mother and she was looking at him like…I don’t know like she expected it? Kind of a “Oh my god not again.” I turned back around, because now I knew everyone was staring at him. He kept calling me names, under his breath and i finished paying for my money order, and left.

I was so humiliated! I even stood up for myself, but by the time I was out of the store and driving home I actually had to pull over in another gas station and have a panic attack there locked in my car because I was crying too hard to drive.

– BME

Location: Tulsa, OK

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.


“As soon as they saw me they started making sexual comments”

November 8, 2010

This is a story i want to share which happened a while ago. I was at my house waiting for my boyfriend to come around. When i looked out of my window to see if he was walking up the road, i did see him – being hassled by a group of lads. I quickly ran to the door to see what the commotion was and ready to defend my man.

When i stood by the door, i could hear the boys teasing him and asking him if he would do this ‘beat box’ sound. Now you’re probably wondering what i mean by that. The beat box is like a beating noise rappers do, pretty difficult to explain really. Me and my boyfriend had been harassed before over it. Anyway, i yelled at the idiots to leave him alone as my boyfriend came up my path.

As soon as they saw me (a woman) of course they started making sexual comments to me and laughing together. I was furious. I told them to fuck off while my boyfriend threatened to call the police and slammed the door. We didn’t call the cops in the end because they left but i was mad. It ruined my night.

– Clarice

Location: Wales, UK

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.


Idaho upskirter is jailed

September 29, 2010

In Idaho, video voyeurism is a felony and that’s why Mario Esquivel-Jimenez is in jail. Two different women caught him trying to take upskirt video footage of them at a Wal*Mart and they contacted the store manager. Then the Boise Police arrested him.

Via KTVB:

“It’s a felony,” said Lieutenant Steve Myers with Boise Police. “It’s a fairly new law on the books that was created to meet the needs of an ever-changing technology in society. So, we do use it quite a bit. It’s just one of those things that happen as times change. People take advantage of cell phones, to capture video that they should not be.”

Emphasis there was mine. It’s a good thing, if this is happening “quite a bit,” that it is illegal.

Mario Esquivel-Jimenez

Remember, if you are the target or see someone else being the target of public harassment (and this goes for any type, not just gender-based), you can report it. Yes, there’s a chance your report won’t be taken seriously, but at least you’ve tried. And then, in a case like this, what if it is taken seriously? Because of you, hopefully the perpetrator will be deterred from harming anyone else.


“This bloke was undressing me in his mind”

September 13, 2010

Today i was out doing some shopping for tonight’s supper with my boyfriend. I enjoyed a cuppa in Sainsbury’s cafe and rode the bus home. The bus journey went ok, no annoying little prats spoiling it, no drunks trying to hit on me and no fat, bald perverts leering at me – OH, hang on, that is until this ugly middle aged man (say in his 60s) got on the bus and sat on one of the side seats.

He then proceeded to stare at me even though i ignored him. I then got up to get off and as i did so, i felt his pervy eyes ogle at me as i walked off (i was wearing a dress) and even when the bus drove off, i saw him staring at me until the bus was no longer in sight.

What a creep.

It made me so mad and uncomfortable knowing that this bloke was undressing me in his mind and had got away with it. I felt degraded and it ruined my night. I’m sure he had ‘lovely’ thoughts about me when he went to bed, gross! Oh and by the way I’m 19!

– Clarice

Location: No 63 bus, north cornelly, south wales, uk

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.


Leerer at the Doctor’s office

September 6, 2010

While waiting in line today to check in at my doctor’s appointment on the first floor of a clinic, I stood to the left of my husband.

In front of me, while in public (with people around sitting in waiting chairs), in the daytime, waiting in line to check in was a 40 or 50 year old white tall skinny guy with nasty dark eyes and a big bald spot on the back of his head. He was looking around casually, but when he saw with the corner of his eye that I was behind him, the bastard turned his body so he was no longer giving me his full back. He then eyed me and wouldn’t stop staring at me. I saw that he demeaned me with his eyes as he looked too low below my chin.

Being an athletic girl, I brought my knuckles out and cracked them loudly. I looked at him in the eye, and then I elbowed my husband to pay attention. It’s so pathetic, I almost always have to tell my husband when something is up. I always notice before him. It doesn’t help the problem. I actually had to whisper in my husband’s ear to notify him of the problem occurring in front of him.

The asshole kept on staring at me in a disrespectful manner basically until he was called in to check in….and EVEN THEN he kept on staring, the bastard….WTF…I was wearing baggy gym pants and a sleeveless shirt with straps but that shouldn’t matter

– FI0008

Location: Champaign, IL

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.


Tokyo subway gropers organize online

August 9, 2010

I’m conducting research for a street harassment article and I’ve gotten totally sidetracked by a story that escaped my attention last September.

As I’ve noted before, men groping women on the Tokyo subway system is a huge problem. There are even women-only cars to try to combat it. Well, last September Tokyo stepped it up a notch to hold “Groping Prevention Week” because men were organizing online and plotting out the best places to grope women!

Via MSN:

“The growing problem of groping on public transit has been exacerbated by the internet, as Japanese authorities have reported there are over a hundred websites in Japan designed for gropers — to swap information on the best train lines and travel times to cop a feel, and exchange stories and images of sneaky squeezes.

Guilty gropers face a fine of $6,000 and up to six months in prison, but it is believed that thousands of women keep uninvited train touches quiet due to modesty.”

Via Newser:

Some gropers, encouraged by the websites, have been organizing into gangs to surround a victim while accomplices block the view of fellow passengers. Police warn that convicted gropers face up to 6 months in prison and a $6,000 fine. The crackdown—described as “groping prevention week”—snared its first groper within minutes: a 30-year-old man charged with grabbing a 15-year-old girl.”

Via Japan Today. High school girls help raise awareness about groping on the subway.

Via Japan Today:

“The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department launched an anti-groping campaign on Monday, with some 200 people including high school girls handing out fliers and tissues at Ikebukuro station and plain-clothed officers being posted aboard trains on lines which run through Tokyo.

Police said that plain-clothed male and female officers trained in anti-pickpocketing and other crime-prevention measures would patrol carriages [and] they would beef up their uniformed presence at major stations nine lines…Police said the number of incidents is increasing, and there have already been nearly 1,000 reported cases of groping or photos being taken up skirts in the first half of this year.”

So gropers have figured out how to use the Internet and are using it to get organized? Hmm. It is a high tech country and look at Japanese games like RapeLay…I guess it was inevitable. Let’s hope the crackdown by police lasted longer than a week (can’t tell from my google searches) so more of these idiots are arrested and others are deterred.

And let’s hope that would-be-gropers in other countries don’t get any ideas about organizing. Although, maybe that would be better. If we found their sites and figured out their plots, it would make it easier to fight back and rally together protesters, police, and the media to shame and arrest them! Because that’s one of the worst things about street harassment (including groping), not knowing when or where it will happen and then being too shocked and paralyzed to do anything when it does. So please, harassers, if you’re going to grope, stalk, and harass us, at least let us know so we can be prepared to fight back.