Please note. . .

Don't Be Silent DC has been inactive since March 2008 and has not been accepting entries since. If you are in the DC area and have a harassment story to share, please go to HollaBack DC. If you are outside the DC area and want to submit your story, go to Stop Street Harassment. Thank you.

As of 3/1/08, I will no longer be working on this blog. Please read this post for more details.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"Not your problem."

I am still aggravated about yesterday's run-in with the bad kids. I don't know what upsets me more---kids having no respect for anything or anyone, not even themselves, or the apathy I deal with as a result of trying (and failing) to discipline these kids.

I spoke to my mother about this last night, and I just need to understand that we'll never see eye-to-eye on these things.

"You've gotta be careful because it's too dangerous out there," she said. "You shouldn't have done anything. You should've just ignored them."
"These kids get away with too much," I said. "That's because all people do is ignore them and give them the idea that this horrendous behavior is okay."
"You're a single female, by yourself, none of these people know you, you're putting yourself in bad situations by trying to 'handle it.' One person can't do it alone."
"I tried to rally people to help," I said.
"None of those people care about helping people," she said. "People are either afraid or they just don't care. They probably didn't do anything because they thought you were all fooling around. Did anyone intervene? What did anyone else think?"
"My group [DBS] supports me," I said.
"What did the people on the bus think?" she asked.
"They don't care. . .no one cares," I responded with regret.

I think about the past DBS posts. A man hits a girl on a bus in St. Louis and no one comes to her aid. A young woman gets attacked on the Green Line and though she called for help only a teenage girl intervened. I could go on all day with these Genovese syndrome stories.

It's not fair that this is the way it is. What kind of world do we live in where men can stand on street corners hassling women, where kids can cause adults to tremble in fear, where helping your fellow man or woman is frowned upon? It's not a world I want to be a part of.

Nothing will ever be perfect, but I long for the day when I can walk down a neighborhood street and enjoy the fresh air, and not worry about being cajoled or assaulted. I have the right as an individual, as a human being to walk down the streets fearless and free. Everyone has that right and should be able to enjoy it. Harassment, troublemaking and assault should are illegal and should be enforced as such.

I plan on writing a letter to the mayor in the near future about this epidemic in the district. My mother was right about one thing---one person can't do it alone.

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