Violet’s story: “Because we wouldn’t get into a car full of strange men who were threatening us.”

This actually happened over two years ago, but here goes: I went for a walk at night, just down the street to the store for a snack, with two friends. One friend and I were 17, and my other friend was only 14. A car full of guys pulled up next to us, leaning out of their windows and leering at us. It was very dark, and we could only make out their silhouettes. My two friends are deaf, so when we all froze and stared at the car, which was pulled up right to the curb, I was the only one to hear what they said to us. They yelled, “hey, girls, get in the car!”. When we didn’t move, they started swearing at us, and saying “Get in the fucking car right now or else! We told you to get in the car!”. I was legitimately scared for my life. It was dark, we were walking by a cemetery, and the car was full of guys. I thought they might get out of the car, or pull out guns. Thankfully (though I did not feel thankful at the time), they finally drove away, yelling “bitches!” out the window. These men called us bitches because we wouldn’t get into a car full of strange men who were threatening us. Unbelievable. I was so shaken, and we were only halfway to the store. I held my friend’s hand the rest of the way. While we were walking through the store parking lot, a guy started following us, so we quickly ducked into the McDonalds that we were walking by, and called her mom to pick us up from there. I have never felt so unsafe, and I can only imagine the kind of Post-Traumatic stress that other women have who’ve been through this several times, or much worse. I also feel awful at the fact that I actually thought, “maybe that happened because I’m wearing shorts.” I thought maybe my shorts were too short and that was the reasoning behind it. Maybe they thought we were prostitutes. Then I realized: even if we had been prostitutes, we should NOT have been spoken to in that way.

This is the reason why I am nervous about walking at night, even with a group of other girls.