I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

HOLLA On the Go: “He followed me until I got to the stairs.”

A young male at the T stop harassed me when I got off the train at around midnight. He complimented my outfit and then asked me out, and continued trying to get me to go out with him after I repeatedly told him that I have a boyfriend. He followed me until I got to the stairs leading up to Hammond St.

I've got your back!
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HOLLA On the Go posts are those submitted through Hollaback!’s mobile apps – learn more here!

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Britni, Hollaback! Boston, Local News, Shared Stories

Clinic Harassment? Hollaback and Help #ProtectTheZone!

You probably know that the basis of Hollaback! Boston’s work revolves around sharing stories of street harassment on our site. But did you know that we also accept stories of abortion clinic harassment? IT’S TRUE! We do. And if you have one to share, we encourage you to submit it to us. BUT WHY?

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Recently, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the 35-foot buffer zone that has existed outside Massachusetts abortion clinics since the 1994 shooting of 7 people at 2 Boston-area clinics. They determined that the buffer zone was a violation of protesters’ free speech.

But we all know that abortion clinic protesters are not just politely standing outside clinics asking you nicely to reconsider your decision. They use tactics like intimidation, harassment, and violence. And that makes for some very unsafe public spaces, which is what we are actively working to change here in Boston.

Luckily, Mass politicians are taking this issue seriously and are working on legislation to put protections back in place. This new legislation was filed earlier today by Senator Harriette Chandler. It’s titled An Act to Promote Public Safety and Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Facilities.

However, in order to strengthen the case for protections outside of clinics, the courts need to know how necessary these protections are. And the way that we can let them know is to hear from YOU! Your stories can change the world and here is an opportunity to do just that.

Have you been harassed outside of an abortion clinic? Tell us about it. Feel free to submit anonymously if you’d like. Tweet us @HollabackBoston. Tweet using the hashtags #protectthezone, #jointhedissent, and #notmybossbusiness.

Every story matters, and every story makes our case stronger. Protecting the zone starts with telling your story to the world. You have the power to help us ensure that everyone in Mass can seek reproductive healthcare in safety.

Not sure what we’re talking about? Here are some resources:

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And don’t forget to check out coverage of the Supreme Rally, which we were proud to co-sponsor!

-Britni

image credits: 1-NARAL Pro Choice MA; 2-Kate Ziegler

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

“He grabbed me again and said ‘Just wait a minute, come on.’” | Katy’s Story

A guy approached me at the T stop and started a friendly conversation, mostly appropriate small talk. Quickly turned a bit more flirty, and then he asked if I had plans tonight – I said yes and explained that I’m leaving Boston soon so I have to pack. He asked if I’d be back and I said yes, at which point he grabbed my hand and said “Well then we have to hang out!” I laughed it off and tried to let go of his hand but he still held it, and kept holding it as we got off the train. I said “I’m not going to hold your hand” and “I’m sure my boyfriend wouldn’t like seeing me holding someone else’s hand” (which in retrospect implies that a man’s ‘ownership’ of me is more important than my own objection, which is lame, but anyway), I then aggressively removed my hand. He grabbed it again and said “I’m sure it’s fine” to which I replied “Nope it isn’t” and tore my hand away again. I pointed in the direction I was leaving and said bye, but he was going that way too, so I turned and tried to go another way, but he grabbed me again and said “Just wait a minute, come on” and I said no, I had to meet my friends. He then tried to hug me and I pushed him away and he said “Come on, you’re not going to hug me goodbye?” and pulled me in again, and I said NO, pushed him away and left the T station quickly.

I've got your back!
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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

HOLLA On the Go: “There was no reason for him to be sitting so close.”

I was taking a nap on the Common and woke up to find this middle-aged man sitting beside me, staring at me. It was especially bizarre because the hill was fairly empty, so there was no reason for him to be sitting so close to me. When he noticed I woke up, he left.

I've got your back!
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HOLLA On the Go posts are those submitted through Hollaback!’s mobile apps – learn more here!

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

“I felt so helpless and pissed off.” | ASH’s Story

Getting catcalled an harassed on the street is a daily experience for me living in the city (from Colorado, to Orlando, to Chicago, to here in Boston). Got a lovely wake-up honk 10 steps outside my door yesterday morning. Because that’s just what every lady needs at 8am to feel “beautiful”!

While this sort of thing happens daily, one particular night sticks in my mind. It was the middle of winter and I was coming home from the gym & grocery store, laden with grocery bags, many layers of clothing, wearing my old winter coat with the hood up, my face & figure obscured.

As I came to the intersection of Warren, a one way street turning out onto Gore/Medford, an SUV pulls up and 2-3 males in it that start immediately cat calling me “Hey baby” “Come over here” etc. etc.; the usual comments. It was after dark and the street was deserted, not to mention I had my arms full of bags. I quickly crossed in front of their car and kept walking, only to have them continue to whistle and shout at me as they turned onto the street and drove slowly past me. I was terrified they were going to follow me home and felt trapped, like I couldn’t run away with all the things I was carrying and them being in a car and me on foot. Thankfully they drove off. When I got home I burst into tears telling my boyfriend what had happened (I can’t remember the last time I cried, and I was embarrassed that they had gotten to me like that). I felt so helpless and pissed off. I now always go with my boyfriend to the grocery store at night. It’s depressing that I can’t walk three blocks to my house alone.

I've got your back!
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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

HOLLA On the Go: Acceptance

My best friend got called down to the principal, and was told that her clothes were “distracting to her male peers” and that she needed to get a “new wardrobe” by Monday. The way she dresses is exactly the same way most girls do, the only difference is that she’s a D cup. The next week, two boys told her that she “had a nice package”. When I told her about reporting them, she said that it was useless because it’s always going to happen–the school made her accept the catcalling.

I've got your back!
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HOLLA On the Go posts are those submitted through Hollaback!’s mobile apps – learn more here!

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

“He was forcing his opinion on me, then told me a ‘hilarious’ rape joke.” | Rowan’s Story

I was in Harvard sq and a guy was forcing his opinion that I’m stupid for attending to my service dog’s medical needs on me and then told me a “hilarious joke” about a person in authority raping someone. The punch line was that the rape was actually of an animal.

RAPE IS NEVER FUNNY. ABUSE IS NEVER FUNNY. ABUSE PERPETRATED BY PEOPLE IN POWER IS NEVER FUNNY. ABUSE OF ANIMALS IS NEVER FUNNY.

I've got your back!
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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

“It is not a compliment. I do not feel empowered. I feel like I need to hide myself away.” | Michelle’s Story

I was walking to Dunkin’ Donuts. I was outside for maybe 5 minutes and I had FOUR separate men hit on me. I told each one of them to fuck off. The first guy told me I shouldn’t be rude and the last guy said I should take it as a compliment. No, I will do none of these things. I do not sit idly by while I’m being harassed, because that’s what this is. It is harassment. It is not a compliment. I do not feel empowered. I feel like I need to hide myself away. I am not wearing make up and I am sick. This is not the face of a person who is looking to get hit on. This is a person who just wants some goddamn coffee and a breakfast sandwich.

I am a rape survivor and catcalling is not harmless. It is detrimental to my psyche, but I’m going to force myself out of the house today because I refuse to feel like a victim again.

I've got your back!
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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

HOLLA On the Go: “She’s been wearing sweatshirts ever since.”

My best friend has insanely huge boobs, so she falls out of anything she wears. In school one day, she was wearing a tank top. Our chorus teacher threw her his big white button up shirt in front of the whole class and made her put in on. Then he said “don’t worry only 3 girls wore this at the concert” and laughed. Joking about publicly humiliating your 14-year-old student about the size of her breasts. She’s been wearing sweatshirts ever since.

I've got your back!
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HOLLA On the Go posts are those submitted through Hollaback!’s mobile apps – learn more here!

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

HOLLA On the Go: Followed

A shirtless guy offered me and two friends money for sex then followed us into a restaurant. When I asked an employee to remove him the harasser shouted that I was a liar and left.

I've got your back!
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HOLLA On the Go posts are those submitted through Hollaback!’s mobile apps – learn more here!

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