If you have been following my posts, I have been writing about phone harassment online harassment (kind-off) and now street harassment. Street harassment by definition means any kind of action or comment that is unwelcome, threatening or harassing. When someone by force tries to have a conversation with you, cat calls and obscene gestures and comments, following, stalking and touching/grabbing.
This happens everywhere in the world. Girls usually start experiencing this when they reach the age of 12-13 (much earlier for some). And most of these girls just keep quiet about it. This harassment causes alot of fear and anxiety. And no girl should have to go through this all the time. I feel so angry, that these perverts still walk the roads freely, abusing any woman/girl they see.
The problem is most victims usually don't say or do anything because they are scared of confronting and of the unwanted attention that it will bring if a scene is caused, also scared of the circumstances wherein the man may be more dangerous like carrying a weapon or something (we girls have a big imagination).
So these are my 2 cents to those girls/women on how to deal with such perverts on the loose.
- First things first. No, it is not okay! Totally not okay! You shouldn't be silent about it. You should speak out to the nearest person to you (friend or family with you or any woman/man near you) and tell them this man is trying to touch you or whatever . If you keep quiet this guy won't go away. He will keep on following you. This is a very scary situation I know! Heart is pounding and it feels like your heart is about to come out of your throat.
- If someone is following you and throwing numbers on papers don't laugh. I am serious about the not laughing part. This might look funny at first but it might actually take a bad turn. This man will eventually follow you and make note of where you go and live, I mean who knows what he wants. You don't want him to know all that about you, do you? Put on your strongest most confident face, and give him the 'Don't mess with me' look.
- If you behave like a frail little victim he will not go away. ACT LIKE A TOTAL LUNATIC. If he tries to get close. Shout! Scream! 'Don't touch me!!! 'What are you doinggggg?' Draw as much attention as possible. If you are in Saudi Arabia there are high chances that the men around will beat this guy up pretty good. So don't be afraid to make a scene. I know this needs guts! But, you gotta do it. Think! It will be one less pervert on the loose!
- The best thing you could do is report this man/men to the authorities. Take his photo, or his car license plate or anything that can be used to find him and jail him.
- If guys are passing obscene comments while you are out shopping peacefully, take this matter to the guards in the area. It will take 5 mins. But, it will surely teach these guys some manners and respect for women. A nice shaved head by the Muttawas will definitely teach them not to mess with women.
Obviously I'm no expert but I have had my own experiences that I have learned from. By now I have perfected the 'You Do Not Want To Mess With Me' face. So I rarely face this kind of harassment anymore. Remember one thing the more you behave like a little victim the more these perverts will try to take advantage. So even if you are frail and weak on the inside, put on your most confident and strong face, look him in the eye and kick him where it will really really* hurt.