Someone Posted My Phone Number On Craigslist and Said I Wanted Strange Men to Rape Me
The epidemic of online harassment is out of control. I have no idea who dragged me into this, but the unstoppable barrage of lewd messages has been especially traumatic.
Illustrations by Gracey Zhang
On November 22, 2016, the two-year anniversary of the day I met my boyfriend, we celebrated by spending the afternoon apartment hunting – searching for a place that would accommodate the life we were beginning to build together. With a small list of properties to view, we stood on the front porch of my parents’ house, ready to set out into the late-November day. But as I typed the address of the first apartment into my phone, a sexually-explicit text message from an unknown phone number appeared on the screen.
“Hi there… Saw your post on CL… Are you still up for some fun?” the message read. It was quickly followed by another: “I want to fuck your ass.” I could feel the blood drain from my face. I looked at my boyfriend, and back at my phone. “I have no idea who this is,” I told him, showing him the messages. Three more aggressively sexual messages appeared on the screen.
“It must be a wrong number,” my boyfriend told me. “Just delete it.” I took his advice, …