14th St. Harasser

Last Thursday, around 8:30pm, I was walking up 14th Street (A.K.A Harassment Hill) in order to go to my boyfriend’s house. Around Florida and 14th a man who I have been harassed by before as well as witness him harass other women started yelling at me from the opposite side of the street.  This kept up for a few blocks, all the way until I reached Clifton where my boyfriend lives. At this point I have no choice but to cross the street or walk past my boyfriends house. Since I am feeling unsafe and want to get to his house as quickly as possible I decide to wait at for the light to change so I could cross. When this man realized that I stopped, he stopped too and started yelling things like, “hey sexy,” “come here beautiful” and making crude gestures.

At this point I called my mom. I know from the self defense classes that I have taken that it is a bad idea to actually be on your cell phone when walking around the city and better to just have your cell phone handy but for some reason I felt the urge to call my mom and ask her to stay on the phone with me for a few minutes. As I crossed the street she heard this man yelling at me and kept saying, “are you okay?” and “what is going on?” As I crossed, I looked the man right in his eyes and continued to carry on a conversation with my mom. Luckily he was distracted by someone walking by which allowed me to quickly turn the corner and make it safely to where I was going.

I walk up and down 14th street all the time (early in the morning, the afternoon, and late at night) and have become accustomed to street harassment in the area but something about this incident made me feel incredibly unsafe. I wonder if my harasser is the same perpetrator in this submission. Next time I am harassed my this man, I’m taking his picture.

Submitted by Anonymous on 10/28/2009

Location: 14th Street NW

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One Response

  1. cathy
    | Reply

    it’s awful to feel unwelcome or unsafe in a place where you should feel you belong. you have the right to feel safe.

    if you’re ever feeling very unsafe, you should also consider continuing up to around columbia rd to see if there are police on duty. the only (and i mean only) good thing about living off of 14th is the relatively routine police presence around that 7/11.

    good luck and stay safe!

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