Stories that inspired Safelet
I am 16 years old and love sports, especially athletics. I run faster than most of the boys! I train twice a week in the evenings, but this means that it’s dark when I cycle back home through the park. A girl I know has been harassed in the same park. I really hope that nothing like this happens to me, but if it did I would really want a way to let my friends, parents and even the police know and get their help. I live in the city, but wearing a Safelet makes me think it would feel a bit like being in a village, where people look out – and are there – for each other. That’s the kind of world I want to live in.
I used to study in San Francisco. One night I walked home after a fun night out and was just enjoying being in the fresh air. I was nearly home when I heard footsteps and suddenly a man grabbed me. He put his hand over my mouth, pushed me into an alley and then pinned me down. I screamed and struggled to get away, but he was too strong. As I struggled all I could think of how near I was to home – and yet so far. I just kept thinking: ‘how can I get help?’ It was so dark and nobody could hear or see me there. And then someone (it turned out to be a homeless man) shouted: “Hey you! Stop that!”. My attacker let go of me and fled. The experience was terrifying. I felt so helpless and alone. My roommates and friends were so close, but they simply had no idea. If only I could’ve alerted them.
I am used to getting attention and normally it doesn’t bother me. If I don’t smile back, or if I turn my head away, men usually understand that I am not interested. Most guys can read these signals, but some just don’t get it. A couple of months ago a man approached me on the street and claimed he remembered me from elementary school. I introduced myself and apologized for not remembering him. Apparently he considered this to be an invitation to ask for my phone number. I refused, said goodbye and started to walk away. He then proceeded to follow me for an uncomfortably long time, finally grabbing my arm. I started to scream and luckily it was enough to scare him off.
One summer I was at the beach with my sister. We were enjoying the sunset and dancing to the sound of music from a nearby house. Then we noticed two men on a motorcycle slowly drive by. They stopped a short distance away and sat down. We felt it was definitely time to go, but as we were leaving they approached us. My sister was just ahead when both the men blocked my path. They asked me if I wanted to dance. They were so close it was really intimidating. I agreed and crouched down to remove my shoes. I could feel my heart racing with fear, but the moment my feet were bare I ran as fast as I could. Fortunately my sister had managed to get to our car. I jumped in and we sped away looking at the men through the rearview mirror.