The Right Way to Deal With a Groper
I were having fun, and this pushy guy sidled up to both me and one of my friends at two different times and grabbed our butts,” she remembers. “My friend laughed it off, but it ruined my night and I went home early.”
Recent news reports about groping have spotlighted young women who went ballistic on their assailant or sought to emasculate the offender by posting a cell-phone photo of him all over Facebook. The thing is, no matter how kick-ass you might feel, experts say it’s not smart to go that far. If your groper is still nearby and you feel threatened, ask for help from those around you.
Another strategy: leave the scene immediately, and go in the opposite direction of the groper. Head some place where you feel safe and can collect yourself, says Holly Kearl, author of Stop Street Harassment and founder of stopstreetharassment.org, a women’s safety organisation.
Next, report the incident to the police— the sooner the better, since details will be fresh in your mind and your offender might still be in the area. And although cops may play down the crime, the more often it is reported, the more seriously police will start taking it. Also, reach out to other authorities where the crime occurred—for example, the manager or owner of a bar or dance club— and give them the details on what happened, providing the best physical description you can of the groper, so they can keep an eye out for him.
“Not only will these steps increase the odds that the groper is caught, they help you regain your sense of power,” says Kearl. “Plus, by taking action, you’re demonstrating that being a victim isn’t something to be ashamed of.”