Shey Greyson, an actor living in London, England, was walking her dog in the park when she was approached by a man she didn't know who asked if he could take a picture of her dog.
"My dog was on a leash, it was daytime, and there were a lot of people around. With that in mind, I figured he had no malicious intentions, so I said yes," Shey told BuzzFeed. "As he was doing it, I noticed that his hand was holding her collar. That’s when I realized he was actually taking a picture of my address on the dog tag, not my dog."
After she realized that the man was trying to take a picture of her address, Shey immediately asked him to delete the photos. He did, but started walking away really fast, so Shey persisted and asked if he could also delete the photos from his Recently Deleted folder. He got defensive, but Shey didn't let up. "My gut told me to keep insisting, so I told him that I would not stop or leave until he showed it to me. He then agreed to show me the album, and as I suspected, the three pictures were still there. I then made him permanently delete them all."
Shey shared her story on TikTok and also asked women to share their own experiences where "[their] quick thinking probably saved [their lives]." It immediately went viral and has received over 2.5 million views:
Plenty of women chimed in with their own stories of men threatening their safety, like saoirse12345, who had a man approach her and get way too close as she was waiting for an Uber late at night. She ultimately had to trick him by asking him to "check" and see if a random car was her Uber so she could get away.
And @lemlabel was riding the tube in London when she noticed two men staring at her. When she decided to get off the train early, they began to follow her. So, she got off the train, ran around the platform to the other side, and hopped back into the train car right as the doors were closing to escape them. They chased her the entire time, and even as the doors closed, continued to stare at her. She was so scared that she hid for about an hour after getting off at her actual stop, just to make sure they hadn't followed her.
The sad reality is that if you're a woman, you probably have a story just like this, hence why Shey decided to make the TikTok. She also decided to share on behalf of Sarah Everard, a young woman who was recently murdered in London while walking home from a friend's house. A police officer has been arrested and charged for the murder.
"My Instagram feed was filled with posts in regards to Sarah and violence against women. What I noticed, though, was that it was mostly my female friends sharing these posts. Not my male friends. After reading articles online, I discovered that I was not alone in realizing this. A lot of men did in fact seem oblivious to what was happening. And perhaps it’s because a lot of men do not understand the constant fear that we live in, because most of them have the privilege of feeling safe, when women do not."
"I then decided to share my story for two reasons: First, I wanted to bring awareness to a potential tactic that a person could use to get your address. Second, I wanted people (mainly men) to realize just one of a thousand reasons why women feel unsafe. And that is why I asked other women to share their stories: We all have stories, and men should hear them. Because maybe after hearing them, they’ll start actively standing by us, and they’ll help end violence against women. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of men are actively with us on these issues. But a lot are still silent or simply uneducated on the matter."
"Everywhere in the world, women feel unsafe. And because of this, from a young age, we learn tactics to help protect ourselves. We automatically tell our female friends, 'text me when you’re home.' We automatically take the longer route home because it’s better lit. We automatically pretend to have fake phone calls when we’re in a ride share. ... We automatically invent new, creative ways of protecting ourselves. I mean, personally, I don’t have the luxury of having a garden in London, so I have to take my dog out on the street at night. When I do, I duck and hide behind parked cars whenever a car drives by. I feel absolutely ridiculous doing it, but I'm more afraid of what could happen if I don’t. Feeling ridiculous definitely beats cars slowing down to look at me."