General Question

minnie19's avatar

How do you handle it when you're verbally abused on the street?

Asked by minnie19 (435points) August 1st, 2012 from iPhone

Mostly females. When you hear a guy say perverted things to you on the street for example, how do you react?

I tend to just ignore, but I gave the dude the bird the other day. And they kept talking so it wasn’t the best idea…

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20 Answers

livelaughlove21's avatar

Verbally abused as in what? Hit on?

If no one is touching you, ignore it. Sticks and stones…

athenasgriffin's avatar

The only reason I react to what people say is if:

A. Me not reacting would set a precedent for future behavior with this person or with people who are observing the interaction. This obviously only applies to people who I will see again, so I never react to strangers.
B. Me not reacting could be interpreted as me agreeing to what the person says.
C. It seems like if I don’t say something, the person may be incited to act violently against me or another person.
D. It is a pattern of behavior that I might be able to end with a rebuke.

Otherwise, it is usually best to act as if you do not notice and move on with your life. Usually, all the person wants is attention and they’ll stop if you don’t give it to them. And talking to them gives the person an “in,” a reason to go further with whatever they want to do.

And you really need to give more detail in your questions.

elbanditoroso's avatar

You have to define ‘verbal abuse’. It could be anything from

You have an ugly shirt on today – I hate the color orange


I’m going to beat you up and steal your wallet if you don’t stop dating my girlfriend.

And a thousand levels in between.

The question, as asked, is too general and cannot be answered.

tranquilsea's avatar

It is highly dependent on when/where/who is doing the taunting.

Very generally, I just let it wash over me and carry on my way with a silent, “I know you are but what am I?” rattling in my brain.

Sunny2's avatar

I usually smile and say “Good morning.”(or whatever) They got the attention they were seeking and that’s the end of it. Marginal people often feel they are not worth anyone noticing them, so recognizing them, on your own terms, is usually enough. This is particularly true of people asking for handouts. They really hate being treated as if they weren’t there at all.

YARNLADY's avatar

I put my phone up like I am taking a picture and then talk into it with my current location real loud. – My phone doesn’t even take pictures.

Trillian's avatar

A random guy hollering and whistling at you on the street does not constitute the dramatic classification of “verbal abuse”. Honestly, such melodrama. The use of the word “handle” indicates it has way more importance than it should. Honestly.
Just ignore it.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

First of all, that’s not verbal abuse. Secondly, define “perverted things”. If it’s catcalling or whatever, I’d ignore it. If it’s actually downright disgusting things, I’d probably call him on it.

anartist's avatar

Like I can’t hear or see them.
Could be problematic if they really get in your face.

I never really minded “Hey baby!” but if it gets into things like “let me lick your pussy” my eyes go immediately out of focus.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I Hollaback!

Hollaback combines apps, blogs, and other technology to combat street harassment, by taking snapshots of those who harass and uploading them to the web, and letting others know that they’ve got an ally in the area.

Berserker's avatar

I usually ignore it. What else can you do, anyway. But what I really hate is drive by yellings. I’ve been known to giver the finger in such instances. Otherwise though, meh.

SU_ZANN's avatar

Depends is this person ill, postulating some political or religious propaganda or just pissed off?

Many of these people are just desperate for a response. So…if you want to play that game… go for it.. other wise…distance yourself and wait for the next potential participant to walk past the shouter and most likely they will do it again.

minnie19's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate What is it called when a guy yells at a girl saying her butt looks delicious and he would beep her and he would do all sorts of gross things and he repeats it 3 times following the girl.

Response moderated (Spam)
emeraldisles's avatar

sexual harassment? That is absolutely disgusting. I guess she could then say her safety felt threatened.

Eleonora's avatar

i think you shouldnt respond, Its a starting conversation when you react, just ignore its not worth it

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@minnie19 That would be sexual harassment, not abuse. But it’s still creepy. And if he followed me, I’d mace him.

emeraldisles's avatar

This happened to me the other day and now I plaon on taking down the license plate number when its a car going by doing it. You could go to the nearedt store and say your being threatened and ask to call the cops with the description. Or you can start walking with somebody else. I hate this.

Kardamom's avatar

What is it called when a guy yells at a girl saying her butt looks delicious and he would beep her and he would do all sorts of gross things and he repeats it 3 times following the girl.

I don’t know. Maybe it means he wants to bake you a cake. What do you think it means?

Or maybe it means that he is saying that her posterior looks attractive to him and he would like to have sexual intercourse with her and he would do many unpleasant things to her.

youarewrong's avatar

I tell him I will call 911 and I reach for my cell phone or if its sexual I tell him to think of such things with him would make me vomit and I describe it. Think of it as verbal rape.

One of the things they say to do if you are ever being raped is to vomit if you can. Rapists get turned on by imagining they are in power and they get turned off fast if the victim vomits on them. I would think it works the same with verbal rape.

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