This is my first time visiting this site, and I’m very relieved to know it exists. Though it seems to be a forum where we can only preach to the choir, I’m glad to have it as a sounding board.
I moved to DC 2.5 years ago from California, and have been harassed more within those 2.5 years than I ever did in 28 years of life in CA. I literally cannot ever walk anywhere in the city without several sexual comments being thrown my way. Some are more innocuous than others (i.e. “hey baby, work it, girl,” and general whistles and kisses), but the greater majority of the comments are extremely graphic in nature, borderline threatening, and always have the effect of making me want to either never leave my house or wrap myself in potato sacks when I do.
It is extremely upsetting, and I have even considered leaving DC because of it. It makes me feel unsafe, it makes me feel violated, and it can sometimes even depress me for days depending on the incident. I avoid certain streets entirely on my way to work, taking the longer route instead, if I know I’ll be targeted somewhere specific. I either change my clothes or throw on a huge sweatshirt before walking to the grocery store, since I always get targeted there. When I need to walk somewhere and can do neither of these things, I put my headphones in, even if I don’t want to listen to music, and blast my music just so that I won’t be able to the disgusting things that are being said to me. I realize that all of these tactics are consistent with victim behavior. But given that “fighting back” only seems to exacerbate the situation, I’ve resorted to them.
It’s upsetting me more and more the longer I live here. It’s getting worse, and I don’t know what to do anymore.
Location: All over DC
Submitted by Anonymous
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