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Esmee’s Story: “Once again I knew I was powerless”

I was riding the bus with my boyfriend when a huge group of teenage boys got on, they were insanely loud but I tried to ignore it. I got off the bus and I went to the metro by myself. I was waiting for the metro to arrive when the same group of kids appear, they’re even more aggressive this time, punching and tackling each other and shoving themselves into other people’s space, especially women’s (including myself). At one point I was completely surrounded by them as they were screaming and flailing around, violating my personal space, but I couldn’t do anything about it because there were 10 of them and one of me. Then another woman walked by, they gathered around her and leered at her as she passed, she looked so uncomfortable and nervous. As soon as she got a couple feet away all of the boys start shrieking at her, screaming “luscious” and other objectifying things. I was furious, once again I knew I was powerless. I’m an adult woman, and I couldn’t defend myself or another woman against a group of kids; that’s how violent and disgusting gender imbalance has become. I honestly don’t know what to do if something like this happens again.

This post is also available in: French

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RAD’s Story: “I was shocked and embarrassed”

I was dropping a young woman off at the metro station after a date late Friday night when two drunk men sitting on the curb by the entrance to the station began yelling at us. One of them shouted, “Oh My God look at her!” and something about “my woman”. I was shocked and embarrassed. I didn’t say anything: we just walked past and into the metro station so the situation didn’t escalate. Then, I felt awful for not standing up to the verbal harassment.

This post is also available in: French

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New Volunteers/Nouvelles volontaires

Hollaback MTL is seeking new volunteers to run operations. If you are interested, please e-mail [email protected]

Hollaback MTL recherche actuellement de nouvelles/nouveaux volontaires pour gérer leurs opérations. Si vous êtes intéressées/intéressés, contactez-nous à [email protected]

This post is also available in: French

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Esmee’s Story: “I’m tired of feeling unsafe, I’m constantly working around a rape schedule”

I was getting home late and had to walk by Maz bar to cross the street. As I approached the crosswalk a man blocked my path leering at me and said goodnight. I wretched. His friends followed me across the street asking me why I didn’t “like him”, the first harasser asked me “if he was ugly”. I told him he was and hurried away. I’m tired of feeling unsafe, I’m constantly working around a rape schedule.

This post is also available in: French

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Rachel’s Story: “This guy…stood directly in front of me on the sidewalk (deliberately blocking my path) and said, ‘Sweet baby'”

I was walking to the St. Laurent metro station and this guy stepped out of a bus shelter, stood directly in front of me on the sidewalk (deliberately blocking my path) and said, “Sweet baby” while leering at me. I had to walk around him and he just stared the whole time, I was so happy that I had a walk signal and ran all the way down to Rue Ontario.

This post is also available in: French

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Jessica’s Story: “I felt someone grab my ass”

It was a Saturday night and I was on my way to meet up with my boyfriend after the hockey game. I had just gotten out of the metro when an older man, maybe mid-forties, stopped me and asked where Ste-Catherine street was. I pointed him in the right direction, even though it was fairly obvious and put my ear phones back in and started walking. A couple of seconds later I felt someone grab my ass. I turn around and it was the same guy! He said that he had one more question to ask me, to which I replied no way. As I was walking away he yelled to me that he had lots of cash.. I told him I didn’t give a shit and rushed to get away from him. I felt so disgusted and upset that it put a damper on the rest of the night. I couldn’t believe someone would do that!

This post is also available in: French

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Kari’s Stories: “I get stared at, followed or yelled at”

I have so many stories to share about being harassed in Montréal. It’s truly sad for me that I have to feel like I have to walk down the street with a miserable look on my face, always on the defense, hoping that it will ward off any unwanted advances. In St-Henri, in the middle of the day, I’ve been yelled at by a man waving a 20$ bill, “Veux-tu me faire une pipe bébé?” in broad daylight just outside of the grocery store. Which he then followed me to and eventually pulled away as I went to hide inside. I’ve had drunk men grab my butt while waiting in line at the Belle Province on St-Laurent. Now, I live near Metro Parc and even though it’s the closest metro to me, I try to avoid it whenever possible. Two out of every three times I’ve been in or near that metro, I get stared at, followed, or yelled at. Today, I was trying to make a phone call from the upper part of the metro when a man yelled, “Hey, vous êtes une très jolie femme madame!” Without even looking his direction, I wanted to get away from him so I started walking down the escalator to get and to my dismay, he started following me down. “Hey, je vous ai dit que vous êtes une très jolie femme. Hey! Répondez-moi!” When I got off the escalator and realized that he was still coming down behind me, I actually started to panic when I thought he might come up to me. I turned to give him an angry look, as if to say “Stop following me” and he ends with, “Okay alors, je voulais seulement que vous le sachiez. C’est vrai que vous êtes jolie!” (I was wearing a winter coat practically down to my ankles and a hat!)

This post is also available in: French

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Michelle’s Story: “It’s disgusting to me that someone thinks it’s okay to harass someone at their damn workplace”

I work at a gym, at the front desk. There is an older man (he’s in his late 70s) who comes in every single morning. He’s one of these old men who apparently thinks he’s “suave”, but he is not. He comes off as creepy. He’ll make references about how, when he’s finished at the gym, he’ll be going home to finish up his workout with his wife.

I was out one day for a walk, and as I was crossing the parking lot of the mall, I heard a voice yell, “Hey!” I turned and saw him sitting in his car. He waved, I waved back, and I thought that was the end of it.

The next day, at work, he came in and started peppering me with questions. What had I been doing out on my own? Where had I been going? Wow, I walk fast (apparently he had sat in his car and *watched* me walk until I was out of sight.)

When he asked me where I had been going, I said I had probably been headed home at that point. Then he says, “Oh, where do you live?”

I told him that it was really none of his business where I lived, and I didn’t really like the fact that he had been watching me. He got offended and said that none of the other girls who work the front desk get offended by him, and I told him that I’m not the other girls, and that I don’t appreciate being made to deal with his comments.

It’s disgusting to me that someone thinks it’s okay to harass someone at their damn workplace. I may have to be civil to him at work, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to put up with him outside of work.

This post is also available in: French

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