I was only minutes away from my home when two boys (one on a bike) walked not too far behind me and started shouting things like “fat a**” and loudly saying to each other “look at it jiggle!” and more rude comments. Bear in mind that I am a 14 year old girl and the two boys looked around 16 or 17 years old. The experience made me feel really uncomfortable and embarrassed. When I ignored them they started getting violent and shouting things like “don’t f****** ignore me” and “you ginger c***” (I’m not even ginger, I’m a brunette).
They followed me all the way from where I was to my local shop (which is about 5 minutes away from where they started following me). I should’ve gone into the shop and told someone and asked if I could stay there for a little while but in the heat of the moment, I was scared and took a quick turn, running down a familiar street and trying to get away from them. I luckily lost them before they got too violent.
I was so shocked and scared that I just kept walking an alternative route back home and called my mam. I was so scared and I don’t think I’ll be walking alone again for a little while, I’m just glad that they didn’t follow me further. This happened about two hours ago.
I feel better now and I have stopped shaking but my boyfriend isn’t too happy about it. I want catcalling to stop and I don’t want people to be scared of walking alone like I am now. I’m only 14 for god sake and just think how bad it could’ve been if they were older men. Catcalling and following needs to stop because it did not make me feel good about myself or confident or anything else that people might try to convince you, it was scary, embarrassing and made me feel frustrated.
It’s ridiculous that people like me can’t just walk around and have freedom without feeling scared of other people.
Optional: What’s one way you think we can make public places safer for everyone?
Educate young people on how catcalling can be dangerous and make people extremely uncomfortable, also educate people on how to intervene with catcalling.
Location: Newcastle, United Kingdom
Need support? Call the toll-free National Street Harassment hotline: 855-897-5910Share on Facebook