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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Jerkoff on the Peter Pan

I took the Peter Pan Bus from Port Authority to Providence on Monday, Feb 25 at 8:00pm. The man across the aisle from me got pretty chatty right away, and I was friendly toward him until he started annoying me and I put in my headphones and stopped paying attention. I could feel him staring at me for most of the ride, but I didn't want to encourage him, so I kept my eyes on the road outside. After a couple of hours (and after ignoring several attempts on his part to get my attention) I got fed up and turned to look at him, hoping he'd leave me the fuck alone. No such luck.

He had his dick out of his pants and was openly jerking off - while staring at me.
I froze, turned away, looked back out the window; when I glanced back he was pretending to sleep. I sat there for a few minutes trying to will the bus to get to the city quickly, trying to figure out what I should do, and finally I gathered my things and stood up to move toward the front of the bus. He sat up, said "Oh, are we there?" and pulled his dick out and got back to work, this time with eye contact. I don't remember what I said - probably "Oh my god" - before I found a new seat.

I called my best friend & kept him on the phone til I was in a cab on my way home. I felt so ashamed that I hadn't made a scene - I was so shocked that I just sat there, frozen. I didn't know what to do.

The worst part is: this guy is from my town & I have to take the city bus with him every single evening. Last night I talked to the bus driver & supervisor & they're going to help me do something.

In the meantime, I took this picture. Hopefully it'll help somehow.

Amelia Allard
Providence, RI
(there's no Prov hollaback site yet - but I thought maybe it'd be good to post this)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Even my mental health clinic isn't safe

This is a little different than the usual harassment stories that I have seen on the site, but it's just as frightening.

I live north of Boston. I have Asperger's Syndrome (an Autism Spectrum Disorder), Bipolar Disorder, and slight Agoraphobia (fear of leaving a safe place), and I go to a center in Lawrence for mental health and cognitive care on a weekly basis.

As I was arriving for an appointment a few months ago, I had barely put my car into park, when I looked up and found this strange man staring at me, literally inches from my driver's side window. With my developmental delays and poor mental health, I often have trouble responding to social cues and situations that require quick thinking. So I sat there, my eyes getting huge and paralyzed in my seat. Suddenly, he starts repeatedly knocking on my window, all while staring and nearly breathing on the door.

I abruptly put my car into reverse and backed out of the spot like a bat out of hell. I almost ran over his feet, but I really didn't care. I didn't know where to go - it was a small parking lot, and I was worried that he would catch up to me. Luckily, the front parking space was open, and a few people were standing by the door smoking, so I parked there and booked it, not looking back until I got to the front desk. After my appointment, I had to go through more humiliation and ask my counselor to walk me to my car.

It wasn't that long ago that I couldn't even walk to my mailbox without having a panic attack. Being able to run errands on my own is a huge step. But every time I get harassed, I get afraid that it will cause me to revert back to my old ways. I hated feeling that I needed a chaperon everywhere I went. Having AS and being mentally ill at the same time is already discouraging in many situations. The added trauma of being harassed and having trouble doing something about it is downright dehumanizing.

I hope that this might influence some of you to speak out a little louder, for those of us that need extra help fighting back.

- Sara C.

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