Recently, one of our BuzzFeed Community members remembered a time when a stranger helped them out of a dangerous situation, saying: "I was sitting with a friend at an ice cream shop when I realized some guy on the patio was trying to look up my skirt. We decided to leave, and this guy started following us back to our car.
"I found some very tall and super athletic guy who was jogging, explained the situation, and begged him to help us get to our cars. His first words were, 'It’s happening in broad daylight?' Then, he ran up to that guy and yelled at him and said he knew what was going on and he wouldn’t let him get close to us. That’s when we ran to my car and left. I still wish I could thank that person who helped us."
Netflix / Via giphy.com
After hearing her tale, hundreds of others began sharing similar stories. Here's what they said:
1."On my flight to England, a man in his mid-twenties was sitting next to me. He kept asking me personal questions and buying me drinks. I gave vague answers and refused the drinks because it got very uncomfortable very quickly. He kept telling me I should ditch my plans and accompany him to Israel instead.
"When we landed, I ran to the women's bathroom in a panic and met a Canadian girls hockey team who was also traveling to Prague on the same connecting flight. I asked if I could stay with them and told them what had just happened. They said, 'Of course' and offered me a team shirt as a disguise.
"We all left the bathroom together, and he was waiting for me! The team surrounded me, and the coaches called security on the man. The coaches sent us on ahead while they kept an eye on him. I left with the players and safely got on the Prague flight.
"I will forever be grateful to that hockey team. God only knows where I could have ended up if I hadn’t found them!"
2."When I was 12 years old, I went to a uniform-only middle school. Every morning, I'd wait for my bus at 6 a.m., but on this particular day, I was a little late. I came to the end of my street, and an older man crossed the road to stand next to me. He started asking me what time it was, where I went to school, how old I was, and if I always walk alone.
"Then, he asked how much I weighed and if he could pick me up. Sheer panic ran through me, and that's when I saw my bus. I booked it, and when I got to the school, I immediately went to my counselor and told him about the strange man.
"After calling the police and subsequently being taken home to talk to my parents and the police officers, it turned out the guy was a registered pedophile. Never saw the guy again, but police regularly patrolled our neighborhood."
3."I used to commute two hours, so I got my start real early in the morning. One morning, a man going in the opposite direction made a U-turn and started following me. I took a few odd turns, hoping that I was imagining being followed, but he matched every one and was gaining on me.
"When I got to the train station, I ran to the ticket guy. I didn't know him personally, but we had smiled at each other every morning as he scanned my pass. I said, 'There's a guy following me,' and he just nodded and let me onto the train, even though I was a few minutes early for boarding.
"I watched as the creepy dude got blockaded in the terminal, pointing after me and waving a ticket he'd bought, but the ticket guy wouldn't let him through. Forever grateful to that man, and I smiled even bigger at him every day after that!"
4."I was about 11 or 12 when my grandma told me to go out and bring my cousin home for lunch. (This was way before kids had cellphones). I combed through our usual spots where we would play, and I couldn’t find him. After walking up and down the streets of the neighborhood, I noticed a black car with black tints driving back and forth as well. I didn’t think anything of it until I cut through the backside of a local school, and the car made the same turn.
"When I came out on the other side, I noticed the car speeding through the parking lot when I appeared. I started running as fast as I could.
"This lovely couple pulled to the side of the road to ask if I was OK. I told them I was pretty sure the black car had been following me. I didn’t want to get in their car, so they followed me home and told my grandma what happened. I am still grateful to them."
5."I had a layover in Houston. I was at my gate, and a man approached me and asked if it was the right gate — I confirmed that it was. He then sat with me and continued to try and chat, which is fine, but honestly, I was tired after a day of traveling and just wanted to read.
"I got up to get Starbucks. He asked where I was going, and I told him I was going to grab a coffee, and he said he’d go, too. He didn’t end up getting a coffee, just stood way too close. I’m kind of bitchy after I travel, so I figured maybe I was overreacting.
"Then, I went back to the gate and sat somewhere else. He sat next to me and proceeded to ask where I lived, my name, and told me I should visit him in Florida. I didn’t give him any info because I watch true crime, no thank you.
"I got up to go use the bathroom, and he asked if I’d be back. I came back and sat on the opposite end. He came and sat next to me. So, I moved again, and he followed. A gate agent saw and called me over. She ended up moving my seat because on his ticket, I saw he was the row behind me."
6."One night, my ex and I were in our hotel room in Vegas when a fight escalated very quickly. I managed to get away and ran down the hallway to the elevator. My ex followed me and started dragging me by my wrist down toward our hotel room.
"A man in his late twenties was in the hall next to our door. He immediately yelled at his friends to come out to the hall. He then asked me if I was ok, and I told him 'No.' The man and his friends immediately called the cops for me. I wholeheartedly believe that this stranger saved my life."
7."I went to a tournament in California with a bunch of friends. We ended up merging with another group at a very crowded, very rowdy bar, and one of the ladies from the other group kept trying to hold my hand or touch my shoulder, which I mostly just ignored because we were all pretty drunk, and I'm happily married.
"It took me a moment to realize she was trying to get help. As soon as I realized that, I immediately grabbed a friend, put her between us, and we walked her over to a smaller group of our friends in a less crowded part of the bar.
"Turns out, some guy she talked to earlier would not leave her alone or stop trying to buy her drinks. We got the fellow removed by security."
8."When I was in my early twenties, I worked in a public library. There was no shortage of creepers, but one older man in particular took a liking to me. He was always around when I was on shift, only smiled at me, and hovered at the desk until I was free, so I would be the one to help him.
"I informed our manager, but he did nothing. One of my co-workers always had my back and made sure I was never alone in the stacks when he was around, and sent me away from the desk when he was hovering, so I wouldn't have to interact with him."
9."I was taking the train when a creepy guy sat next to me and immediately started chatting me up, asking my name, where I was going, who I was visiting, and if anyone was picking me up. I put my earbuds in and tried to ignore him, but then he 'accidentally' pressed his leg against mine. No way was I sitting next to this a-hole for six hours.
"I hopped up, saying I needed the bathroom. I walked through the train until I found a conductor and told her what was going on. She asked my seat number and if I had any carry-on luggage. She went to grab my bag from over my seat and brought it back to me, then let me sit up front in a nicer car. Forever grateful to her."
10."Once a guy was following me, so I ducked into a 7-Eleven. The guy still was hanging around outside. The cashier asked me what was going on, so I told him, and he pulled a baseball bat from behind the counter and chased the guy away."
11."I drove to a friend's 18th birthday party at a hotel. I bumped into some friends in the lobby, but I needed to go to the restroom, so I told them I would just catch up. I was alone and waiting for the next elevator up. I didn’t notice that a group of businessmen were watching me.
"They followed, and one of them even asked me how much I would be for a night. (I was literally 17).
"Thankfully, one of the porters noticed it and followed behind to stop them from joining me in the elevator."
12."I was hanging out with my boy best friend, and we stopped by his house to grab some money since we were going to the store. I waited outside, and suddenly, a group of five boys come walking toward me. They started calling me all these flirty names, asked me personal questions, and they were making me very uncomfortable.
"My best friend popped out of nowhere with his pocket knife. The group walked away, and my best friend grabbed my hand, and we walked away. Long story short, we’ve been dating ever since."
13."I was walking to campus around 6 p.m., and a guy started following me. At first, he pretended to be drunk, but suddenly stopped stumbling after I brushed him off.
"My neighborhood was almost entirely residential, except for a church. So I ran there.
"An elderly couple was just pulling up. The wife got out, saw how upset I was, then told me her husband would drive me wherever I was going. He was really nice, and dropped me off on campus. I was really scared, but I’m so grateful for that couple helping me out."
14."A month ago, I was 18, coming home from my first semester at college. I’ve never taken the train in my life and needed to transfer at Penn Station in New York. I sat down to wait for my connection when a much older man sat next to me. He kept asking me personal questions and sliding closer to me. I was completely freaked out but didn’t know how to get out of the situation.
"Out of nowhere, a man in his early twenties ran up to me and grabbed my bag, and said, 'There you are! I was looking all over for you. Our train is about to leave.' Immediately, the creepy guy backed up, and I stood up and walked out of ear shot.
"The man handed my bag back to me and pointed out a couple of coffee shops with seating where I wouldn’t be bothered. I am so thankful for this stranger who potentially saved me from who even knows what."
15."I noticed a guy following me through a store, and some other ladies came and told me they caught him filming me. I couldn't see him when I went to check out, which freaked me out more.
"There was another guy in line behind me, and I started to explain the situation and asked if he'd be OK if I waited for him to be done, so we could walk out together.
"About halfway through talking to him, his wife walked up. She told her husband that she'd finish in line, and made him walk me out to my car. As we were walking, she told him, 'Don't leave until you hear her doors lock!'"
16."I was 15 in Spain, and my father missed a train I was already on. He shouted, 'See you at the next stop.' This older man standing by me started following me down the aisle and touching me; I was so scared and didn't know what to do!
"Suddenly, a nun appeared out of nowhere and scolded me, saying, 'Sarah, where were you? Your father told me you'd sit with me.' She firmly grabbed my arm and took me to a train car full of women.
"Never saw her again, and will be forever grateful."
17."I was out for a jog with my dog early in the morning. We were going down a road in a bit of an industrial area when a car slowly came up behind me. The driver rolled down the window and started taking to me. I ignored him and turned around to walk the other way. He turned around and kept following me, talking to me, and trying to get me in the car. I was terrified.
"He drove off and parked facing the direction I was coming from. I doubled back again when, thankfully, I saw a random man walking down the street. I ran up to him, told him what was going on, and asked if I could walk with him for a bit.
"When we walked past the guy who was parked, he gave the driver a death stare. He was so nice and walked with me until I got to a safe area."
18."I was in an abusive relationship, and an older couple waited for him to go to the bathroom while we were arguing at a restaurant, then came up to me, begging me to leave with them. I didn't leave with them, but it was the first time I realized something wasn't right and that it wasn't normal how he spoke to me, because perfect strangers were genuinely terrified for me.
"It led to me opening up to my parents, who helped me get out of that relationship. So, had that older couple not come up to me, who knows how long I could've been stuck."
19.And finally, "My friend and I were going to her tattoo appointment in the middle of the day, and we had to park a few blocks away. Almost immediately, we both realized we were being followed by a man. We were pretty close to the tattoo shop, but he was getting closer with each step, so my friend grabbed my wrist and pulled me into another store with two men inside.
"We told them what was happening, and one watched the door. He told us the man walked just past their store and then stopped and waited for a bit. Waiting for us.
"Turns out, the tattoo shop had a back entrance they knew of, so they took us out the back of their store and right to the back of the tattoo shop. So thankful for them not asking questions and helping us out."
Has a stranger ever come to your defense in an uncomfortable situation? If you'd like, tell me about it in the comments.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger as a result of domestic violence, call 911. For anonymous, confidential help, you can call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or chat with an advocate via the website.