“Can you please leave me alone?”

June 8, 2010

Photo taken by blog contributor

I got on the Blue Line at King Street Metro Station, and the car I got on was nearly empty. I sat near a window and just wanted to get lost in space.

Out of the blue, I hear, “Hi! Hi!” It gets louder, and I turn my head and see a guy is hovering over the empty aisle seat next to me.

“Man, I gotta tell you look beautiful,” he says. He continues to hover. His unwanted and unsolicited attention makes me uncomfortable.

“Can you please leave me alone?” I request. “I just want to enjoy the ride. I don’t feel like talking to anyone.” It’s true, I had no intention of talking to anyone. My face and body were turned towards the window. Did this guy not get it?

He said, “Okay” and sat down at a seat a row down and across the way from me, but not without mocking me with, “She said she wants to be left alone to enjoy the ride…HA!”

I managed to sneak a shot of him (though he turned my way before my camera saved the photo, which was a close call), and I changed train cars at Reagan Airport. That interaction just made me uncomfortable. Why don’t these men understand that not every woman wants to be bothered by them?

– Tired of Being Harassed

Location: Blue Line towards Largo Town Center, Northern Virginia

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.

DC metro assault

May 27, 2010

I live in Washington, DC and got on the metro at Farragut North and was headed to Gallery Place/Chinatown. I saw a man staring at me in the metro station and it was extremely crowded. He would not take his eyes off me and I started to feel really uncomfortable. When I reached Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro Stop he saw me getting off and decided to get off the train as well. I was pretty certain that was not his stop.

He grabbed my right arm tightly and flung me against the wall as soon as I got off the metro. He started saying very inappropriate things about what he wanted to do to me, how gorgeous he thought I was, and how he could help me with my career. He told me to get out my phone and save his phone number and he was still grabbing my arm very tightly. Finally he let me go and just stared at me as I ran up the escalator. I couldn’t believe that among all of the hundreds of people in the metro station, not one person stopped to see if I was o kay, when I clearly looked uncomfortable, upset, and scared.

I never reported it and then about a week later I was in Starbucks and I hear a man behind me say, “SURPRISE!” It was the same man that harassed me in the metro station and I cannot even explain to you how startled I was. He said, “Look, I want to apologize, I think we got off on the wrong foot last time we met.”

Every emotion flew through my body at that very moment and I screamed at him and told him how inappropriate he was and how he should know better than to grab a woman like that. I told him he had no right to do what he did and he had no business following me into Starbucks. I told him I had no interest in speaking with him and I think every person getting coffee that morning heard as well. He tried to explain that he was a “professional” and why couldn’t we just have a “professional” conversation. He said he was offended that I thought so poorly of him.

Honestly, the whole situation was unbelievable. You always have to be careful because you never know who can be watching you or following you. That man clearly knew my route to work and followed me into the Starbucks that I go to every morning. Don’t be afraid to speak out and let people know when they do something that violates you and is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE.

– ZK

Location: Washington, DC

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.