Hollaback! Story, Stalking

Anonymous story: “I immediately sensed that he was watching me”

I was waiting for the the #1 bus on Barrington st, trying to get to a cafe in the North End. It was 4:30pm or so but it was dark. A loud and belligerent man starting yelling at a group of students down the street. I knew he was trouble, so I walked up Barrington a few more blocks to wait for the bus near the Starbucks – I recognize the importance of being near open public places when creepy men are around, especially as a woman on her own. Then, the creepy man walked past me, so I thought I was safe. I remember struggling to keep my eye on him while not giving away the fact I was watching him – it always makes the harassment worse if your potential assailant thinks you’re looking at him.

I got on the #1 bus. A few stops later, the creepy man got on the bus. I wondered if he was following me. I got off the bus one stop later and headed back downtown towards Barrington st, where it was busier and more public, to reform my plan. I hated that I had to change my plans on account of some creep. From Barrington st, I ended up grabbing the #1 going up Spring Garden. Guess who was on the bus? The creepy guy. He’d taken off his jacket so it was hard to recognize him, but I immediately sensed that he was watching me. He was sitting in the front of the bus with a grin.

I got off the bus on Spring Garden to go into the Shoppers Drug Mart. I made the mistake of passing the creepy guy and having my back to him as I exited the front of the bus. He laughed and said to me, “Are you following me?” and exited the bus after me.

I shot straight into the Shoppers and paced until I made sure he hadn’t followed me inside. After like an hour, I found my nerve, called a cab, and went straight back home.

I was most disturbed by how much planning went into this little stalking stint of his.

I was most disturbed by how much planning went into this little stalking stint of his.

There are many ways I wish I’d handled the situation differently, but I mean, come on. This is like a military-zone/spy-movie case of stalking. Do I really need military training to be safe in my everyday life?

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Hollaback! Story, Stalking, Verbal

Jenna’s story: “he rode away… and came back”

One night in September I thought the bus was running later than it was and ended up having to walk home around 12:30am. Around Almon St. a biker drove by me staring, then turned around and came back over by the sidewalk and kept telling me it was such a nice night I should go for a ride with him and he didn’t feel like going home alone, I kept saying no so he rode away… and came back 2 or 3 times telling me to get on his bike and following me along, cutting me off at a driveway so I had to go around him, and he finally gave up.

I was scared he would come back when I got up to the residential area where there’d be nobody out but luckily a cab driver who saw from a parking lot came over and asked if I wanted a drive home, said he saw the man leave the pub before heading my way.

I used to feel somewhat safe walking home at night.

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Hollaback! Story, Verbal

Kaitlynn’s story: “a 10 minute cab ride dodging inappropriate questions”

I’ve only recently started thinking about all situations where I’ve felt vulnerable and uncomfortable in public spaces and how they can be termed as sexual harassment. The worst by far though when I was in a cab with two of my friends (all of us had been drinking) who are in a relationship and the cab driver was extremely chatty. He was asking my friend and her boyfriend various questions about their relationship and the party we were at. The questions quickly became sexual in nature and it seemed pretty funny until my friends were dropped off and I was left alone in the cab.

I thus had to sit through a 10 minute cab ride dodging inappropriate questions from the cab driver who asked me everything from whether I had a boyfriend to what my favourite sex position was. I contemplated whether this person might drive me to some remote location and rape me and whether I should just jump out of a moving vehicle. Being drunk did not help the situation but people take cabs in order to avoid walking home late night and avoid situations like these on the street.

To this day I would rather walk home alone at 2am than take a cab alone.

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Hollaback! Story, Verbal

A Halloween story: “He looked down at me”

When I was 14 I went trick or treating with a bunch of friends. I was dressed as a belly dancer, wearing a little top over my tank top.
At one house, I was one of the last to go to the door, it was the house of a man who I’d say was probably in his 60s. Me and my friend said trick or treat and he looked down at me and said “well, you’re well endowed.”
I was only 14 and it was the first time anything like that had happened to me. My friends made jokes about it and I laughed a long but honestly I felt kind of ashamed.

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Hollaback! Story

Anonymous story: “It made me feel uneasy”

During exhibition week I was sitting in the shade wearing a crop top when a man much older than me stood very close to me so that he could stare down my top. I know it seems small, but it made me feel uneasy.

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Assault, Groping, Hollaback! Story

Anonymous story: “I told him to stop”

Approximately spring of 2014 on a night in downtown Halifax I was with my friends and we were about to part our ways to go home. They offered for me to sleepover but I declined, I thought I would be fine to take a taxi by myself from there to Clayton Park. When I got to the apartment building, the cab driver asked me if I would perform oral sex on him or touch him if he gave me money, he pushed the money towards me and I just didn’t know what to do. I was very intoxicated and scared. I just sort of sat there in shock trying to get some words out. He started touching me and went under my skirt, I told him to stop. I went to leave and he said no wait and put the money in my hand then tried to assault me further. I screamed “fuck you, fuck off” and other words of sorts then got out and ran into the apartment building. I had his cash and didn’t pay for the ride but I don’t feel guilty about that at all. I did not know the cab company or taxi number so I didn’t think I would have much of a report, and I was also very scared. Looking back maybe I should have tried to report it anyway.

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Groping, Hollaback! Story

Catherine’s story

A middle aged man replaced my bra strap as I was walking downtown with my arms full.

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Hollaback! Story, Stalking, Verbal

Britt’s story: “they followed us for about a block”

My friend and I went out for a night of dancing and we were walking to pizza corner. Two guys catch up with us (one my friend had danced with earlier that night and his cousin)

The cousin started yelling at me and my friend saying we had to go home with them. They followed us for about a block, in our faces, saying my friend led him on and that she had to do more. Disgusting! We told them to go away several times but it was terrifying because I didn’t know if he would get violent or what would happen. There were some people around but it was still very scary.

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