Original Medium Article
First off, most, if not all, of what you are describing are CRIMES. Tell a cop, any cop, about what's happened to you, and ask them to tell you which laws are being broken, and they will tell you. "Assault" is deliberately making another person feel unsafe. In that Swiss stalking experience I related I ran to the police (I was alone, my roommates had all gone home for the holidays, is was two in the morning) and we all got in their cop car, and the guy was still there, still trying to find where I had got to, and they arrested the guy and then took me home. Get license plate numbers, take pictures of them if you have your smartphone. "Battery" is unwanted contact, ANY unwanted contact. If we don't know details, if don't know whether the cops acted or not, then we cannot engage in activism on your behalf, we can't petition the cops to upgrade their priorities. Sometimes it's something icky that just quickly happens, you pray for it to end, and then it's over (I got groped on a train in Tokyo and it was like that--if my assailant had gotten arrested it would've been hard jail time, but there it is), and it's probably never that easy, but it's not about trying to curry sympathy, it's about CRIME. I think that things like #METOO (and yeah, me, too) and "believe women" are good, important, but I'm frustrated. I was at GeekGirlCon, and there was a room where they were basically selling a $15 comic book about how to get the crowd to "help you" when somebody hassles you for doing CosPlay or whatever, and women would talk about how "somebody leered at me" or "this one guy picked me up in my costume and spun me around" and I just stood up to the mic and said what I just said, that if somebody comes at you in a threatening way, or touches you in ANY way, no matter how "sexy" your costume is or whatever, it's a CRIME and the perp is subject to arrest by a cop and in for serious legal consequences (of course the women trying to flog their comic book off on the women victims HATED that). People don't seem to know how the law works. I hate to say this, but non-American women seem to have a better grasp of this in my experience. The legal definition of a "right" is the existence of the means to seek remedy when it's violated. It should be less about "please be nice to me" or "all men are bad and scare me" or "please don't be like these bad men" and more about "I'm going to call the cops if you do that crap." If you talk to the cops, they can not only tell you your rights, but may have suggestions for how you can help them to their jobs. If they don't provide satisfaction, then we as a citizenry can apply specific pressure to sheriffs and chiefs of police. Until we know those things, we can't do anything to make things better, make them the way they SHOULD be.
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