It’s an experience all women carry.
But for some women, there actually is someone there when they turn around.
Sharing her experience on Twitter, Gabriella Rich wrote about how she had helped a female stranger escape a stalker while walking home in New Jersey.
“Last night some girl came running up to me whispering ‘please pretend to be my friend this man has been following me for 6 blocks’,” the 22-year-old tweeted.
Gabriella hugged the stranger, leading the man to give up and turn around to walk the other way.
Last night some girl came running up to me whispering “please pretend to be my friend this man has been following me for 6 blocks” as soon as this guy saw me hugging her he said “fuck” and went the other way. Please ladies stay safe and never walk alone!Advertisement
— Gabriella . (@gabriellarichh) July 12, 2018
According to Buzzfeed News, Gabriella then walked the woman to her destination and the pair exchanged numbers, so they could ensure they both got home safely.
Gabriella’s tweet quickly went viral, gaining over 110,000 retweets and prompting other women to share their horrific stories of being chased, stalked and even physically grabbed by random men on the street.
It’s such a scary feeling. A man stopped his car and parked at someone’s house and proceeded to follow me when I was walking my dog. I tried to ignore but he kept yelling and pursuing me. I’m trying to work out in my head what tactical moves I can make if he tried it. Scary!!!
— NamaSLAY????????♀️????????♀️ (@BlkCarmenSDiego) July 18, 2018
When i was like 12-13 i was going from school and some man stopped me saying hi. I didn’t want to be rude so i greeted him back. Then he said “you know whats gonna happen? I’ll do the same to you like to the other girls” I ran away from him, scared to the death and crying
— terez☁ (@sadchonihugs) July 18, 2018
When I was 17, I was walking home from volunteering at an elementary school and this guy followed me for like 8 blocks saying “don’t worry I’m not a creep” until I got to a park and ran to a family and asked them to pretend I was part of their family. He saw & left the other way
— thessa (@ThessaTada) July 18, 2018
I was walking with one of my friends to the market to get something when we decided to split up. A guy with a mouth mask approached me and he tried to grab my face & look at me. My friend came and acted as my boyfriend to get me out of it. Keep in mind I’m not even 15 yet
— A’Lena :) (@SessomsAlena) July 19, 2018
Omg one night I was packing my car to move and some man parked across the street, got out of his car and started talking and walking towards me. I ran inside so quick locked the doors and my car and turned the lights off. As soon as he left my ass did too!! Creep.
— sav ???? (@slstuple_) July 18, 2018
But among the horrifying stories of women being followed and stalked, there were uplifting ones about women supporting other women – even helping complete strangers.
This really happens. One day I saw this girl walking alone and this man was following her for like 2 blocks so I walked up to her, told her why and dude just crossed the street and went the other way. Shit really not safe
— Déa ✨ (@xo_smokey) July 17, 2018
I did that once in a bar when a stalky dude wouldn’t leave me alone and I was starting to panic. I pulled up a chair next to a random woman and asked her to pretend she knew me. She did (and we’ve been good friends ever since).
— Tanya Johnson (@pixelwench) July 19, 2018
One day I went out with my friends and we saw this girl who was drunk getting rubbed up by 3 guys. She walked off and they watched her and started to follow her. We ran up to her told her the Uber was waiting and took her to a police officer. Gotta watch out for each other
— princess???? (@prxxcess__) July 19, 2018
This does happen ! A gurl was walking out the clubs and a man wouldn’t leave her alone. Literally did not take NO for an answer. Ran up to her like I knew her yelling at her that mom was waiting at the car and we had to leave NOW. Have been sisters ever since ????????????
— fa’atuatua ???? (@mango_juicex) July 18, 2018
Speaking to Buzzfeed News, Gabriella shared why she chose to share her experience on social media.
“I simply just wanted to tell other females to always be safe because I can’t change a man’s mind, I can only protect women,” she said.
Watch: How do men and women avoid sexual assault every day?
Have you ever been followed or stalked?