Maybe this has been going on for a long time -- like, years -- and for whatever reason, it's just now starting to make the rounds on social media. Or maybe, for whatever reason, every creep's "be creepy" alarm clock has gone off at the same time, because there have been way too many instances of women posting about being followed by men. In multiple locations, in multiple different stores, and it's the opposite of cool.

"Know your surroundings"

The pathetic part of this whole situation is the main message that you see posted out on Facebook by women who have been through this (or anyone, in general, discussing the topic, really) is "Women, make sure you're aware of your surroundings." Not "Hey fellas, quit being creepy stalking psychos." That's not to say all men are, but these stories have become too repetitive lately.

Store and parking lot stalking

A couple of weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I came across a post from one of my female friends (by the way, no names of people or names of businesses will be used in this article -- both to protect the innocent as well as not given a business a bad reputation since they can't help where creeps decide to be creepy) posted a scary experience she had just gone through.

" A man was following me throughout the store. Making noises, “tsk tsk”, trying to get my attention."

Eduardo Soares
Eduardo Soares
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She headed for the checkout area after this continued and she began feeling unsafe, constantly turning back and seeing the man in question also turn and look back himself. She approached an employee to safely walk her out to her car after unsuccessfully finding an officer or security guard, hoping it would scare the creep away.

It didn't.

"As I put my cart away, I thought I saw him sitting in his car. I pulled out of my parking space and yes, it was him. He pulled up right behind me. I pulled back into my spot. He had to keep going."

She smartly decided to go around the back of the store and exit that way, avoiding the main entrance where she assumed he would be once again waiting for her. She drove straight to a police station and remained on the phone with someone the entire time just to be safe.

Oxana Melis
Oxana Melis
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Sneaky Camera Creep

Barely a week later, I was scrolling through another social media feed when I saw a New Hampshire-based story of one of my friends mentioning a similar creepy event that happened to her. Remember, these are local women -- our local New England neighbors and family -- that this is happening to.

This second woman mentioned again, like the first, being in a large store. As she was walking around the makeup aisle, she noticed a man in the area but didn't think much of it. She continued browsing the makeup section, finally coming to the decision of her purchase which required her to reach down on the bottom shelf.

Dollar Gill
Dollar Gill
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And that's when it happened.

As she bent over (and she made sure to highlight that all she was wearing was a pair of leggings and baggy sweatshirt, nothing provocative) to pick up the item she was going to by, she had a feeling like she was being watched. And that's when she turned around to notice the man she had seen in the area less than a minute earlier when his camera out and pointed toward her bent-over frame.

Adam Birkett
Adam Birkett
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She went on to say that the man's jaw dropped when she turned to lock eyes with him and he sprinted out of the aisle and possibly out of the store after being caught redhanded.

And that's apparently where we're at in New England and the rest of the world now. A woman can't even go pick up a quick lipstick or run a quick errand without having to constantly look over her shoulder and be aware of her surroundings to make sure she's as safe as safe can be.

So, yes. Women in New England and beyond, please be aware of your surroundings and stay safe. But more importantly, men -- stop being pathetic creepy scumbag shells of humans.

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