“I just wanted to get away”

Location: Grand Central in Adams Morgan, NW DC
Time: Late Night (12am-5am)

I was chatting with a group of friends at the bar when this big guy came up behind me and grabbed my waist, trying to dance. I walked away from him, and he pushed me. Maybe ten minutes later, he walks by again and tries to dance. I step away, and he shoves me again. A third time he comes over, holds my shoulders, and shakes me hard. I push his hands off of me and shout, “you need to take your hands off me right now!” and he pushes me again. My friends laughed and told me I had overreacted, and nobody standing around in the crowded bar helped me out. I was so upset that I walked home from Adams Morgan at 2 am, which isn’t super safe. I just wanted to get away. It’s really unnerving to get pushed around by someone bigger and stronger than you. I wish now that I had been able to hurt him in some way — slap him or stomp on his feet — but I realize that’s probably not a very respectful or mature response.

Submitted on 7/14/12 by Anonymous

If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system:
Please consider reporting to Metro Transit Police; www.wmata.com/harassment, on Twitter at @WMATAharassment, or 202-962-2121.

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault? Submit your story to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness and harmful effects of street harassment. All submissions are posted anonymously unless otherwise specified.

5 Responses

  1. Suzanne Horrocks

    Forget respectful or mature! We DO NOT have to always be nice and polite. I think you would feel better if you took a self defense class. A lot of martial art studios offer it for free.

  2. Alison

    Oh for the days when it was expected that such behavior would get a man jabbed with a hat pin. We ought to bring back wearing tiny hats just so we can bring back the hatpin!

  3. Julia

    I’m sorry nobody stepped in to support you! If more people recognized that kind of aggressive, intimidating behavior as problematic, and then DID something about it (calling him out, creating a diversion, asking you if you’re okay, etc.), I think we’d have far fewer harassers thinking they can get away with it.

  4. Heather

    Maybe you should find some new friends who are able to support you a bit better and don’t laugh at your discomfort.

  5. Elise

    I’m sorry this happened to you, it’s awful to be made to feel unsafe in a public place, and worse that your friends didn’t support you. You should show this post to your friends – it’s important that people understand why the behavior of this man is never okay. His attitude that women are his to touch and harass is dangerous.