Location: 17th and Qst NW (Dupont)
Time: Daytime (9:30am-3:30pm)
Walking back from Safeway down 17th Street, a man catcalls me. For a moment, I consider ignoring it as I always do (I tend to freeze up like a deer in the headlights – as happened to me when I was harassed on 18th and Q not a week before this incident).
Instead, I decide to say something. My throat constricted. My heart started racing. “Please stop harassing women.” I keep walking towards CVS. He begins yelling something back at me, but I keep walking and ignore his words. I don’t care what he said, it doesn’t matter.
After entering the CVS, knowing he hadn’t followed me, I was filled with joy. I had done it, I had finally told someone off who had catcalled me. I had overcome the anxiety and done it! I felt like a million dollars. That moment of fear and anxiety had been transformed into empowerment and pride, with just four words.
I hope next time this happens (because sadly, I know it will happen again and again and again), I will be able to channel those feelings and stand up for myself again.
Emphases by CASS.
Submitted on 3/6/13 by “Dechanique”
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.
If you experience or have experienced sexual harassment on the DC Metro system:
Whether the event is happening at the moment or occurred months ago, we strongly encourage you to report to Metro Transit Police (MTP): www.wmata.com/