I was walking home from the Metro after working late. It had just turned dark, so it was a little after nine or so, but the street I was walking on was very poorly lit so it seemed particularly dark. I was walking on the street, not the sidewalk, through the apartment complex next to mine when I saw a man walking towards me. I moved over several feet to put space between us and kept going. A minute later I heard a shuffling sound behind me: the man had turned around to follow me. I sped up. He kept following me. He kept the space between us consistent, never got closer to me than thirty feet or so, but he kept his eyes trained on me and his walk purposeful. I tried to speed up without running and kept looking behind me so he would know I knew he was there. I didn’t know if that was the right thing to do. He followed me for several minutes.
At the entrance to my townhouse community there is a very bright light that is in sharp contras t to the first part of the street. I prayed that when we got to that light he would stop. And yes, he disappeared into the shadows and I got home safely. I worried that he was still following me, but hiding, but I think once he realized he wasn’t going to be able to follow me into my apartment building he just went away. I’m praying that he did not see where I live.
My neighbors warn me not to walk home at night. I know the street is dark and there is some tension between the apartment residents and townhouse residents but I am furious that I cannot safely walk home from work. There is no reason the ten minute walk from the metro to my home should be dangerous. It was not that late; I was not dressed revealingly (not that it would be have been ok for him to follow me if I was). He knew what he was doing. And I won’t be walking home any more. He successfully took my nocturnal space and my sense of wellbeing away from me.
Submitted by Anonymous on 6/25/2010
Location: Georgia Avenue and Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton/Glenmont area
Time of Harassment: Night (7:30P-12A)
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.