I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

“It took all of my willpower not to throw the bag of dog poop at his car.” | Kiki’s Story

I am a nanny and I walk the family’s dog before I pick the kids up from school. I was walking the dog through residential Brookline, which was mostly empty because it was mid-day on a weekday. As I was walking, a car drove by and honked at me, then slowed down so the driver could yell “Nice ass!” at me before speeding off. It took all of my willpower not to throw the bag of dog poop at his car.

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

“His friends defended him and said ‘He’s drunk, we’re trying to get him home.'” | Lucy’s Story

I was just coming out of a dinner with an amazing girlfriend of mine and I hadn’t been on the red line in a while…I noticed as I got on the train that the lighting was brighter than the orange line and thought to myself “Hmm this lighting is great it must deter creeps and jerks.”

Not as soon as I sat down this group of three guys in their mid-twenties sat down next to this woman. She had her headphones in and one guy reaches down and brushes her shoe and foot and says “Nice shoes.” and she was obviously disturbed and tried to put her headphones back in when he went down again and brushed her shoe, foot and then up her leg — she looked terrified and frozen in shock. His friends were saying things like “Bro…” and in the middle of the action I said “What the fuck do you think you’re doing? She did not tell you you could do that or invited you into her space. Absolutely not.” His friends defended him and said “He’s drunk, we’re trying to get him home.” I said “That’s no excuse and try harder then.”

I invited the woman to come sit next to me across the aisle. I told her I’m so sorry that this happened to her and that she is entitled to privacy and not to be touched by men who feel entitled to her body. We talked a bit and the guy turns to me and asks “Yo, is that assault?” and I said “yes, that is assault. You can’t do that absolutely not.” and he responds “In Boston? We’re in Boston man…how?” (who knows what that even means.) I turn back to my new friend and chatted a little bit and she thanked me for helping, she didn’t know what to do and I asked her if this has happened before and she said yes. I told her that she can speak up and say no to whoever approaches you or touches her and that there will always be people to try to help her and pointed out the MBTA police and conductors as well. She then said the most upsetting thing to me “But…he was drunk so..” and I reiterated that it was not an excuse for him to touch you without your consent. Just as I explained that to her another man came up to us and told me it was a cool thing for me to do, I told him it wasn’t cool that I did it, I did it because we have to do it and to stand up to stop harassment. It actually SUCKS that I had to do that. I wish that I didn’t have to stand up for myself and sisters because of entitled jerks.

I told my new friend that I wanted to her to feel empowered and strong now to tell these men that they are wrong and can’t touch her or invade her space without her consent and if it happens again to alert the MBTA police. We shook hands and smiled together despite having just gone through a really scary experience together. Thank you Hollaback Boston for helping me find the words to confront this harasser and feel empowered to help my fellow sister on the redline. I couldn’t have done it without this resource.

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories, Uncategorized

HOLLA On the Go: “It was my first time being catcalled with my baby.”

I was walking down the street with my baby and two men in a car yelled, “Hey, mama!” at me. It was my first time being catcalled with my baby and the fact that it was literally related to the fact that she was with me made me feel super gross.

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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 would not give me back my debit card until I answered his question.”| Kaitlin’s Story

Not sure if this is street harassment, or just harassment in a public place. On weekends, I hang out with a friend who lives a few towns away. Several times I’ve driven home from her house at 1 or 2 in the morning, & stopped at a well-known convenience store. The first time I got a lot of leers from the two men staffing the store, so I bought my mac and cheese tv dinner, paid quickly while ignoring the staring, and left the store. A second time I went to the store intending to buy mac and cheese again, and when I got to the register, the man asked me what I was doing out so late. Wary, I mumbled something about being out to answer and be done with it. He commented that I only had one box of mac and cheese, so of course I would be at a friends house, since I did not have a boyfriend. If I had a boyfriend, I would have two boxes of mac and cheese. Solid math, but I didn’t answer, so he asked me directly ‘do you have a boyfriend?’ Hoping to avoid this line if questioning, I said, I only date women. He leered at me and told me that if I wanted he would put on a dress, that he could be a girl if I liked girls, and that he would do things to me that no man ever had. I was incredibly uncomfortable, being alone at 2am in a store with someone speaking to me like this when all I wanted was a snack, but I needed my debit card back, so I kind of just reached out for it. He would not give me back my debit card until I answered his question, and I didn’t want to reach too far and get grabbed. In lieu of a reply, I had to laugh and pretend the withholding my card was funny, in order to get it back. I walked to the door until I was out of sight, then ran to the car, and locked the doors. I drove home because I was afraid to stay in the parking lot, equally sobbing, enraged at myself for not doing anything about it, and depressed about the world, even though the rest of my night had been so nice. Now I can’t go to that store on the way home, though I get to remember that interaction every weekend, driving by, and it’s the only 24-hour place open around, so I guess I just need to remember to buy a lot of mac n cheese when I go grocery shopping instead of stopping anywhere unsafe.

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

HOLLA On the Go: Followed

When I was 13 a group of about 5 or 6 creepy men (late 20s maybe early 30s) were screaming at me from across the park about my “tits” and I was walking away and they started following me.

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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

“Get off the street you dirty whore!” | Amy’s Story

I was riding my bike through the intersection of Beech & Elm near Davis Square when a car almost hit me when turning right. The driver screamed out his window “You fucking cunt!” I was SO shocked that I had no response. As he drove down the street, he yelled out his window again “Get off the street you dirty whore!” I started crying because I was so stunned and shocked to be called those names. I’m pissed because now I ride even MORE carefully than before in fear that I will be screamed at by another angry man who thinks because I’m a woman, he can use that language.

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

“When I start to reply with “No, I’m…” he then runs his hand up my arm and then cops a feel of my breast.” | Mary’s Story

I was visiting the Boston area for the first time on a business trip where I was training new employees. The training ran late, and for dinner I went straight to a bar near my hotel without changing, so I was still wearing work clothes. I was in a strange city, so I purposely made sure to sit at the bar where the bartender would always see me, immediately next to the wall, thinking no one would bother me there.

As I’m finishing dinner, a man walks up to me, claiming he’s the owner of the restaurant/bar, telling me I’m beautiful and wants to buy me a drink. I decline, saying I’m not drinking anything, but thanks. He then tells me “well, if you change your mind, I’ll be here…” and walks away. Thinking that’s the end of it, a few minutes later, I get up to use the restroom. The earlier guy is now preoccupied with another woman but his friend has now taken interest in what I’m doing. “Let me buy you a drink” he says. When I start to reply with “No, I’m…” he then runs his hand up my arm and then cops a feel of my breast. I immediately pull my arm away and go off to the restroom, where I call my best guy friend, even though he’s a thousand miles away. I tell him what has just happened, followed by “If you don’t hear from me in 15 minutes, saying I’m safe in my hotel room, I need you to call the police in Billerica and tell them what just happened.” My “friend’s” response? “Well, what are you wearing?” I groaned and said “Does it really f***ing matter, never mind” and called another male friend instead.

I leave the restroom with a scowl, and the groping man sees me and, grinning, says “hey, there you are, don’t be mad” and I just keep walking. Behind me, I hear someone (I’m assuming him) say “Bitch”. I ask for my tab, with the ugliest look on my face I can muster, then once I’ve paid it, storm out of the restaurant to my hotel, holding all of my keys between my fingers. I made it home safely, but immediately cried in the hotel room.

I was wearing what I always wear to work, with 12 hour old makeup that had probably worn completely off. I wasn’t *trying* to look glamorous. I simply wanted my first food in 10 hours at 10 PM and to be left alone.

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

HOLLA On the Go: Creepshots

Middle aged man on the BU bridge was taking creepshots of young women with his digital camera.

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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

“Thanks for making my lunch break uncomfortable, buddy!” | Caryn’s Story

One of many…I could post to this site everyday! I think I’m going to.

Tuesday while I was out to lunch I was walking to the deli. I’m coming around the corner out to Broadway when I hear “oh my god you’re gorgeous!” coming from traffic, so I shoot a dirty look, a death look actually, over my shoulder to the car of the cat caller, to which he then responds “you’re beautiful!”. I threw my hands up in the air and just screamed “STOP IT!” in the middle of Everett Sq full of people because it was voting day. Thanks for making my lunch break uncomfortable, buddy!

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I've Got Your Back, Shared Stories

“I passed by, trying to make myself look confident and not attackable/approachable, as I often do now.” | Kaitlin’s Story

Walking to the train from my first workshop on street harassment, I had to pass next to a line of men sitting and standing around benches, or else walk in the street. An older man said “hey beauty” as I passed by, trying to make myself look confident and not attackable/ approachable, as I often do now. I really had to catch a train, so all I said was “fuck yourself,” as I passed. Not the best phrase in my experience, as far as the comebacks that particulay saying incites, but it was the first thing I thought of. I don’t need some guy in a group I’ve never met commenting on my appearance out of nowhere at eight o’clock at night, as I’m just going about my business.

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