harassment, stalking

Emily’s Story: “I wondered if he would ever stop following me. “

I walk in my neighborhood a lot. The other day I was trying to cross the street in a residential block, and I was waiting for an SUV to finish backing out of their driveway so that I could walk behind the car to the other side. But instead of driving forward, he continued to drive backwards until I saw that he was grinning at me and trying to force me to walk in front of the car. He wouldn’t stop backing up so I had to walk in front. He turned on his lights when I crossed, at 4pm, and followed me at like 3mph for the rest of the block. He was laughing the entire time, while I wondered if he would ever stop following me. He turned the corner where I did and laughed when I shot him and look and switched directions. Then he took off, probably still laughing at how funny it is to intimidate women.

I've got your back!
15+

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harassment, stalking, verbal

HOLLA ON THE GO!: “I never expected that from him.”

In high school, I was befriended by a male who was always nice and said hi to me in the hallway, but one day while walking alone to my car, he rushed to my side and asked seriously, “What color are your panties?” I was freaked out and felt violated and betrayed. I never expected that from him. There was tension immediately. Later, his friends, including girls, would laugh at me when they’d see me (who knows what he told them) and he even egged my car shortly afterward.

I've got your back!
7+

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verbal

Followed on my bike…Chuna’s story

On my way home from work some creep in a luxury SUV followed me on my bike till we hit a light then rolled down his window to say, “Mmmm damn girl. I love driving behind you.”

I've got your back!
6+

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verbal

Just another one of Hermie’s bike days…

It was about this time last year that I had an unsettling experience on my way to class at U of H.

As usual, I was on my bike and headed to an early afternoon class. While waiting to turn left onto Cullen at the light on Holman, I hear a man voice yell out to me from the car in the lane to my left.

He said…”hey girl, can I get witchu?!”
In no time, my intenal feelings go from….dang it’s finally nice out! I love today! Hooray!!…to GRRR!!! ANGRYRAGEY WANT SMASH!!!

It’s not like me to act out on the smashy tendencies, so I tell little hulk in my head to chill and decide to completely ignore the request just yelled at me and not even look in that direction. I just want to get to class and forget this. So I continue to look ahead and squint my eyes at the stop light and imagine that I have the telekinetic power to change it to green right now already!

He noticed I didn’t respond so he tries again, louder…”hey girl, can I get witchu?!”
AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! C’MON LIGHT!!

Finally, both lanes make their respective turns and I can now see his car as he passes me up. At the same time I also see a styrofoam cup filled with liquid somersaulting towards me that was hurled through his passenger window.  ACK!  EW!  Because I generally ride my bike in the center of the lane, I have some room to maneuver over to my right and avoid his rude, projectile retort to my silence.

This definitely made me feel pretty uneasy for quite a while the rest of that day as it also brought up terrifying-worst-nightmare feelings from remembering a recent report about a student who was assaulted by a man hiding in the women’s 2nd floor restroom at Agnes Arnold Hall earlier in the semester.

It also made me mad considering that all because I didn’t respond to Mr. Canigetwitchu, that he put my safety in danger. There were so many “what if’s” floating around in my head after that. What if I had said something immediately, would I have met that cup sooner? What if that cup+liquid combo had hit me while I was riding, startled me and caused me to swerve into the curb or what if the car behind me hits me because I lose my balance and they can’t brake soon enough etc etc…

Hey boy…I’m at a stop light waiting for the green. I’m not waiting for you to ask me out. I have more important places to be.

I've got your back!
10+

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the movement

#EndSHWeek

HCC Diversity Summit table
HCC Diversity Summit table

What the heck have we been up to lately, anyway?!

For those of you that don’t follow us on Facebook, here’s a much needed recap of Hollaback! Houston’s latest activities:

    • We were a Co-Sponsor for International Anti-Street Harassment Week 2014!  The organization, Stop Street Harassment, has been coordinating this program since 2011.  Many of the other Hollaback! chapters were able to participate as well and you check out the official “Week In Our Shoes” report at the Hollaback! main site.

Across the globe, during the week of March 30th – April 5th, activists hosted various events to get the public engaged in ways to end the acceptance of street harassment in their communities.  There were so many creative ideas that sparked much needed conversation such as chalk walks, twitter discussions and wheat pasting.  Click here for the complete rundown of events from meetusonthestreet.org.

    • Hollaback! Houston kicked off the week with an event of our own on March 30th at Myth & Symbol in the Rice Village.  We began our touring exhibit project of prints we have from artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh from her portrait series titled “Stop Telling Women to Smile“.  See the flyer below for more info as well as the facebook event page.

 

STWTS Opening event flyer

STWTS Opening event flyer

Photo courtesy of Nicole Caldwell

Photo courtesy of Nicole Caldwell

Click here for more photos from the Stop Telling Women to Smile event.  Don’t forget that the posters will remain up at Myth & Symbol until the end of April!

Hollaback! Houston is proud to have this collection of prints from Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. Originally intended as wheat pastes, we wanted to have as many people see these powerful images as possible and decided to ask permission of local businesses to display the posters inside to reach a broader audience.

In a city like Houston where car culture is dominant, those who use public transportation, are pedestrians or cyclists tend to experience public harassment at a disproportionate rate and therefore it is not a frequently discussed topic. Our goal is to bring awareness to Tatyana’s project, support those who have had traumatic experiences with harassment and get people to think differently about the normalization and misconceptions of street harassment in our culture and internationally. Each location will host the prints for one month.

Contact htown@ihollaback.org if you would like to show the prints at your space.
Updates on locations will be posted here on our website and our facebook page.

About the Art

Stop Telling Women to Smile is an art series by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. The work attempts to address gender based street harassment by placing drawn portraits of women, composed with captions that speak directly to offenders, outside in public spaces.

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is an illustrator/painter based in Brooklyn, mostly known for her oil paintings. Having recently branched out into public art as a muralist, STWTS was born out of the idea that street art can be an impactful tool for tackling street harassment.

STWTS started in Brooklyn in the fall of 2012. It is an on-going, traveling series and will gradually include many cities and many women participants.

Street harassment is a serious issue that affects women world wide. This project takes women’s voices, and faces, and puts them in the street – creating a bold presence for women in an environment where they are so often made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

-From stoptellingwomentosmile.com/About

YouTube Preview Image
    • Prior to both of these awesome activities, we had the opportunity to meet with some dedicated faculty members at Houston Community College…Mikki Novak and Jennifer Graves.  These two are a powerhouse and are doing great things not only within the HCC community but throughout Houston as well!!!  Hollaback! Houston participated in a tabling event at the HCC Diversity and Inclusion Summit on March 28th with a preview of our International Anti-Street Harassment Week plans.
Look at all these commitments to being a better bystander!!!

Look at all these commitments to being a better bystander!!!

Click here to see the rest of our photo album from the Diversity Summit on Facebook.

Many thanks to everyone that helped us have an amazing first International Anti-Street Harassment Week!  We are thrilled to have so many new supporters and friends :)  WOOHOO!!

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harassment, stalking, verbal

Arianna’s Story: Kirby drive-by stalker

I just finished with my interview at one of the nearby stores (which tells you I was dressed professionally, like it should matter) and was heading towards Richmond Blvd down Kirby Dr to catch the bus home. I’m walking past a car and I hear someone make the ever-popular kissy noise at me. I identify the source and flip him off and curse him out and keep walking.

I’m a couple blocks down, and in my peripheral I see a black car in the driveway/parking lot of a business going pretty slow. I look and it’s the SAME GUY with his PHONE OUT taking pictures and grinning. I again flip him off and shout at him and of course he drove off.  I yelled that I’d call the police (will that do any good?).  I got his plate, a basic description of his car and what I could see of him.

It was a black sedan and he was a little heavy set from what I could see shoulders-up and probably mid 40+, with short greyish hair wearing sunglasses.

I’m marking this as stalking because he followed me to get the second look, and other because he took pictures.

Admin note:  Below is a helpful link to info on stalking and the process for reporting and finding assistance in Houston.

http://www.victimassistancecentre.com/stalking.html

I've got your back!
3+

no comments
harassment

Week In Our Shoes: HOLLA Is Where The Heart Is Editon

Repost from 2/14/14 showcasing the latest greatest work being done by the global Hollaback! community:

Week In Our Shoes: HOLLA Is Where The Heart Is Edition

Hello Hollabackers! 

This week, our Executive Director, Emily May, was named an Ashoka Fellow!! Such a great honor. Check out this awesome video introducing her as an Ashoka Fellow, talking about Hollaback! and our work to end street harassment. Congrats Emily!! Also, Hollaback! launched the FIRST EVER Educator’s Guide to Street Harassment. The guide is geared toward teachers, guidance counselors, parents and other educators in New York City who want to address the issue of street harassment amongst middle and high school aged students. Alongside the release, our Deputy Director, Debjani Roy, wrote an article on Huffington Post titled “When Was the First Time You Were Harassed?”.

Here’s what the HOLLAs around the world have been up to: 

Hollaback! Boston will be attending SoJust’s Dating While Progressive event today as a support for anyone who feels uncomfortable and to promote Hollaback!’s safe spaces for all mission!

Hollaback! Appalachian Ohio gave four 45-minute workshops to twenty-seven 8th graders at Vinton Middle School on consent, deconstructing rape culture, gender stereotypes, and bystander intervention. Also, they will be holding a workshop today titled Geography of Street Harassment on the Female Body. Hollabackers Nancy Gomez and Priyanka Kazi will be exploring the relationship between personal experiences of street harassment and the public spaces in which these unwelcome encounters take place. Finally, today they will be distributing the empowering self-love Valentines (pictured above) that they created last week across Athens for students. Feel the HOLLA love!

Hollaback! Czech will be standing up against cyber bullying today. Join them in acknowledging the importance of cyber violence, strengthening the laws against it,  and demanding justice for victims.

Hollaback! Des Moines had a special Monthly Meetup this week where they were joined by representatives from One Iowa to discuss health care needs of LGBTQ folks in the Des Moines area. They have meetups on the second Tuesday of every month. Make sure to check out the next one in March! The will also be participating in the second annual V-Day One Billion Rising flash mob with One Billion Rising DSM and Kees Camp TODAY in the downtown skywalks!

Hollaback! Melbourne has a new home! Thanks to generous sponsorship, their office will now be located at The Electron Workshop in North Melbourne. The Electron Workshop is an inclusive and accessible co-working space in North Melbourne, with an emphasis on openness, collaboration, and building mutually beneficial relationships. They have a commitment to supporting women in business and are a welcoming and safe space. Congrats!

Hollaback! Philly has announced the presenters for their upcoming speaker series on human sex trafficking of domestic girls with various experts from across the country.  Speakers include John O’Neill (a homicide prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office), Tina Frundt (survivor of human trafficking, Frederick Douglass Award winner, and founder of Courtney’s House), and Dr. Mary Anne Layden  (psychotherapist and Director of Education at the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of PA). O’Neill’s talk, entitled ”How They Got There: dispelling myths about prostitution and sex trafficking”, will clarify the very engrained myths about prostitution and human trafficking. She will be speaking about her experiences with trafficking, both at the survivor and service provider levels. Frundt will be speaking about her experiences with trafficking, both at the survivor and service provider levels. Finally, Layden’s talk will focus on the beliefs surrounding male sexual demand and their contribution to the commercial sexual exploitation of sex trafficking in the United States. This series sounds amazing!!

Super exciting things happening in the HOLLA world! Til next week-

HOLLA and out!

- The Hollaback! Team

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harassment, physical

Amy’s Story: “They like the power of the harm they cause”

Reposted from Hollaback! Main in NYC and originally published on January 24, 2014 at 4:08 am:

groping, Story
Amy’s Story: “They like the power of the harm they cause”
This is something that I witnessed, but it is for sure going to be one of those moments that I will never forget.
I was about 15. I was with my sisters at the bus stop waiting for the the bus to come by one afternoon on a very busy day.
The bus finally comes and everyone at the bus stop immediately go up to the bus to be the first one to board and claim a seat all the while those that were on the bus are struggling to unboard. I decided to step back and just wait till everything calmed down, and what I saw next shocked me and choked me up.
There was an old man, probably in his 80′s, unboarding, who due to his old age had a hard time coming down the steps of the bus. I then notice that when he finally makes it down, a young man, probably in his 20′s, grope his crotch and doesn’t let go for what seems like a long few seconds. The young man then casually goes up the steps and boards the bus. The old man, however, has a look of shock on his face. I see humiliation and sadness then set over him as he looks around, probably to see if anyone had witnessed this act. He stands there for a few seconds, very still, in the middle of the chaotic crowd. Humiliated. Then slowly walks away with a look on his face that I will never forget.
I felt absolutely horrible. One, because of what happened to him, and two, for not doing anything. I don’t think I will forgive myself for not stepping up.
This old man, who instead of being respected, was violated in one of the worst ways possible. What a sad scene to see a weak old man, who probably had so much to be proud of in his long life, be humiliated like this.
This goes to show that sexual harassers just violate people because they like the power of the harm they cause. It has nothing to do with what the victim is wearing at all, as many people like to think.

I've got your back!
3+

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