READERS TELL OF BEING HARASSED IN STREET
Dubai Police this week urged members of the public to report harassment in the street after a university study found three-quarters of residents have been subjected to it. Here, we speak to 7DAYS readers about their experiences
TOLD TO GET INTO A CAR
Lavender Sheshe, 21, a tech firm executive from Tanzania, said: “I was walking to Financial Centre metro and a car started honking while I was crossing the traffic light.
“I thought it was someone I knew so I looked but it was an old Arab man.
“The car followed me into the service road.
“He pulled down the window and told me to get inside his car. I was carrying my books – he knew I was a student. I entered a store and pretended I was buying glasses and I stayed there for 20 minutes until he was gone.
“Whenever I walk alone I always have to look around now.”
HARASSED ON THE HIGHWAY
Zoubiya Ahmed, a British IT training firm worker, said: “Driving along Al Ain road, I had a group of guys tailgate me and drive above 100km trying to get my attention.
“They were shouting ‘give me your number’ and yelling their numbers at me.
“They’d drive in front of me and break sharply, that was shocking.
“I ended up having to pull over the side of the road because they could’ve caused an accident.
“The amount of street harassment in Dubai is a lot less compared to Western countries; however the incidents are just always shocking here.”
CONFRONTED IN A CAR PARK
Mayasa Aziz, 21, a university student from Iraq, said: “A few months ago I was in the mall car park at 10.30pm and I saw a guy following me.
“He started asking my name and why I’m here alone. He pulled on the plastic bag I was holding and I kind of froze because I was so shocked.
“Then he stood in front of my car door – refusing to leave unless I gave him my number. It continued for 10 minutes until I threatened to call the police, which finally got him to leave me alone.”
PESTERED BY OTHER MEN
James Ssempala Nampala, 39, a security manager from Uganda, said it is not just women that are harassed.
He said: “It happens often, especially in Deira.
“Both men and women approach me and sometimes ask me if I’d like to get in their cars, or saying they’ll buy me drinks. I tell them to back off and normally they do. Sometimes I have to threaten to call the police to get them to leave me alone.”
CHASED BY A GANG OF 15
Elvina Elizabeth, 21, an Indian student, said: “Two of my friends and I were walking from tuition classes in Karama and a group of 10 to 15 boys about our age started hooting at us.
“One of my friends was annoyed so she started whistling back at them.
“All of them started following. We were freaking out, they were literally behind us.
“We split up and thought they had stopped following us.
“But my friend later told me they caught up to her, surrounded her and badgered her. She cried in the end and they let her go so she ran home.”
STALKED ON THE WALK
Nadiya Yousef Fties, 24, an American who works in retail, said: “On JBR Walk, I had one guy who kept honking at me and asking for my phone number.
“He followed me around and wouldn’t leave me alone until I confronted him and told him to go away. It was scary that they’d actually follow someone to get what they want.
“The same thing happened in Mirdif, where the guy was persistent and wouldn’t leave – I literally had to scream to scare him off.”
PROPOSITIONED IN THE STREET
Lea Donguines, 34, an admin assistant from the Philippines, said: “I stay in Dubai Investment Park and every time I go to work in the morning someone passing in their car shouts at me.
“Another time near Nasser Square one person approached me and asked ‘How much? I have money’ thinking I’m a prostitute.
“I threatened to call the police if he didn’t leave, he quickly ran away. Such an embarrassment. I read in your article that these people can go to jail or get fined, I will report them now. Next time I will snap a picture of them or their car.”
NO MEANS NO: But women said it can take yelling or threats to call police for harassers to listen