Trigger Warning: Discussion of street harassment, sexual violence 

woman-289315_1920I was driving to my boyfriend’s house during the summer before we moved in together. I was stopped at a red light when a man in the next vehicles yelled through our windows: “Have you ever had a black dick inside you?”

I replied no thank you and took off at the green light. The passenger and the driver started calling me bitch, prude and other names while trying to physically force me to park my car on the side of the street with their truck. I had to drive dangerously in order to lose them in traffic. I wanted to both get away from them as I had no doubt I was in danger. I also wanted to make sure they couldn’t follow me to my destination. The last thing I wanted was for them to know how to find me again.

I was still completely beside myself when I arrived at my boyfriend’s home. You can’t even feel safe driving with the windows down anymore. That’s not acceptable.

This situation is yet another example of the dangers women perceive every time we go out. Each time, we have to choose to confront these situations or ignore them and either response can be dangerous. This isn’t in our imagination. We know too many women who have been abused, assaulted or raped. We know we could be next. We know it could happen again.