“I’m mad that I can’t walk in my own neighborhood”

posted in: Maryland | 2

I am a fifteen-year-old girl.

I was walking home from having lunch with my friends after school. I was very close to my home in a very residential neighborhood. As I got to the corner of 2nd and Noyes, I hear a car blasting music pull up next to me.

The car honked twice, I ignored it. Three honks, I ignored. Then they honked at least five times in a row. They were angry I wasn’t giving them the attention they “deserved”.

The car stopped at the stop sign on the corner, and I kept walking to cross the street. The car made a turn and literally cut me off so I couldn’t walk.

I walked around the back of the car and continued walking down the sidewalk. The car back out of the street it had turned onto, and followed me down 2nd Avenue. Then, it made another turn into a driveway directly in front of me, blocking me once again. I didn’t want to go around the back of the car, because they weren’t far enough in the driveway and could back out if they saw what I was doing. I didn’t want to go around the front because that was way close to the two passengers (two young guys, maybe in their 20’s, who were kind of cute but that is NOT the point).

Now I was really scared and really pissed. The guys knew I knew I was trapped and just smiled at me. “What?!” I yelled. Then I turned around and walked back to the corner with the stop sign. As I walked, they yelled “Where you goin’, sweetie?”

A girl from my school I knew very vaguely lived on the corner. I was desperate because these guys were not leaving me alone, so I ran up her front porch steps and rang her doorbell. The guys, still in the driveway, either got tired or scared and pulled out of the driveway and drove away.

The girl didn’t answer her door so I walked home, checking over my shoulder every 2 seconds.

I’m mad that I can’t walk in my own neighborhood without being harassed and feeling threatened. I’m embarrassed, ashamed, and scared. When will this end?

Submitted by Anonymous

Location: 2nd Avenue and Noyes Drive

Time of harassment: Evening Rush Hour (3:30P-7:30P)

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2 Responses

  1. Emma
    | Reply

    I remember being a 15-year-old girl and having similar experiences happen to me. I remember feeling embarrassed, ashamed and scared, just like you felt, and wanting to yell, “I’m FIFTEEN, you creep!” I’m 24 now, working with a women’s empowerment organization, and while I’m sorry to report that this harassment hasn’t stopped, I can tell you that I no longer feel ashamed by it. Yes, it can be scary and disgusting, but I remind myself that I do not need to feel ashamed by someone else’s tasteless and tactless actions. Be proud of yourself, project confidence and keep your cool – even in those instances when you have to tell someone off. Remember that we are always projecting our inner world to the outside. Let everyone know that you’re as strong and beautiful inside as you are outside!

  2. […] It’s easy for us men to be blind to the reality of the million little shitty things that happen to women in our society – we’re not the target of the harassment. We might not ever see it going on, but it does. Constantly. Take ten seconds at Holla Back DC and see the sort of unbelievable crap that happens all the time, ranging from crappy inappropriate talk about mustache rides to stalking and physically threatening behavior against a fifteen year old girl. […]

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