“Hey, can I get a hug?”

                                                          Photo by izik via Flickr

I’d just gotten off a long closing shift at the coffee shop where I work and was walking home. Coming towards me was a big group of young men that I could hear talking loudly before I even saw them and I remember immediately thinking “oof…trouble.”

One guy was walking right at me and I kept shifting so that I wouldn’t run into him; he kept shifting so that I would, eventually getting me up against the railing of the bridge. “Hey, can I get a hug?” he asked. I said no, or maybe just shook my head; I can’t remember. He turned to pass me, stroked my butt, and asked, “why not?” Then they all started talking at me really fast, “where are you going,” “what’s your name,” a whole bunch of questions at once.

Once I’d passed them, one other guy broke off the pack and started following me. “Hey, hold on a second, what’s your name? Want to come chill with us?” he asked. I said no and asked him to please leave me alone because I wasn’t interested. He shrugged and slapped my ass and I finally broke down and yelled “fuck OFF!” He responded by yelling “bitch, shut the fuck up!” I immediately buried my face in my hands and started to cry. I felt incredibly violated and terrified. I can’t remember the last time I was this upset. I have never felt more disrespected in my life.

Submitted by AB

Location: Duke Ellington Bridge

Time of harassment: Late Night (12A-5A)

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.

6 responses to ““Hey, can I get a hug?”

  1. That is so creepy and scary of them to have done to you. I’m so sorry they put you through that! That intimidating, harassing, assaulting behavior should be criminal.

  2. I am so sorry you had to go through that. I feel like at that point, your best bet is to yell/scream loudly to attract attention from other people. Or call the police and tail them. I dunno. These may not be great ideas, but you don’t deserve to be treated like that, ever.

  3. I hope you reported this incident to the police.

  4. i’m so sorry, and i hope you have friends to talk to about it.

  5. This is why I carry pepper spray all the time, and I would encourage you to do the same. I’m so sorry that you had to endure this type of behavior.

  6. Ignore them, keep walking, smack them if you try to touch you

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