This past summer I was walking down a main road in north Hollywood at night, alone, but early. It's a well lit road with many business but it's a weeknight after 7 and there's not too many people out. Usually when I'm walking alone, I pretend I'm on the phone, avoiding eye contact with passers by, and this time was no different.
I see a middle aged dude walking towards me, he's got a suit on, he looks like maybe he's had a couple drinks because he's kind of swaying. We barely make eye contact, I give a slight smile so as to not anger or insult him (perhaps this was anti feminist of me,I know I don't owe anyone a smile, but shit it was night and he was giving off a weirdo vibe even from 50 paces away and I didn't have a weapon) then I avert my gaze hastily and continue to pretend I'm on the phone.
This man, PASSES BY ME AND TAKES MY PHONE. I of course stop in my tracks because I'm caught off guard. He smiles and says "hey pretty girl you were looking too serious" or some BS. He asks me my name, where I'm going, I say I'm heading to meet a big group of friends at a theater down the road.
He tries to make small talk, he's a music industry guy, very rich and successful- blah blah blah. I ask for my phone back. He continues to talk. Tells me I'm beautiful. He wants me to hang with him. I say I have to get to my friend's show, it starts soon. He opens my Facebook. He finds himself and sends himself a message as if he's me. He says I can call him when I'm done. He wants to get to know me. Then he gives me
My phone back. Grabs me and kisses my cheek, and grabs my ass before he walks away.
I know- I should have screamed or been meaner to him. Right? I know how this goes- I should have said get the fuck away from me or I'll call The cops, but it's not always that easy. He could have had a gun, a knife. We never know who or what we're up against.
I tried to kill him with kindness so that hopefully he wouldn't kill me, because that's not out of this world- to assume he could and would be someone who could murder me on the spot, unfortunately.
I'm lucky all he did was give me a gross smooch and an ass grab, but other women aren't so lucky. I used a lot of the tactics listed in this article before this happened, and now I use even more of them.
While some may seem silly, they are unfortunately very necessary.
We walk with our gaze behind us and it isn't fair. Keys grasped in between our fingers, headphones with no music so we can listen to the silence of a prospective attacker that may never come.
And for some, all the tactics in the world don't save us.