Your Stories

Stalked and harassed *WHILE* tutoring kids at an elementary school.

I was at work at an elementary school and a construction worker was outside the room I was working in. I felt weird, as if I was being stared at. I was. I look up and he is blatantly staring. I loudly ask him to move along, and he just laughs and licks his lips, and continues to stare. All of this happened in front of the kids I was tutoring. He stayed for some time. When I stood up aggressively and walked towards him he walked away.

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Your Stories

Constant Harassment in Wicker Park—Heather’s Story

I live in Wicker Park, and I can’t go anywhere on any day without at least one form of street harassment, and it’s usually three or more times during my walk to and from stores or my gym. There have been numerous times I will walk in loops around my place to shake off straggling “followers”. It’s creepy, and scary, and it needs to stop. Why is this behavior accepted in our society?

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Your Stories

“Stop leering at my daughter!”

Walking in the mall with my 17 year old daughter (at the time) an older man (who was with his wife and grandkids for God’s sake) leers at my daughter. I’ve always told my kids that the best way to react is to embarrass the person. So, I said really loudly, “Stop leering at my daughter!” I bet he didn’t want his wife to realize what he was doing and I hope he got reprimanded by her, too.

My personal advice to women on the receiving end: embarrass the perp. Make a scene and let everybody else know what a disgusting thing he did.

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12+

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Your Stories

Inappropriate touching on Red Line

A large man sat next to me on the L, told me I was pretty, and touched me inappropriately. He touched my hands, hugged me, and pressed his leg up against mine while shaking it.
We were going north on the Red line towards Howard.

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Your Stories

Sexually Assaulted while sleeping on Chicago Metra

I’m a weekday rider of the Chicago Metra from the northwestern suburbs to Ogilvie for work.

A morning last month, I was asleep against the window. I was woken up by the man sitting next to me feeling up my leg and moving my skirt up my thigh to touch me farther up my leg. He had his jacket over himself and the empty space between us so that no one could see him. His left hand was on my leg and the right hand was under his jacket.

When I woke up and he knew he was caught, he quickly left the seat.

Two weeks later, he followed me from the train.

He generally carries a worn brown leather messenger bag and is about 5’8″ and 185 lbs.

There is a report on file with the UP Railroad Police for this incident. Please email information about this person or how to find him to emchicago(at)ihollaback(dot)org.

Sexual Assault on Chicago Metra

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Your Stories

Being harassed by the custodian outside of work… Landlords did nothing.

There is an alcoholic custodian in the building where I have my office named Oscar. He is truly the custodian from hell. Two young women who shared an office in this building were upset to find Oscar sitting in his car in the parking lot, drinking from what looked like a wine bottle, and simply staring at them. His behavior pattern is stalking and staring. These women were clearly freaked out and asked me what to do about it, I suggested that they contact Carl and Garrick, the landlords. I also informed Garrick. Apparently they did nothing. Shortly afterward the women vacated the building.

My girlfriend, who also works for me in this building, got fed up with Oscar staring at her and following her everywhere she went. She decided to “turn the tables” and follow him. He did not seem to like it as she followed him from the office building which is on Montrose near Kindred Hospital to a Seven Eleven on Western. I felt that this was dangerous however, and suggested that next time he stalked and stared she should call the police.

Finally I filed a written and verbal complaint with both landlords. They chose to take no action (even though Oscar is driving women out of the building!) and acted as though they did not believe me. Oscar may be simple minded, foreign born, with a serious substance abuse problem, but this is no excuse to let him harass women!

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Your Stories

My friends didn’t realize how violated I felt and I could tell they thought I was overreacting, which makes me mad. Not because they didn’t understand, but because they haven’t been taught the seriousness of my perpetrators actions.

The first time I ever experienced sexual harassment was when I was thirteen. I was walking with my mom in the middle of the day in a very crowded place when I heard, “Goddamn, look at that ass. I want to cum all over that ass.” I turned around and saw a white man (mid 40s) shorter that I was staring directly at my butt. He saw me and then proceeded to look at my butt and started saying more things along those lines. My mom soon noticed and we sped up and went into a restaurant where I immediately started to cry. I was wearing a hoodie and jeans; nothing “inviting” about either of those. (not that it matters) Since then, I’ve experienced sexual harassment from people I know, but today I was groped by a stranger. I was walking with three of my friends (all 16 years old) to the office of my friend’s father. We were walking through an empty courtyard around 6 pm talking and laughing when I noticed someone else with us. I made eye contact and gave him a little smile and continued following us through the courtyard. We were about 20 feet from the office when I felt a hand cupping my butt. I gasped and looked at him (completely in shock) to find he was staring directly at me while walking away with a smug look. None of my friends did anything, in fact we didn’t even tell the dad (even though it would have made me feel much safer). I started crying because I was so mad that he thought he had the right to do that, and because I was so terrified that he could (and did) do that and could do so much more. My friends didn’t realize how violated I felt and I could tell they thought I was overreacting, which makes me mad. Not because they didn’t understand, but because they haven’t been taught the seriousness of my perpetrators actions. I’m tired of being seen as an object as well as people not being educated about how emotionally traumatizing it is to be sexually harassed. Side note: I was wearing jeans and a puffy jacket today as well, nothing revealing either.

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23+

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Your Stories

A year and a half later, the man who groped me on the Red Line is in custody.

Two years ago, I was on the Red Line going southbound around 9 am. After the train cleared out at the Loop, I was able to snag a seat, and I ended up sitting next to a middle-aged man. There were probably still 20-30 people on the train car at that point. I began to read my book.

I noticed, out of my peripheral vision, that the man next to me was staring at my shoes and legs. I moved my book to see what he was looking at, but I didn’t see anything notable. I kept reading, but he was still staring. Finally, I looked more closely at him and followed his eyes, and it turns out that his hand was up my skirt near my outer thigh. I hadn’t felt it because I was wearing tights, and he was careful to touch lightly, but I immediately shrieked and hit his shoulder and said, “What the fuck are you doing?” I announced to the train that he had put his hand up my skirt and I moved away. He walked out of the train car.

I was too shaken up to do anything, and I froze with panic. I thought that if I pushed the red emergency button in the car, everyone would be upset with me for holding up their commutes, so I didn’t do anything. Sadly, no one else did anything either.

I reported it to the police, and a few days later, a great detective took my report. He came back with some images and I was able to identify the groper, but they didn’t have him in custody and that was all we could do at that point.

Fast forward to last spring, when I got a sudden call from the police office at 10:30 pm. They had my groper in custody; he had groped another woman on the El who had been brave enough to take his picture and distribute it to the police. Could I come down to the station to ID him in person? I immediately drove down, and around midnight, picked him out of a lineup.

The other victim and I went to a court hearing the next week and gave our statements against him. When he was led into court, that’s when I got my first good look at him, and I realized he was mentally handicapped. Obviously, that does not excuse his actions, and I shudder to think of all the women he groped for the past two years before he was caught, but I also am so terribly upset that he was not able to get the medical and psychological help he needed to function ably in society.

Anyway, he is in jail now, awaiting his trial. I could be called to subpoena. Though I feel for him as someone with disabilities, I know what he did was wrong, and my only regret is that I did not push that emergency button when I was groped. I hope that I have the courage to push that button if I ever see anyone else in distress on the El, and I hope that the CTA puts up anti-sexual harassment PSAs.

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