“No woman should be blamed for encouraging men to act in this way”

March 27, 2011

I am a 22 year old British woman and I have never really had many bad experiences in the UK – maybe the odd wolf whistle or comment but I have rarely felt intimidated.

When I moved to the south of France last year, I experienced street harassment on a regular basis. A car drove along, stopped and reversed, which was very intimidating. My friend (also British) and I were walking along the street and some men heard us speaking English and started to harass us. Then they grabbed us and as we walked faster and ignored them, they threw a glass bottle at us. We had glass thrown at us in the middle of the day once before. Luckily, it did not land too near us.

Men have gotten in my face and shouted at me. It would be expected to be groped in a night club.

Never before have I ever felt so intimidated.

When I asked people why men felt it appropriate to do this, I would hear the response that it’s cultural. We, the Brits, encourage it somehow by wearing provocative clothing. I did not wear provocative clothing for this very reason, yet it still happened and besides, that way of thinking is frankly absurd in today’s society.

Women everywhere should feel safe to walk down the street without that feeling of intimidation and the fear as you get hotter and your heart beats faster. No woman should be blamed for encouraging men to act in this way.

– Anonymous

Location: Aix/Marseille, France

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 honestly so scared that I went into a safe place and shut off”

March 16, 2011

Last night I was going out to a club on the west side and had one of the worst harassment experiences I have ever had. I waiting for the E and I saw this guy staring at me so I moved down and thought I shook him off.

The uptown train pulled in and I was like sweet! No one on the train… I get on and he came in right after I did. He sat across from me and was looking at me all weird. He was holding his phone like he could be filming me but I was like whatever.

So the doors close and her starts rubbing his crotch and is still pointing his phone right at me. I have read posts on this site before and am so proud of the women that say something. I was petrified… I couldn’t even say anything.

Then I hear “because of traffic there are delays…etc” the train was stopped and then this guy actually pulled out his penis and jerks off. He was calling me a little slut and saying how I wanted to get laid tonight. It felt like an hour and the train started again and he kept doing it and pointing his phone right at me. I got up and stood by the door and he kept saying stuff to me. I wish I would have said something to him but I was honestly so scared that I went into a safe place and shut off.

I am so proud of the women that say something. I REALLY wish I did. On the upside… I had a great Saturday night out and don’t give a shit about that asshole

– Tanya

Location: E Train, New York City, NY

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.


Harassment starts so young

September 16, 2008

I grew up in Manhattan. One day in 6th or 7th grade, my friends and I got out of school kind of late because of an after-school program. When we left the building there was this homeless guy sitting outside and we didn’t pay him any attention, but were standing around trying to figure out what to do now that we were out for the day. He started mumbling something at us and we started feeling uncomfortable so we started to walk up the street and away from him. Finally, I guess he got mad that we ignored him and he says “Hey! Girl with the yellow back pack!” (I had a bright yellow Jansport,) “I wanna stick my d*ck up your a*s!”

I’ve never been so humiliated and horrified in my life! We all took off running up the street and I just remember looking back at some point and seeing him walking after us. We ducked into a convenience store and luckily it was crowded because he actually followed us in there! I saw him looking over people’s heads to see if he could find us but we stayed low and eventually he went away. Usually I took the train the opposite direction of all my friends to go home, but I was so scared I went home with one of them so I didn’t have to be alone. I was so scared he was going to find me.

My mom was really upset that I had went to my friend’s house without telling her. I remember being so angry that she didn’t understand how scared I was to take the train alone that day after what had happened…

-Ashley JC