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    jodar7's Avatar
    jodar7 Posts: 42, Reputation: 0
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    #1

    Feb 8, 2013, 10:46 PM
    Strange Situation in the Hallway at School. Why Did These Guys Do This?
    I'm a girl in my early 20's attending university. Yesterday, after my classes were finished and it was the end of the day (around 5:30pm) I was walking through the main building's hallway to go home when a group of tall black guys (maybe 4-5) were walking in the opposite direction towards me. (I'm mixed with black btw) Anyway they looked me over as I past them, and then one of them suddenly grabs my arm and says "hey, you remember me, don't you?" These were all strangers so I was really frightened and said "no" (obviously). The other guys were saying things too but I just remember being so scared and finally freeing my arm, and walking away really fast away from them. I still heard their voices close behind me, shouting at me for a bit and I actually feared they were following me. But I didn't want to run and cause a scene since the hall was not empty, there were a few people sitting on benches against the wall or walking past me.

    Luckily, they didn't follow me but honestly, I've never been so afraid in public in my life, like just the fact that that happened in a hallway with other people makes me really uneasy. I wondered why no one stepped in too. :( Am I over-reacting? What should I have done? Or, what should I do if a similar situation occurs in the future? Much thanks.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,273, Reputation: 5644
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    #2

    Feb 8, 2013, 10:53 PM
    What did they want? Well, we don't know, but you did do the right thing. Keep it up.
    jodar7's Avatar
    jodar7 Posts: 42, Reputation: 0
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    #3

    Feb 8, 2013, 10:59 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by J_9 View Post
    What did they want? Well, we don't know, but you did do the right thing. Keep it up.
    Any advice for what I can do in the future if I'm randomly harassed by a stranger/s in public again? I felt really frightened in board daylight and in my school of all places. I'm still shaken up and upset about this. And I was too embarrassed to make a scene...
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #4

    Feb 8, 2013, 11:04 PM
    In another thread you mentioned that you have social anxiety... this being the case, I am sure that this situation was worse for you than it could have or maybe should have been. I am not saying that this is wrong, just pointing it out.

    I think what you did was fine. They were wrong to do such a thing in the first place... basically breaking your "bubble" of space and grabbing you like that. Many people would have told them to F off but I understand why you handled it as you did... and you did fine.

    The whole "you remember me" thing was probably an attempt to get you talking or some intimidation thing that they were doing. For now, just try avoiding them. If this continues, I would report them I think.
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    J_9 Posts: 40,273, Reputation: 5644
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    #5

    Feb 8, 2013, 11:06 PM
    Keep your head up high. Walk like you have a purpose. Never look away or down toward the ground. People like this prey on gals who look meek and scared.

    If someone does that again, and asks if you remember them, just say "No, I don't remember you." And continue to walk on.
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    J_9 Posts: 40,273, Reputation: 5644
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    #6

    Feb 8, 2013, 11:08 PM
    ERROR: You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to odinn7 again.
    Sorry, Odinn, I tried to spread the love!
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    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #7

    Feb 8, 2013, 11:38 PM
    I agree with how you handled this incident by saying you didn't know him. The only thing about your whole story that concerned me was that you were concerned about making a scene.

    If you ever feel harassed or unsafe, make a scene. If you are ever in a medical emergency, don't be embarrassed - make a scene. It's not worth dying to avoid making a scene. I tell you this because I used to teach health and safety courses including life saving. I learned that many people get themselves into dangerous situations because, in order to avoid making a scene, they ignore red flags and those nervous gut feelings that something is wrong. We are wired very intelligently to sense danger, but we are afraid of making fools of ourselves or drawing too much attention, so we try to hide our anxieties. Go ahead - make a fool of yourself. Who cares what a bunch of strangers think of you? If you feel unsafe, say to them loudly and clearly, "I don't know you, leave me alone. Get your hands off of me". Or even scream or yell, "they are harassing me - help!"

    People do this in medical emergencies as well. It is fairly common, for example while at their work or a restaurant or party, that a person who is choking or having symptoms of another serious medical crisis like stroke or heart attack will go off somewhere alone like the bathroom, and will die there. If you are not feeling right and it's unusual for you, you tell someone immediately and make sure NOT to be alone. Again, risk the scene. Risk over-reacting. The cost if your concerns are valid and you ignore them is too great.

    So if this happens again - be loud and bold and don't worry about embarrassing anyone. Just say loudly, "I told you before I don't know you. Get your hands off me and leave me alone." Then you report it to your university as they probably have a policy against sexual harassment and can get the jerks banned from campus.
    jodar7's Avatar
    jodar7 Posts: 42, Reputation: 0
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    #8

    Feb 9, 2013, 01:55 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by J_9 View Post
    Keep your head up high. Walk like you have a purpose. Never look away or down toward the ground. People like this prey on gals who look meek and scared.

    If someone does that again, and asks if you remember them, just say "No, I don't remember you." And continue to walk on.
    I was walking with a purpose though (headed home) and was originally staring straight ahead which is why I made eye contact with them. He didn't ask me if I remembered him and then grabbed my arm. He grabbed me FIRST and then asked me if I remembered him. I was saying "No" and trying to pull myself away. I couldn't "walk on" until he let go of me at which point I walked really quickly away (I was afraid I'd look stupid if I ran at this point but I was terrified).

    Ugh, I don't know. It doesn't feel like there's any actual way of avoiding these situations. I just don't want to feel victimized in my own damn school again.
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    #9

    Feb 9, 2013, 02:02 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by odinn7 View Post
    In another thread you mentioned that you have social anxiety....this being the case, I am sure that this situation was worse for you than it could have or maybe should have been. I am not saying that this is wrong, just pointing it out.

    I think what you did was fine. They were wrong to do such a thing in the first place....basically breaking your "bubble" of space and grabbing you like that. Many people would have told them to F off but I understand why you handled it as you did....and you did fine.

    The whole "you remember me" thing was probably an attempt to get you talking or some intimidation thing that they were doing. For now, just try avoiding them. If this continues, I would report them I think.
    I have social anxiety but NO, this situation wasn't "worse for me" because of that so please don't try to rationalize what they did. ANY girl who is stared down by a group of tall men and then grabbed by one of them while the rest yell at her will be TERRIFIED out of her mind. They weren't "breaking my bubble of space" they downright HARASSED me for no reason. I can't "try avoiding them" I barely remember their faces, and what should I be doing anyway? Watching over my shoulders every five seconds? I feel like I did fine. I was at their mercy. I never felt so helpless and scared in a public place.. . I thought I'd find actual good advice on this website about what to do when harassed by a group of guys, or at least support. I've gotten neither so far. Very disappointed...
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    jodar7 Posts: 42, Reputation: 0
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    #10

    Feb 9, 2013, 02:20 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by dontknownuthin View Post
    I agree with how you handled this incident by saying you didn't know him. The only thing about your whole story that concerned me was that you were concerned about making a scene.

    If you ever feel harassed or unsafe, make a scene. If you are ever in a medical emergency, don't be embarrassed - go ahead and make a scene. It's not worth dying to avoid making a scene. I tell you this because I used to teach health and safety courses including life saving. I learned that many people get themselves into dangerous situations because, in order to avoid making a scene, they ignore red flags and those nervous gut feelings that something is wrong. We are wired very intelligently to sense danger, but we are afraid of making fools of ourselves or drawing too much attention, so we try to hide our anxieties. Go ahead - make a fool of yourself. Who cares what a bunch of strangers think of you? If you feel unsafe, say to them loudly and clearly, "I don't know you, leave me alone. Get your hands off of me". Or even scream or yell, "they are harassing me - help!"

    People do this in medical emergencies as well. It is fairly common, for example while at their work or a restaurant or party, that a person who is choking or having symptoms of another serious medical crisis like stroke or heart attack will go off somewhere alone like the bathroom, and will die there. If you are not feeling right and it's unusual for you, you tell someone immediately and make sure NOT to be alone. Again, risk the scene. Risk over-reacting. The cost if your concerns are valid and you ignore them is too great.

    So if this happens again - be loud and bold and don't worry about embarassing anyone. Just say loudly, "I told you before I don't know you. Get your hands off me and leave me alone." Then you report it to your university as they probably have a policy against sexual harassment and can get the jerks banned from campus.
    Thanks for your answer, probably the only one that I can take something away from. I think I want to report this incident of harassment, although I don't remember exactly what they looked like only that the one who grabbed me had short dreads. Strangers shouldn't be putting their hands on people. I couldn't even believe it was happening. I'm still shook up about it honestly. I guess part of having socially anxiety is that it makes the prospect of embarrassing yourself seem like the worst thing that could happen to you in life. So I can't imagine myself having the courage to scream but... I don't know. I guess I'll keep it in mine. I wish there was a way I could just avoid those kind of situations altogther though...

    I'm all ears if anyone has any advice for avoiding harassment. :(
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #11

    Feb 9, 2013, 10:20 AM
    Be aware that many schools have security cameras. If you report it there may be film of the incident. Often film is only pulled up and reviewed after an incident is reported or vandalism is noticed, etc. Even if you can give some information, they can alert campus security to watch for this type of activity and be more attentive to it.
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #12

    Feb 9, 2013, 03:16 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by jodar7 View Post
    I have social anxiety but NO, this situation wasn't "worse for me" because of that so please don't try to rationalize what they did. ANY girl who is stared down by a group of tall men and then grabbed by one of them while the rest yell at her will be TERRIFIED out of her mind. They weren't "breaking my bubble of space" they downright HARASSED me for no reason. I can't "try avoiding them" I barely remember their faces, and what should I be doing anyway? Watching over my shoulders every five seconds? I feel like I did fine. I was at their mercy. I never felt so helpless and scared in a public place. ...I thought I'd find actual good advice on this website about what to do when harassed by a group of guys, or at least support. I've gotten neither so far. Very disappointed...

    Wow, that's great. Here I was trying to be sympathetic to you and you jump my sh*t for it. If you're so worried and concerned, report them. Have them arrested for assault because that is basically what they did. I was in no way trying to rationalize what they did. How did you get that out of what I wrote? I think you need to start being a little less defensive here.My comment about the social anxiety... it would have been bad enough for anyone but having social anxiety and facing that had to make it worse I'm sure. Me saying that was somehow bad? Then, me saying they were wrong to break your space and grab you is me somehow rationalizing what they did? Does reading comprehension escape you somehow?

    But really... we tried to help you here and you got nasty. I appreciate when I'm trying to help someone and sympathize with them and then I get kicked for it. You wanted help and/or support here but feel you didn't get it. What do you want from us? Do you want one of us to come down there and protect you? As far as the support, I feel that the 3 of us who took the time to try to help you did offer some sort of support to you... but I guess you didn't see it that way... well, obviously you didn't see it that way..

    I really should have known. I just read through all your old threads and I see a pattern... I wish I had read them all last night and then I wouldn't have taken the time to answer you so you could kick me for trying to help.

    Have fun getting people to answer you here when you treat them poorly like this. I know I won't try to help you any more, I'm done responding to your questions.

    Take care.
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    jodar7 Posts: 42, Reputation: 0
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    #13

    Feb 10, 2013, 02:07 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by odinn7 View Post
    Wow, that's great. Here I was trying to be sympathetic to you and you jump my sh*t for it. If you're so worried and concerned, report them. Have them arrested for assault because that is basically what they did. I was in no way trying to rationalize what they did. How did you get that out of what I wrote? I think you need to start being a little less defensive here.My comment about the social anxiety...it would have been bad enough for anyone but having social anxiety and facing that had to make it worse I'm sure. Me saying that was somehow bad? Then, me saying they were wrong to break your space and grab you is me somehow rationalizing what they did? Does reading comprehension escape you somehow?

    But really...we tried to help you here and you got nasty. I appreciate when I'm trying to help someone and sympathize with them and then I get kicked for it. You wanted help and/or support here but feel you didn't get it. What do you want from us? Do you want one of us to come down there and protect you? As far as the support, I feel that the 3 of us who took the time to try to help you did offer some sort of support to you....but I guess you didn't see it that way...well, obviously you didn't see it that way..

    I really should have known. I just read through all your old threads and I see a pattern...I wish I had read them all last night and then I wouldn't have taken the time to answer you so you could kick me for trying to help.

    Have fun getting people to answer you here when you treat them poorly like this. I know I won't try to help you any more, I'm done responding to your questions.

    Take care.
    I misunderstood your reply because of the way it was written. And it's fine if you don't answer my questions, you aren't the only person on this site. Besides I found better answers elsewhere.

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