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This past summer my friends from work and I were walking down Yates street when we were verbally assaulted by a group of men. We were all wearing heavy backpacks with all of our clothes and gear for our job (we worked at a summer camp). The men started yelling at us and telling us to “get off the street and get a job”. One of the men proceeded to tell me and my other female-bodied friend to “use what god gave [us] and make some money”. They followed us for the rest of the block yelling at us.
This was my first encounter with such an aggressive form of street harassment, and even with all of my experience in the prevention and education world, I was shocked into silence. I felt attacked and scared, a feeling I’d never wanted to have associated with my hometown. I didn’t know what to do. It made me think also about the importance of not making quick judgements or judging people off of their appearances–because after all, we all had jobs.
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