Justice

This Facebook Post Is a Reminder of the Importance of Female Solidarity

It's no secret that women have to endure a disproportionate amount of harassment in their day-to-day lives, but sometimes the creep factor reaches a level that becomes threatening.

catcalling

In those cases, illustrated by this Facebook post from Tayrn Border, it can be critically important to have the support of fellow women behind you.

A woman in Portland, Oregon, found herself in an uncomfortable position, when she noticed that a man had followed her to a coffee shop and stood outside of store window watching her — even as she snapped his photo and phoned the police. As another woman left the shop, however, "he decided she would be his next target," Border alleged.

"After waiting for my beverage and expressing serious concern to the barista, I decided to discreetly follow them with caution to ensure this woman's safety while I was on the phone with dispatch," Border wrote. "I followed for quite a few blocks, witnessing her attempt to throw him off her trail but he persistently followed. Dispatch expressed extreme concern for my safety and asked that I head back to a safe space (work) and wait for an officer to report to the scene."

Then Border ran into another kind of problem. When a police officer arrived, he was allegedly "immediately aggressive and militant, cutting me off, saying that no laws had been broken, and that I was out of line to assume any negative intention," she claimed in her post.

Border wrote:

"Officer Foesch (Portland's very own "Hometown Hero") repeatedly mocked and laughed at me, asking how long I had been a police officer and compared the situation to somebody calling the cops on me for looking at them weird. At this point I was visibly shaken and crying, and asking him at what point can a woman being followed call and count on the police and be able to rely on receiving help. Unable to answer that question, I was constantly reminded that no laws had been broken and that men are free to follow women as they please. The officer refused to look at my photographs or drive around the block to check on this woman and her safety."

ATTN: reached out to the Portland Police Bureau for comment, but a representative was not immediately available. In a Facebook post responding to Border's allegations, however, the department said it was aware of the viral post and was investigating the case. "The Bureau expects that all officers act professionally and treat community members with respect," the post said.

According to a 2014 study released by the nonprofit group Stop Street Harassment, 65 percent of women and 25 percent of men in the U.S. experience street harassment, either verbally or physically. In an interview with The Washington Post, SSH's founder Holly Kearl drives home an important point.

"There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about what street harassment is," Kearl said. "A lot of people think of the stereotype of a woman in a short skirt walking by a construction site, when it’s so much more than that. It really has a negative impact on harassed people’s lives."

ATTN: also reached out to Border via Facebook for a comment, but she was not immediately available for comment. We will update accordingly.

RELATED: This Viral Post Reveals the Hidden Way Women Keep Each Other Safe in Public