“Hi whore!”

Photo by takomabiblelot via flickr

There was (what appeared to be) a homeless man sitting on a low wall in the alley. I didn’t take much notice of him because I was on the opposite sidewalk, until he yelled out to me, “Hi whore!” I didn’t vary my pace and kept walking at the same speed, ignoring him, but I could feel my face getting hot and my heart was beating a million miles an hour. Then he started yelling, “Bitch! Bitch!” after me.

I walked past two men on my side of the street who heard what was happening and just started talking even louder to drown out my harasser’s crazy, but they didn’t look at me or acknowledge that they thought he was nuts, too, which made me feel even more alone.

I live on that block, and didn’t want the harasser to see which building I went into, so I had to duck once I thought a hedge would block me, and sneak into my doorway like a thief. I rarely lock my gate because I feel that our neighborhood is so safe, but I locked it then, along with both bolts on my door.

Please, if you see someone being harassed, just at least smile at them sympathetically, or ask them if they’re alright, or offer to walk with them a little way. I know I would have felt infinitely safer if those two men walking past me had acknowledged that something was happening.

Submitted by Melissa:

Location: 16th and R Street, NW

Time of harassment: Morning Rush Hour (5A-9:30A)

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

One response to ““Hi whore!”

  1. I’m so sorry that happened to you, and I second what you said. Even making eye contact with someone who’s been harassed will make them feel safer.

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