Sexual harassment in the Boston Common–more common than you think


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Imagine you are walking down the street, trying to get to a Starbucks after class. While walking there, you get a few stares and then hear, “Can I get your number?” After politely saying no, they start to follow you to Starbucks, making more outrageous and vulgar comments. 

You get inside the building hoping that you are safer in there, rather than on the street with a creepy harasser following you around. After getting your order, you walk out and he is still there. Your only thoughts are “how can I make it back to my dorm in the quickest amount of time? Will he be waiting outside my dorm building until the next time I leave?”

The answer most of the time for many women is yes– he will be waiting, until he finds another girl to watch and follow. 

Public sexual harassment is a very common issue for students who go to Suffolk University. This is a problem that endangers the lives of those who are being harassed and causes fear in these people. Change needs to be made urgently through. These changes can be in small ways, where we can start a peaceful protest in order to get rid of the harassers in Boston. Another can be to add more dorm security, including around the campus so it makes people feel more safe. Also women should download apps like “Noonlight”. This app instantly sends a notification out to the police in order to make sure those who pressed the button are okay. Another helpful idea would be to have Suffolk give their students whistles in order to call out for help. 

Walking to a coffee shop, class or a dorm building shouldn’t be scary, but in the world we live in today, it could result in unthinkable dangers. 

As a commuter, I don’t see as much of this harassment. However, there have been times that I was followed around the Boston Common. One time, a friend and I ran down the street to dodge a man on a bike who was mumbling under his breath, “don’t be scared.” 

We saw the aggression rage in his eyes after we did not stop and talk with him. This is just one of the encounters I have been involved in. I am just one out of the hundreds of students who get harassed on a daily basis in Boston. 

Many students wonder, “How long will we have to endure this harassment?” or “Will it ever come to an end?” We can post about these problems on social media all we want, but until someone takes the leap in order to stop the harassment going on in Boston, especially around the Suffolk campus, change will not happen. 

These are the questions we must find answers to. We must raise awareness about sexual harassment before it harms anyone else. If you have been sexually harassed or assaulted, and need to talk to someone about it, please contact the Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.