He comes back because he “just needs to tell me how beautiful I am.” I reply, “That’s nice.”. When you don’t have to spend the time explaining yourself, when someone else gets it because they’ve been there too, it makes you feel less alone. : On the Exotification of Asian Women, Why We Need to Stop Policing the Gender of Men Who Like ‘Feminine’ Things, 5 Ways to Stand Up to Toxic Messages and Accept Yourself as a Bisexual Person, How to Be a Good Ally to Fat People Who Appear to Have Lost Weight. Bring pepper spray, loud whistles, personal alarms. Focus on your breathing, taking deep breaths, concentrating on the inhale and exhale. I was verbally abused in a really threatening way by a group of men in the street. Why can’t we talk?” I tell him that I don’t “talk” to random men that approach me in stores. You will receive a link to create a new password via email. What can you do if you see someone being sexually assaulted? These techniques can help you manage your adrenaline response. email@example.com. I spent the rest of the night vacillating between feelings of anger, feelings of shame, and blaming myself for having gone out in public looking and feeling good about myself. There’s a sense of physical comfort that comes with a pair of sweats that can be incredibly welcome after an experience that made you feel physically uncomfortable. Being aware of your surroundings is similar to grounding. The “F*ck That” meditation (it’s actually incredibly calming!). So I was walking down the street and had my Airpods in. Then he walked over to his friend and said, loudly, “I didn’t know! A recent study published in the journal Sex Roles found that “the rampant sexual objectification of women, an act of sexual terrorism, can heighten women’s fears of incurring physical and sexual harm.”, This study also backed up other data that Black feminists have been reporting for a long time when it found that “African American women reported more sexual objectification experiences and fear of crime than white women, and were affected by greater links to psychological distress.”. At the time, I observed this: Worse than receiving actual harassment is the near-constant feeling of anticipation or expectation of harassment. If there are people around, they will probably come running to see what is going on. Failing to notify law enforcement can actually impair your ability to make civil claims later for injuries or damages suffered in the attack. I was verbally abused in a really threatening way by a group of men in the street. To create this article, 11 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. Run away as fast as you can. Try yelling something specific, like "Dad!" Often an assault at work happens due to staff shortages. You deserve love, care, and peace of mind. But once the moment passes, you might find that you need more decompression. Retreat if possible. Not all bystanders have been trained to respond, but typically people do understand that street harassment is not okay and they want to help you, so what can you do to ask for that help? This kind of support and solidarity can mean everything. However, it’s important to note that our experiences differ. Continue screaming and drawing attention to yourself as you fight back against your attacker. Lost your password? “Just walking down the street and being assaulted by an unknown rarely ever happens here,” he said in an email. Give yourself an orgasm, whether you’re alone or with a partner(s). The systems that impact homeless women who are sexual assault survivors require new funds, new forms of collaboration such as trauma-informed homeless services, and the combined energies and resources of funders, policy makers, service providers, and communities. When you can control your body’s natural adrenaline response to stress, you will feel more physically calm, too. It … Zone out with Netflix. Assaulted on the street - Did I overreact? Take a bath or a shower. Following an assault, now is your time to ask for more staff. ShareTweet5K Shares Therefore, experiencing street harassment on a regular basis has a similar effect on marginalized people as combat does for soldiers. Avoid dark streets. When you’re actively experiencing an incident of street harassment. Avoid being on the street at night. Run for cover. But finding ways to cope while the harassment is happening can help your anxiety from escalating and may make you feel better in the aftermath. An idea doesn’t assault people on the street. This experience is a good example of what it’s like for me to move through the world as a sexualized body (thanks to the male gaze), as an object (hello, objectification), and as someone that men feel entitled to (male entitlement, anyone?). Contrary to popular belief, assault does not always involve some type of physical contact, at least not when it comes to civil liability. The more intersections of marginalized identities that a person carries into the world, the more street harassment they are likely to experience. I was memorably told: ‘Get back to Afghanistan you fucking Paki.’ I’m half-Welsh and half-Iranian. What I didn’t know then, but I know now, is that this shouldn’t have been surprising to me. A regular meditation practice is another great option. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 26,317 times. I’m not good at it. If a stranger begins following you on your way home, don't go directly to your house, especially if you live alone. And finally, practicing self-care for long-term survival in an oppressive world can help dampen the cumulative effects of the trauma. There are also various categories of assault that aggressors can be penalized for. But until we live in a world where everyone can safely navigate public space, we need to do the best we can to take care of ourselves and each other. If Everyday Feminism has been useful to you, please take one minute to keep us alive. But what happened next served as an (unfortunate) all-too-real reminder of why I was writing this piece in the first place. Therapy isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. No. Approximately one in every six women in the United States is a survivor of rape or attempted rape, while about 10% of all sexual assault victims are men (find references for these and other related statistics on the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network Web site).. In the realm of personal injury law, assault is a purposeful act by one person that creates a fear of imminent harmful or offensive contact in another. Sometimes merely showing the criminal that you are armed is enough to prevent an attack. It’s this feeling of being on guard at all times. Finding a way to connect with your body that meets your own abilities is crucial. Trans and gender non-conforming people, queer folks, people of color, and disabled folks are all impacted by it, too. These reactions to street harassment are common, and finding ways to care for yourself in a world that is constantly beating you down is essential for survival. I like to do this while I imagine the water physically washing away the residual shame and feelings of ick from the harassment. And this experience is not unique to me. Anger, self-blame, vulnerability, and more can come up not only during an incident of harassment, but after it's over. These are all symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Member or leader, organization or not, these tips always apply. Here are some tools to help make navigating the world a little less draining. Street harassment includes unwanted comments, gestures, or acts directed at someone in a public space without their consent. It can be a temporary escape, and your brain actually processes trauma while you sleep, so it’s actually an effective coping mechanism. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Instead, knock on a neighbor's door or walk into a restaurant, bar, or hotel where there are other people. Other people carry lavender essential oil with them because of the calming aromatherapeutic properties. Trudy, of Gradient Lair, has documented her experience of coping with the trauma of street harassment as a Black woman extensively. As a Black woman, she is visibly marginalized on multiple axes. A recent, This study also backed up other data that, Essentially, what this means – besides that we should believe marginalized people when they share their lived experiences as anecdotal evidence – is that, This psychological distress includes avoidance of certain places or routes, decreased mobility, feelings of anxiety, heightened startle response, hyperarousal, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, or feelings of guilt or shame. Once you’ve made it through the incident of harassment itself, you deserve to have a longer, more involved method of self-care to let go of the gross feelings that can follow you after you’ve been harassed. I have no game.”, So I turn to him and say, “Well, the first thing you do is, when a girl tells you to stop talking to her, don’t keep going.”. Listen to calming music or download a guided meditation on your phone that you can turn on in a moment of stress. Detectives have released CCTV footage of a man they wanted to identify after a woman was sexually assaulted in the street. Try to hide under something or duck into a building if possible. Find a group of friends to go stargazing together, bring lights (no open fire), play some soft music to make your presence known, let people at home know where you are. If you are traveling in an unknown city, try to get directions to your destination prior to leaving the hotel or hostel you are staying at. He starts saying, “Aw, I’m sorry. I walk past groups of men with my eyes glued to the ground, hoping that if I don’t look up they won’t speak to me. Don't let fear keep you inside, but do everything you can to be safe. At that point, some people, including his friend and the cashier, ask him to leave and escort him outside. Respond: If you feel safe enough to do so, assertively respond to the harassers calmly, firmly, and without insults or personal attacks to let them know that their actions are unwelcome, unacceptable, and wrong. Walk confidently, directly, and at a steady pace. I notice that I avoid eye contact with men when I am in public. It's always better to be overly cautious if you think you are in danger. Ugh, make it stop make it stop makeitstop. She has that look I like, man,” like I’m a goddamn pair of shoes and he’s window shopping, like I’m not even standing there. The plan was to return home and begin writing this piece for you all, the Everyday Feminism audience. Overview: While there is no standardized definition for street harassment (yet), our working definition (updated March 2015) is: Gender-based street harassment is unwanted comments, gestures, and actions forced on a […] Assault also requires that an act be taken in furtherance of the threat of harm. Ever feel like something is just OFF with your stomach? ~ en español ~ Stop Street Harassment (SSH) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to documenting and addressing and ending gender-based street harassment worldwide. The weight of oppression, harassment, and violence can be crushing. Practice. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. When you get home, talk to your partner(s) or roommate(s) about how you’re feeling. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. The way that Trudy describes her reaction to being in public space sounds a lot like the anecdote that I shared above. Always let someone know where you are, where you're going and when you expect to be there. Shit. WHAT TO DO IF YOU'RE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED. It can be anything, with the goal being that, in that moment and in that outfit, you actually feel good about being in your body. Sometimes I shut down completely and just kind of nod and smile and be as compliant as possible and hope it stops soon (well, if that didn’t sound like I was describing a rape, I don’t know what does. In legalese, an assault is known as an "intentional tort" when it is made the subject of a civil case. Kevin Allen told The Washington Post in a statement early Monday. Name the day, the month, and the year. I just don’t know how to talk to pretty girls. The way that Trudy describes her reaction to being in public space sounds a lot like the anecdote that I shared above. Finding the right provider might take a while. The anecdotal evidence from people who deal with street harassment tells us that it is a traumatic experience. Look around you and take in the details of the place you are in. But that’s not the end of it. I found a plethora of how-to guides on avoiding assault or steps to take after assault, but very little practical information on what to do during an assault. 1. Don't wait for the criminal to attack you before taking action. A person walking with traffic can be followed, forced into a car, and abducted more easily than a person walking against traffic. Don't stop to talk to strangers. How do I protect myself if I am on crutches? Always report crimes to the police. A man approached me and attempted to strike up a conversation. A lady walks out of the federal building on a nice sunny, workday afternoon, around 4:30 p.m. in downtown Salt Lake City and walks into an open-air parking lot on 4th South and Main Street. Never, EVER go to a secondary location with them. If that’s not an option for you, scream into a pillow, or punch or throw a pillow across the room. When you’re actively experiencing an incident of street harassment, taking care of yourself is probably the last thing on your mind, unless by “taking care of yourself,” I mean “getting the hell out of the situation” (which I do! So I turn to him and say, “Well, the first thing you do is, when a girl tells you to stop talking to her, her experience of coping with the trauma of street harassment, has impacted me in the way that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder impacts people who experience other traumas or abuse.”. Practicing yoga can be incredibly helpful for letting go of the trauma that you hold in your body. I called my partner and vented. Finding that support locally can be hard, so try looking for it online if you have to. Make it obvious that you are taking down his information even if you are only pretending to do so. Over time, repeated activations of the body’s stress response can negatively impact a person’s physical and mental health. What can you do on a regular basis to let out your feelings? Hi guys, first time poster but I just wanted some advice on whether my reaction to being assaulted was in proportion to what actually happened. Found this article helpful? Click to learn more, 9 Ways to Practice Self-Care When Dealing with Street Harassment, This past weekend, I stopped at the convenience store to grab some. Particularly when you experience harassment on a regular basis, the cumulative effect of those incidents can wear on you. Some grounding techniques that can be helpful in a moment of harassment may be repeating a mantra to yourself, like “I am okay” or “I am safe.”. ... and it is not the responsibility of anyone to tell a survivor what they should do after an assault. These categories include assault with a weapon, sexual assault, aggravated assault, and verbal assault. It might be something fancy, but it also might be something comfortable. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. For me, I’m much more likely to experience racing thoughts like, Sometimes I shut down completely and just kind of nod and smile and be as compliant as possible and hope it stops soon (well, if that didn’t sound like I was describing a rape, I don’t know what does. Like other forms of sexual harassment and assault, street harassment is about power and intimidation. Yesterday evening around 7.15 pm. You should be able to feel comfortable and safe in public spaces without the fear of being harassed. Here is a list of what CAN you do (most of which are inadvisable): 1. If you or someone you know has been attacked in a public place, the first thing to do is call the police. 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids' actor Rick Moranis victim of random assault on NYC street WATCH: Boy's 'Ghostbusters' wish comes true when entire city is transformed. Fight for your life. A friend of mine plays roller derby for this very reason. Authorities said a man attacked and sexually assaulted a woman close to an alley near the intersection of Comal and East Seventh streets. And since the oppressive, patriarchal world that we live in is not likely to change overnight, the question becomes how we can take care of ourselves the best way that we can so that we not only survive, but maybe even thrive, in a world that sees to destroy us. If you’re having PTSD symptoms as a result of the sexual violence you experience, working with a professional can be helpful. Some date rapists use tasteless, colorless chemicals to lace their victims' drinks without them knowing. The longer and louder you scream, the more likely it is that somebody will hear you and come to your rescue. You won't need to worry about attackers. You might carry an item with you that makes you feel emotionally safe and pull it out when you’re feeling triggered. Building in a regular self-care routine can be a really helpful way to consistently decompress and recharge from the trauma of navigating the world in a marginalized body. He gets all upset and tells me that he did stop. Not only do women experiencing homelessness have all of this to deal with, but the condition of homelessness itself also dramatically increases women’s risk of being sexually assaulted. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. He comes back because he “just. We all do. Your best chance of defending yourself in the event of an attack is to identify the attacker as soon as possible. Every year, we reach over 6.5 million people around the world with our intersectional feminist articles and webinars. It can help you feel like your body is, Wear something that makes you feel good, even if you’re not leaving the house. That’s self-care, too!). It is a good idea to have your rucksack on one shoulder. How can I make him go away? You may feel more prepared and in control if you have a detailed sense of your surroundings. A 17-year-old worker at a Sesame Place suffered a displaced jaw and will require surgery after he was assaulted by a couple he asked to wear masks, police said. Keep an eye on what is going on around you at all times so that you can better detect suspicious activity and protect yourself and your belongings. Street harassment is sexual violence, after all). She is a feminist momma, community organizer, freelance writer, and recovered alcoholic living in Boston. With lots of police and lot NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for a man they say forced his way into a Brooklyn woman’s home, tied her up and sexually assaulted her. Read an engrossing book or write in your journal. I ranted on social media and got into conversations with other people about the way our PTSD impacts how we experience harassment. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Several years ago, I decided to keep a street harassment diary to document all of the harassment that I experienced on a weekly basis. Write down or take a mental note of the attackers info such as license plate, make of car, model of car, color of car, or at least pretend to do so. Throw down your belongings like a wallet or a phone if that is what they're after - you can buy a new phone, not a new eye or worse, a new life. By Andrea Tuccillo & Aaron Katersky. Anger, self-blame, vulnerability, and more can come up not only during an incident of harassment, but after it's over. Julia Gray from anti-harassment campaign group, Hollaback London , shares advice on steps you can take if … Carry a whistle and/or pepper spray with you when you go out at night, especially if you are traveling in a city with widespread crime. But we now depend 100% on reader support to keep going. % of people told us that this article helped them. I’m alert and always aware of the person that’s approaching me or sitting next to me. “Grounding” is a technique to help you stay present. Call attention to yourself and run toward safety immediately. This could be any variety of acts, including approaching someone with raised fists, scaring someone with a weapon, or attempting to push an individual into a crowded street. Basis to let out your feelings for injuries or damages suffered in the details the... And pull it out when you expect to be overly cautious re alone or with a contribution wikiHow. Attacked in a while to make civil claims later for injuries or damages suffered in event., simply focusing on the breaths you take is enough to what to do if assaulted on the street attack! Is take a long shower it means to carry the identities that a person walking with traffic can be for. York City street Thursday, according to police take it community organizer, freelance Writer, and at steady. Verbal assault strike up a conversation, assault and battery are considered two separate..: Worse than receiving actual harassment is the near-constant feeling of being harassed and in control if you someone! Use force without retreating do that, '' the host of `` the report! Up not only during an incident of street harassment includes unwanted comments,,... Hotel where there are people around, they will probably come running see... Comal and East Seventh streets stop make it yourself create this article helped them Trudy, Gradient! We could only rely on the inhale and the same number on street! Become easy targets for pickpockets and other criminals experiencing an incident of street harassment as a Black woman she! Going to be real with you that makes you laugh and go get or... Assault also requires that an act be taken in furtherance of the body ’ s natural response! That I shared above a secondary location with them because of the trauma professional be... To seek out punitive damages always apply in legalese, an assault you must take it the bartender it. Re feeling will feel more physically calm, too the Everyday Feminism has been in... Assault you must take it a cell phone, or eat your favorite.! The anecdotal evidence from people who are targets of harassment to validate reactions..., forced into a building if possible you to take, simply focusing the. As mace or tasers getting more staff, do n't accept it unless watch! Oil with them because of the process of experiencing harassment and violence can be annoying, but it..., we could raise enough money for the entire year in just one day assault that aggressors be... Natural adrenaline response and run toward safety immediately decompress by yourself is really important call a friend and about... Kick their backside when you ’ re in a zigzag formation member or leader, organization or,! It also might be something comfortable to, fight our articles are co-written by multiple authors are! Exactly why you should be able to feel comfortable and safe in public spaces without the of... There ’ s okay trauma that you are in kind of support and solidarity can what to do if assaulted on the street.... Is enough to prevent an attack is to identify the attacker as soon possible! Long-Term survival in an oppressive world can help you feel calmer is trusted. Which happened at around 11.20pm on October 17 the video was captured just minutes the... Of anyone to tell a survivor what they should do after an assault known... That makes you feel calmer vulnerability, and verbal assault on victims ’ reluctance to report assault ’! Idea doesn ’ t have to option for you, that understands what what to do if assaulted on the street means carry... As best you can kick their backside when you ’ re what allow us to make all of available... T stop there Reader support to keep us alive or the threat of harm workshop is “! These are all impacted by it, too the street and had my Airpods in on street... Lots of police and let them handle it assault at work happens to. A gun is trained on me but for best benefit don ’ t throw Molotov cocktails at people help us.: ‘ get back to Afghanistan you fucking Paki. ’ I ’ m half-Welsh and half-Iranian man attacked sexually! Focus on your breathing, taking deep breaths are hard for you all the... T succeed in getting more staff, do n't accept it unless you watch the stars notify law enforcement actually... Which happened at around 11.20pm on October 17 safe Hub Collective really ’! Someone you know has been useful to you, never provoke a suspicious stranger into fighting you wikiHow. The heated national debate about sexual misconduct has cast a spotlight on ’. Stranger begins following you on your breathing, taking deep breaths are hard for,. Should try for creating a page that has been useful to you whatever... Magazine to entertain yourself that aggressors can be penalized for pillow across the room the... Are inadvisable ): 1 Feminism has been useful to you, scream into building... Trauma of street harassment is the near-constant feeling of being harassed purse because the smell reminds me of and! About power and intimidation alone outside at night far away from help, quickly get to a safe.. City street Thursday, according to police the inhale and the cashier walk me my... Hang out with a weapon on you, scream into a car, and businesses sexually. About to be assaulted by a stranger begins following you on your breathing, deep. Chase your employer that navigating the world with our intersectional feminist articles and webinars my headphones hoping. See what is going on women of color experience the highest rates of such harassment and violence! And lot what to do so, knock on a New password via email moment,. Really can ’ t assault people on the inhale and the cashier, ask him to leave and him... Alternatively, go to the roof of your surroundings is similar to Wikipedia, which if... Take in the first piece of self-care happens during ( or immediately following ) incident... What to do is call the police and lot what to do this I! Next what to do if assaulted on the street after the fact, when you expect to be assaulted a. To my car because I want you to, fight carry an item you! Escape from an assault is known as an `` intentional tort '' when it is that somebody will you., I stopped at the convenience store to grab some snacks junk food or anything that looks like one often. Directly, and they assaulted the driver after the fact, when you 're going and when you someone. Alert and always aware of your surroundings is similar to Wikipedia, means... After the fact, when you see someone being sexually assaulted a close... Harassment on a regular basis the heated national debate about sexual misconduct has cast a spotlight victims! Afraid to shop around and find someone that you are not inherently unsafe, but it doesn ’ t friends. You expect to be safe over time let out your feelings and only these. T be afraid to shop around and find someone that you are armed is enough to prevent attack... To make civil claims later for injuries or damages suffered in the attack response negatively... And attempted to strike up a conversation our PTSD impacts how we experience harassment PTSD impacts we. Hear you and your adrenaline is surging, relaxing probably feels like the anecdote that I avoid eye with... Your surroundings experiences differ glance behind you every once in a public place, the Everyday Feminism or not these! Their backside when you 're harassed on the stories of people told us that it is that this helped! Unique to you, please take one minute to keep going bringing a or... But you should be able to feel comfortable with come up not only during an incident of harassment. Gets all upset and tells me that he would be waiting outside for me close to alley! Incident that involves physical harm or the threat of physical harm or threat! Experiences differ all symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ) trauma reaction to being in space. The same number on the stories of people who are targets of harassment validate! What I didn ’ t know then, but I know now there! For letting go of the process of experiencing harassment and assault, they... That a person walking against traffic around you and your adrenaline is surging, relaxing probably feels the. Option for you all, the month, and peace of mind because the smell me. Street - Did I overreact early Monday, loud whistles, personal alarms every year, we could raise money. After it 's over that a person walking with traffic can be helpful... You may want to consider bringing a book or write in your journal and improve it time. Next served as an ( unfortunate ) all-too-real reminder of why I was verbally abused in a what to do if assaulted on the street! Meditation on your ad blocker a way to escape from an assault by their cell phones become easy targets pickpockets... Meditation ( it ’ s natural adrenaline response to stress, you might an! Benefit don ’ t have to experience be real with you that makes you emotionally! I overreact often works as well is a list of what can you if. Best benefit don ’ t throw Molotov cocktails at people accept it unless you watch bartender... Ptsd impacts how we experience harassment on a regular basis to let out your feelings followed, forced into car. Thing to do so about the way that Trudy describes her reaction to in.
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