Ben Schwartz, the man who was nearly killed after asking someone to stop catcalling his girlfriend, is hoping to raise awareness to help stop the practice.
Schwartz was stabbed nine times last Sunday after he asked a man to stop harassing his girlfriend on the street. In an interview with SF Gate, Schwartz explained what happened during the attack. He said the assailant first started catcalling his girlfriend while they were walking back from a friend's apartment early Sunday morning. Schwartz forgot his wallet and had to double back. Each time they passed him, he made comments such as " "I'll show you how a real man treats a woman," and worse, Schwartz said.
"When we tried to get away from the situation and cross the street, we were followed and the harassment got even more intense," Schwartz said. "I was scared for me. I was scared for my girlfriend. I told her to stay on one side of the street, and I went to tell him to stop."
That's when the man lashed out with a blade, stabbing Schwartz in the back, face, neck and arms and puncturing a lung. The gashes on his arms required about 60 stitches each, while the cuts to his back just missed his spinal cord.
The man slipped away in a silver sedan. Police have not made an arrest and, to Schwartz's chagrin, haven't tried to contact him.
His fundraising page has raised more than $30,000 and is filled with messages of support from strangers all over the world. Schwartz has also been on the receiving end of a bunch of victim blaming and he's having none of it:
"A lot of people say, why didn't you take a taxi?" he said. "What are you doing out so late? It's not a crime to be at a friend's house late. I shouldn't be scared walking home six blocks. I live here."
"One of the saddest days I've had with my girlfriend was when she came home and told me that some guy had thrown cigar shavings in her face because she wouldn't talk to him," he told SF Gate. "Girls walk down the street every day and have guys saying things to them, and if a girl denies that or shows some sort of aggression toward that, that can bring violence and that can bring unwarranted things."
Schwartz said he would like to give catcalling as much attention as bullying has gotten in recent years and hopefully see the end of it, once and for all.
Not only is it time to stop catcalling, a ludicrous practice in the first place, it's also time to stop questioning why it's not appreciated by people it is directed at. It's time to stop asking why we have a problem with it. We've told you why it's not welcome. Again and again. You've seen the horror stories that have come as a result of it. Stop defending this nonsense and keep your "compliments" to yourself. For the last time, no one cares about your stupid boner.
Image via SF Cat Caller Stabbing Victim.