After spending a day in the city with my parents and taking the train home with them, I was asked by a middle aged man if I had ever experienced problems with my shoulders or lower back. I’d had earphones in and my parents were walking a little farther behind me at the station, giving the appearance of my being alone. He soon backed off when he realised that I had company, and my dad gave me a lecture on strangers.
Two weeks later I was out with two of my girl friends near the shopping centre, just a stop on the way to a friend’s going away party. I was meant to grab some chocolates from inside the shops and meet my two friends at a fast food place. Having bought the chocolates, I walked out of the shops with the knowledge that I was being followed. With a glance behind me, I realised that it was the same man from the other weekend. He followed a distance behind me and I shrugged it off as a coincedence, until I reached the meeting place. The man walked inside and stood very close to me. He asked again if I had ever experienced shoulder or lower back problems, and I was out of there. My friends had finally come and were outside. I was freaked out, and one of them decided to go inside and see what all of the fuss was about. She came out telling us how the man had asked her strange questions.
We all then walked over to another fast food place with the intention to test our stalker theory, and the man followed us. We found out later, after a call to my dad and an encounter with the police (who did nothing) that the stalker had been roaming aorund the shopping centre area harrassing random women.
I personally felt disgusted and ashamed of myself, like I had done something wrong. I am only 15 and already have to feel wary when I leave my house, even if it’s to go to the park up the road. My brothers don’t have to worry about that. If I were male, I would not have been in that situation. I am not saying that males do not experience harrassment, just that females are more susceptible to it given the way we are viewed by a large part of society.