"Walk toward an older woman and say, ‘Mom! A strange guy is hassling me.'"
Women are constantly concerned about their safety, therefore, they go the extra mile and do everything they can to help each other. Some women took to Twitter to post safety recommendations and tips that they've tried and tested over the years to keep anybody safe if they're being followed or harassed by a stranger. RetroCrone was the original poster of the viral thread. She presented a fantastic idea to young females in unsafe situations, encouraging them to approach older ladies and say, "Mom! A strange guy is hassling me. He won’t leave me alone.”
Emily May, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Right To Be, described how pervasive harassment is and how to respond to it while speaking to Bored Panda. She said, "The 2021 study showed 80% of women have experienced street harassment. We're working with L'Oreal Paris to train 1 million people in bystander intervention to address street harassment. People can sign up for free training on our website." Right To Be is a non-profit organization dedicated to ending harassment in all of its forms and educating individuals on how to respond to, intervene in, and recover from harassment.
May emphasized the importance of remembering that being harassed or pursued by a stranger is not your fault. She said, "There is no such thing as a perfect response to harassment, it's their responsibility not to harass you. Taking time to find a sense of safety inside yourself, educate yourself about the issue, share your story, and learn how to intervene on behalf of others are all key parts of the healing journey." Following Retrocone's tweet, a number of women shared their own tips for women to stand up against harassment and protect themselves in all spaces. Following are 22 of these viral tips that can aid any individual to avoid street harassment and stand up against any violation of their rights.
To all teen girls: if you are ever being followed or hit ion by a strange man when you are in public, walk toward an older woman you see and say loudly, “Mom! A strange guy is hassling me. He won’t leave me alone.” Every one of us has been there. We will be there for you.— RetroCrone (@RetroCrone) January 30, 2022
Every bar needs a posting like this in their Women's bathroom. pic.twitter.com/ejQBrJAbWE— Carol (@three_evils_68) January 31, 2022
also: if you have keys, here's the best way to hold them in order to stab someone for self-defense. thumb stays OUT of grip bc you can injure it. p.s. if u wanna throw a punch, use your middle knuckles and also the side of ur palm. thumb stays out of grip again. aim for the eyes. pic.twitter.com/gxYWKPkSaN— Trash Princess (@beatthefallacy) January 31, 2022
https://t.co/0CPJqkeQYm— John Slayer🇺🇦 (@John666Slayer1) January 31, 2022
Please learn this and spread it around. Everyone should know the universal sign for help.
I was once at an outdoor dance workshop and this guy started groping me and I totally froze. This wonderful girl came up to me and said “oh my god! I haven’t seen you since college, how are you??” and saved me. ❤️ I’ve done it twice now for other women.— greengirl (@greengirl1536) January 31, 2022
1950s. 9 yrs old. Weird guy following in car. Pulls over, starts to get out. Walked up to strange house, thank God unlocked. Sweet old lady locked door. Now I try to be her.— Janice (@Janice4343) January 31, 2022
To all older women: if you see a young girl being hassled, walk up to her and say loudly "Is that guy bothering you? Do you want me to walk along with you?"— THEE dr. emigre80🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻 (@emigre80) January 31, 2022
Be there for them, even if no one was there for you.
In a heart beat. If no women around, try an older guy, chances are good you'll get help that way, too.— Mary Elizabeth (@meromoser67) January 31, 2022
I love this! I remember a piece of advice I'd heard as a young mom and told my kids and their friends: If you're in a store/playground/park/etc and you feel endangered, don't yell "Help!" Yell "Help, MOM!" You'll have tons of heads turned to save you.— Mommabard#BLM#TransRights#MaskUp🇺🇦 (@M0mmabard) January 31, 2022
I was in a store, heard a man harrassing the very young female cashier.— Dr. Ohmskyy 🇺🇲🌊🇺🇦 (@HereToRebuild) January 31, 2022
Dropped everything & beelined over there, same time as another middle-aged woman. He left just at the sight of us! Moms do NOT play that!
We told the young cashier: ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE MOMS.
Same with me. Driving by a club late one night, I saw a young woman in a similar situation. I stopped, got out and yelled, "There you are! You get over here and get in this car right now! I've been looking all over for you!"— Emacg (@emariemacg) February 1, 2022
I feel the reverse should work as well… creepy guy following me, me running up to a young woman and saying ‘darling how great you’re on time come let’s go get coffee!’— 😷"Toots" RN, BSN, CHPN (@zeninawad) January 31, 2022
Maybe we need a safe word
Better still, carry powerful pepper spray or a compact taser.— Henry Miller, MS, MD (@henryimiller) January 31, 2022
Child Psychologist here: we tell the little ones if they are ever lost look for a mom with kids. Hands down. Looks for a mom with kids.— Dr. ObamaStan, PhD #blacklivesmatter (@DrObamastan) January 31, 2022
It happened to me when I was a teenager. A man was following me in a car as I was walking home from school. The man kept telling me to get in his car, but I saw an elderly man who was in his front yard watering his plants & I ran towards him pretending that he was my dad. 😥😅😅— Gloria (@Gloriabesos) January 31, 2022
I used 2 books in my bag 1 night when I was walking home w/ groceries. Laugh if you like; but books are just blocks of wood when they're in your purse.— TheCornerTabernacle🇺🇦🌻 (@CornerTabernacl) January 31, 2022
I defended myself w/ a paperback. I hit a bully on the top of his head w/the spine. Drove him to his knees.
Blocks. Of. Wood. 🙂
One time I was walking home alone in club clothes (long story). A dude started shadowing me.— ✨☀️⭐️Superball🌟🔆💫 (@all_superb) January 31, 2022
I came up to a bigger dude at a bus stop and said, “That guy is following me. Would you distract him?”
“Absolutely,” he said, and he did.
Still brings a lump of gratitude to my throat.
When I was a kid, maybe 10 or 11 years old, I was walking with my younger sibs in my neighborhood when a white van drove up slowly just out of my line of sight. I immediately went to a neighbor's pit bull puppy. The creep took off as I said loudly, "We're home now Maddie!" Dog=👼— Iara the Velociraptor (she/her) (@Warriorfeather) January 31, 2022
I learned this over 20 years ago, in Gavin de Becker's outstanding book, "The Gift of Fear." I recommend it to EVERYONE. The personal security expert to the wealthiest, what stayed with me all these years, is to teach your kids, if they're ever lost, is to ask a woman for help.— Missy the Pissed-Off Patriot🇺🇲🌻🇺🇦 #FireDeJoy (@missykender) January 31, 2022
To all parents. Raise your sons better.— 🏳️🌈 THEE Sarah Slay (@sarah_may_g) January 31, 2022
Reminds me of teenage me waiting at the bus stop and this truck driver would not leave me alone. This older woman appeared out of where held my hand and started making small talk until my bus came. I felt so safe and protected in that moment. 🥺💕— CwayitaKosi.blog (@CwayitakosiB) January 31, 2022
Crowded public transit. A persistent guy careful not to be noticeably threatening to a young girl who's eyes were filling with panic. I made eye contact to reassure her I was watching. Her stop came up–he tried to follow her(!)–but "the crowd" pushed me into his path and oh darn.— 🎞🎥✨celluloid soul-cial distancing (@celluloidsoul) January 31, 2022
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Sinan Saglam