There’s nothing more disturbing than being followed by a stranger while on your own. Sadly, so many women out there have experienced the feeling at least once in their lifetimes. And the fear sticks to you. Gallup’s annual crime survey showed that 45% of women in the US do not feel safe walking alone at night, compared with 27% of men.

This Twitter thread reveals just how united women are when it comes to protecting each other on the streets. When one girl wrote on Twitter “If a girl suddenly acts as if she knows you in public and acts like you’re friends, go along w it she could be in danger,” it immediately resonated with others.

More women joined the thread and shared their own stories of being followed and saved, or protecting someone else. It all reveals just how important it is to keep an eye on what’s going on around you and stepping in when your gut is telling you to.

This woman shared how to make sure you don’t miss out on helping other women who are being stalked

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Others quickly started sharing their own terrifying stories

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Every one of us can become a better bystander against harassment—especially when it happens in public spaces like public transport, streets, and metros. Claire Tatyzo, who runs intervention workshops, suggests “instead of giving yourself reasons to avoid intervening, think about the reasons you should do something.”

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Here some practical pieces of advice on how to do so. First, if you witness someone harassing a woman with an improper line, joke, or acting poorly in general, call them out. “That’s not ok” or “it’s not funny” would be enough to make the harasser think twice before doing it again.

Second, employ the “old friend” method that has been discussed in the thread. According to ABC, one man in one of Tatyzo’s workshops saw a woman being harassed at a bus stop. He went up to her, pretending to know her, and said, “Hey, Sally,” which created an opening for her to leave. Another way is to interrupt other passersby and tell them that you’re lost.

And third, if you ever feel like someone may be in a problematic situation, often trusting your gut should be fine—simply check on them. Ask them if they’re okay, and if needed, ask again. Asking and double-checking is never too much, and it can literally change the whole situation.

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One girl described the terrifying moment she and her brother were followed by a white van

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Image credits: PhoenyxMB

Another had issues with a stranger on the bus

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Image credits: wanderinggstars

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One person shared another great way how to help someone in a dangerous situation

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And this girl shared the frightening moment she was followed by a stalker

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Men also started asking how they could help if they see something like this happening

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And this woman gave them the perfect solution how not to scare the girl but help her instead

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