According to Women’s Media Center, an estimated 64,000-75,000 Black women and girls currently remain missing in the United States.
Regarding the alarming rates at which Black children and Black women go missing, activists have done their best to highlight and sound the alarm in regards to the lack of coverage concerning this issue. They’ve worked hard to highlight the barriers Black families face when it comes to reporting missing loved ones (including mistrust of law enforcement), and the disparate ways law enforcement treat disappearances.
So when it comes to highlighting Black women and children at risk, it’s important to us that we help families act quickly.
Tiara Lott, 22, has been missing since January 29.
Lott’s mother, Patricia Davis, says she was last seen on a video chat with one of her friends. At the time, her face appeared bruised.
“She was sore. They asked her, ‘What’s the address?’ to send an Uber and the phone hung up. Then 10 minutes later she sent out, ‘God forbid, if anything happens to me, that I love y’all and tell everybody.’ “
Davis says the last person she believes that her daughter saw was her boyfriend.
Lott’s family say that they have not seen or heard from her boyfriend, but have heard that he remains in the area in which she went missing.
According to Davis, Lott was in a house on Gold Street in Buffalo city’s Lovejoy neighborhood. Since Lott’s disappearance, her family has gone to the house and managed to recover some of her belongings.
“We found her clothes in the house, her boots. We went back to the house four days later, and we found my baby’s coat with her IDs in it,” Davis told Buffalo’s local news outlet 2WGRZ. After managing to recover video and pictures from surveillance cameras in the neighborhood the family is asking Buffalo Police to step in and conduct a search.
The family is currently offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who has information
“I’m out here everyday looking, running up in abandoned buildings, train tracks. I’m going crazy right now,” Lott’s mother said.
Lott is an East High graduate from Buffalo who was recently about to begin a new job in telemarketing. Her family has described her as an outgoing, loving, and fun shopper.
So often as women, we find ourselves forced into the position of feeling as if we have to accommodate the feelings and desires of other people. We say “yes” to things when we want to actually say “no.” We smile when we feel sad or upset in order to make others feel comfortable. And more often than not we find ourselves contorting ourselves into being smaller to make others feel big.
Women on Reddit recently addressed the moment they realized they no longer had to do this in order to make others feel better.
The stories were pretty surprising! Check them out below.
“It’s become more clear as I’ve gotten older (hitting 30). Being forceful gets shit done. I don’t need people to like me, but I do need them to do their jobs. It’s worked for slumlord landlords (reporting code violations) and shitty coworkers (refusal to participate in busywork projects).
Being excessively agreeable wastes your time and costs you money. No, I’m not attending wedding or baby showers for acquaintances. No, I’m not buying whatever multilevel marketing crap acquaintances are pushing. No, I do not want to hold your baby.
It also sets you up for shitty, unsatisfying relationships. Potential partner, I am not a maid nor the fun director of the cruise ship that is your life. Handle your own shit.
“YES. I turned 30 last year and I started becoming less concerned about being “nice.” When you’re used to being agreeable and a people pleaser, it’s a tough transition, but I’m staying the course.”-
“Being agreeable and having boundaries can happen at the same time. I feel like I’m constantly evaluating the opportunity cost of saying yes/ being agreeable. Sometimes it’s really no big deal to be agreeable and it doesn’t make you a doormat. Sometimes it’s important to take a stand for yourself and speak up.”- Potential_Sea_832
“Actually when I got cancer. I just started giving no fucks about dumb shit. I cut out toxic people like it was nothing. Wanna be dramatic? Block. Wanna demand i do something for you? Block. It was so freeing and easy. No regrets at all.” –SilentSiren39
“When I was about 9 and my parents divorced, (mid 80’s so this was unheard of), my little friend group thought something was wrong with me and they decided to ostracize me. I vividly remember being on the playground and thought ‘fuck that shit’ and walked off to find new friends. From then on I give no fucks and take no shit.”- McWonderWoman
“100% agree. Honestly I think today was the first time I really truly had an authoritative vibe going on during a meeting. I’ve been at my job for almost 4 years and I’m 30 years old. When I first started, I sat in the meetings taking notes and just listening. Now I’m able to call out people on their shit while still being likable at the end of the day. I think either of the two extremes aren’t as useful as being friendly AND direct. Sad that it took me this long to feel comfortable in these shoes though!”- stripedbathmat
“I thought that I was being “nice” and “cool” and “a good friend” by never having an opinion on anything and always saying “I want to do whatever you want to do!” and “I want to eat whatever you want to eat!”
I would visit friends and I honestly thought I was being “cool” and “easygoing” by having zero plans for what to do while I’m there and making the host make all the decisions.
At some point it began to dawn on me how fucking ANNOYING it was to be around someone who goes out of their way to avoid having an opinion on things. I realized it was a defense mechanism I had built up over decades of living in a house where if you answered a question “wrong” you were harassed and taunted for the next year over it.
Once I realized that healthy, good people who ask you “Do you prefer tacos or Chinese for dinner tonight?” are ACTUALLY asking you and they are not laying in wait, ready to pounce on you and call you an piece of shit for answering the question “wrong” my life changed dramatically.
A person who has no opinion and only agrees with the group is not being “cool” and “easygoing” they are being a freaking door mat!! Probably because of some trauma or low self esteem (a mix of both for me).
Now if asked an honest question, I give an honest answer, and if someone freaks out then I realize that THEY are the one with issues, not me.”- FuckTon_of_Frosting
“For me, this moment happened when I was listening to a podcast called My Favorite Murder. Two women comedians telling stories of murder/crimes and talking about it respectfully the way you would talk to your friends. One episode they say “fuck politeness” in terms of you don’t have to be nice to strangers because you’re scared of seeming rude. It’s how a lot of women end up as victims of violent crime. Now I understand fuck politeness and it has made me so much more aware of my own self preservation and made me realize that people who react negatively to that are not people I want around me anyway. It’s been liberating and has helped my anxiety tremendously!”- Statistical-outlier1
“I’ve always been labeled as “challenging” by most people, especially teachers growing up. It’s gotten me in hot water a few times but the majority of the time, you gain respect. I stand up for myself and those around me that need it and don’t take crap. I don’t have time for toxic people or those who don’t treat me with any respect and it makes life so much easier without the drama. I still care deeply for the people in my life and make an effort to be well liked. But being a doormat doesn’t do you any favours.”- Scotty_Blues
“I never understood why i have to be agreeable to be honest… I was really bad at understanding social norms as a kid and it impacted my life in a lot of bad ways but there’s a lot of silver lining too… I realized a lot about myself and what im willing to put up with purely by Questioning things a lot, and the whole be a lady, be as small as possible, don’t be stubborn, that’s not how girls act, youll change your mind when youre older etc etc thing never made sense to me… It all seemed like it was made up to either stop me from having fun or to excuse people mistreating me (i was called stubborn a lot and i took it as a compliment every time cause it always happened when someone tried stomping a boundry for instance).
Then I grew up and realized it’s all stupid made up rules that exist to hold women down anyway. so yeah, im still dumb sometimes but at least i have enough confidence to not think misogyny is normal and i should put up with it…”- AvocadoBounty
“When it wasn’t about me. For some reason, I find it way easier to step up and say no when it was about other people. Like in college, when we were all out dancing and some creepy guy would start dancing up on me, I’d just go with it. But if a friend of mine was being creeped on, I’d cut in, tell him “no, she’s not interested” and move on. When I started work as a nurse, I realized this was even more important. I had to advocate for my patients because they can’t talk, or because I have information about the patient that the doctors making decisions didn’t. It didn’t matter if I was going against what the rest of the team or the patient’s family thought/wanted. My job was to uphold what the patient wanted.
As far as not being agreeable when it comes to myself, I’d say it was when I had a horrible breakup with my ex. He was the guy I thought I was going to marry, start a family with, and grow old together because he loved me. Turns out I was wrong. And after that, I had this horrible realization that no one (besides family) had my back…which was definitely depressing. but then I realized I could just have my own back, lol. So I started doing things that I wanted to do. I traveled to places I wanted to see. I went back to school for the degree I wanted. I invested and picked up the hobbies I wanted. and I never hesitate to spend money on myself, because fuck it. I’m worth it!”- lexi7171
“When my therapist gave me permission to hate the woman my ex completely destroyed me to be with – as long as I never actually acted on it (which I never have and never will because she didn’t do anything wrong that I can prove, I just fucking hate how her entire life has been perfect and full of money even though she’s basic af, unlike my ex or I). Hating her without reservation let me just…be. It almost gave me a sense of peace. I was never going to get closure from that donkey of an ex and the anonymous hate messages I used to get were definitely from this woman but allowing myself to stop saying “well I don’t want to hate on another woman since he’s the one who was a monster to me” and stopping giving her all these allowances let me see who he really was and how he treated me like shit compared to the way he is with her.”- FragrantEscape20
There’s no doubt that sexual harassment can have quite an impact on a victim.
In 2014, a research study surveyed 17,335 female victims of sexual assault who said in the most serious experiences of sexual assault that they had endured many felt emotions such as “anger, annoyance, and embarrassment.” A terrible thought considering that the people who inflict these feelings often walk away from the experience without so much as a second thought.
Women on Reddit have spoken about these experiences that have affected them for decades.
Here they are below.
“I was 7 when some weird-ass guy wanted me to show him the girl’s changing room at the swimming pool. Luckily I had the common sense to go looking for my teacher. I was 11 when the ‘normal’ harassment started with guys twice to thrice my age tried to hit me up and go out with me. The very first guy I remember trying to chat me up in the bus tried to convince me to tell him I was 18, when it finally sank in that I wasn’t lying when I said I was 11, he had the graciousness to go completely white in his face and flee the bus at the next stop. I was 13 when a guy at the bus stop tried to convince me to go on a love-week-end to Paris with him. He was easily 40.” –BerriesAndMe
“Why are there so many perverted men out there??? Every single one of my friends has these crazy stories starting from like eight years old.”- kisscuddle
“13 or 14. Guy in his early 20’s comes to me, asks if I’m a virgin because he only dates virgins. Me being a shy timid person just stared at him and couldn’t form any reply. Just froze on the spot.” –Countess_Yiffy
“All these stories start when girls turn 12-14, and that is so sad.
Most of us didn’t feel “sexy” at this age. What is more, some girls don’t know what is “sexy” is. More, 12 years old girls feel shy about their bodies: their breasts start growing (to be honest, it’s painful), and the first period can be a shock. It’s a very delicate and susceptible part of a women’s life.
And these jerks think they have privilege says how attractive we are —making us feel that we are dirty and it’s our fault. Hate it.” –Jan_Levinsson
“I was 5. Was standing on jungle gym on the playground And an older boy came up to me and grabbed my spandex and underwear and stretched out my underwear and looked at my privates. I did not know how to use my voice or stand up for myself. I climbed off the jungle gym and sat under it and cried. I remember feeling so embarrassed and violated. I never told anyone. Just remembered that and will probably talk to my therapist about it.” –siennasolo
“I was 12, at a BBQ my parents were having. I was in a bathing suit because we had a pool. A friend of a friend of my dads said he’d like to leave his wife there and take me home instead. I didn’t say anything because I was so ashamed. I put clothes on and stayed in my room the rest of the party – even though an adult overheard him and he was forced to leave.” – sassylittlespoon
“I remember when I was 9 or 10 I went to the beach with a new two-piece swimsuit that I was super happy to wear because it had sparkles and made me look like a mermaid. It was one of those where the bottom part had a skirt attached so I liked to twirl to see the skirt twirl. Some dude went “Do that again, sweetheart!” and then whistles and said something about “legs for days” I remember being really embarrassed and ashamed and didn’t want to tell anyone because my parents would make it a big deal, and then it would be my fault for ruining the beach day for my brothers.
“At 12, playing in the pool. A man probably in his 40s/50s kept staring at me intensely and made a comment like, “Wow, look at how hot that girl is!” My mom overheard and immediately said, “That’s my daughter and she’s fucking 12, what is wrong with you?!” I don’t remember what happened next. But I’ll never forget the way that man looked at me, and how my stomach dropped to my feet and my face burned. I felt so ashamed.” –offendingpastry
“About 12. On my period, looking and feeling like Shyte. Simply walking home from the shops. Was wearing jeans and an oversized T-shirt. This asshole and his late 20-something year old friends start hooting their car, and hanging out the windows while catcalling me. Ignore it. When they suddenly come around again and drive slowly past me and they keep saying how sexy they think I am. I had a moment where I though “ oh god this is how people end up getting kidnapped. There are four of them, and one of me. Even if I run I won’t make it very far.” I started walking faster, and eventually, I assume that they got bored, and sped off. I basically ran home. I have similar incidents but this was the one that came to mind first.” –indigoshaman
“I had one instance last year, I was out for a run, it was dark but I always ran in a safe small neighborhood. A pickup truck drives by and I hear the driver say something then all of a sudden the truck came to a halt and just sat in the street waiting for me to catch up. I saw what was going to happen so I stopped on the sidewalk a bit way back and hid in the shadow of a tree until the truck finally drove away. And they were mad cos they squealed their tires and everything. I’m glad I stopped. I was so scared of what could’ve happened, I ran so fast home and stopped running for a bit because of it.” –APainInWomensClothes
“Mine was also at 12 years old. I was walking home from school, wearing normal jeans and a t-shirt. [I hate that I feel the need to explain what I was wearing]. A truck slowed down to keep pace with me, and a man yelled, “I’d like to bend your ass over the hood of my truck!” Another man laughed from inside the truck. I didn’t quite understand what that meant, but I figured it must be a pervert thing. I got scared they might try to grab me, so I ran into some random person’s backyard, since I figured they couldn’t drive through there. I told my dad what happened, and he was furious.” –TheOtherZebra
“I was 7. I had this beautiful dress that had a full circle skirt and I spun around in it because how can you not when you’re 7 and you love your dress?
My uncle’s friend(M, 50s) was there and he told me to spin again because he could see my underwear. I remember just feeling so gross and afraid. I told my mom and she was livid. We left and I was never allowed near that man.
I also couldn’t wear that dress afterwards without thinking about how that incident made me feel. It definitely took a little bit of my innocence away.” –
“When I was seven I was walking by some older kids (early college) at a pool. I was adjusting my swim suit straps by sticking my fingers under them and lifting them up, so you could see skin but not in my top. I remember one of the girls went really loudly “OoOoO showing off for the boys” and the boys started whistling and jeering. I was so uncomfortable and embarrassed I hid behind some pool hosing until my mom came to get me (she left me at the pool at the YMCA while she pretended to work out for two hours).” –retroverted_uterus
“That happened to me this year, I’m 25. I was on the bus on the way to church and a man sexually harassed me. He included crude comments about the pattern on my dress. It broke my heart.” –MaroneyOnAWindyDay
“My dad told me not to eat bananas like a whore when I was 11-12. I was very confused and didn’t make the association with bananas looking like dicks until many many years later.” –Idk_whats_real
“I was 9 or 10 and a neighbor kid (7 or 8M) grabbed my ass one day while I was out playing kickball with the other neighbor kids. I didn’t know what to do so I just went inside. Didn’t even finish my turn. Did what I could to avoid him until we ended up in school again. Looking back, hate how young this happened at on both our ends. About the same age, one of my dads friends made a comment about my chest and how much I looked like a boy and how he couldn’t wait to see what I looked like in a few years. Again, just avoided him after that. On a much better note, I (27F) recently have found myself managing a bar where it’s all regulars. One of them, R (M30), told another regular, D (M60), that we were going to hook up and D asks, “Yeah, but does she know that?” and got R to back off without me having to say anything to him. It’s honestly some of the alliances that really make a females life easier.” –BeanieBlitz
“Seven or eight? My sister (1 year older) and I had just gotten furry boots for Christmas and were wearing them out. Three teenagers on bikes stopped us and started going off about how sexy we were in those boots and wouldn’t let us pass. I remember being confused and scared. My sister who was blonde, always got the worst of it though. She was raped at the age of 16 and was never the same since, that led to a downward spiral and eventually her death last year.” –Scoobymaybe
“A step cousin asked to see what color panties I was wearing. I was probably 6.
I was a waitress at 15, a man I was serving said “I should be in prison for the thoughts I’ve had about you” Never forgot that one.
Edit: I have worked in restaurants since then and have enough stories to write a book. I’m 30 and I own the restaurant now. This shit does not fly with me!” –meatmama
“I was 12 and was babysitting my younger brother (11yrs younger than me) and took him to the park and someone apparently assumed he was my son and told me to keep my legs shut next time. I had to ask a friend what it meant. It mostly just made me afraid of being a teen parent, and being publicly shamed. Edited to add: wow, this is clearly a common experience for so many people- sorry to all of you who have also been victim to people’s weird obsession with teen pregnancy and who feel their only possible course of action is to slut shame children!” –Peskypikachu
“I insisted I have my own room and that I didn’t want to share a bed with my mum, so she put me in a room with her scuba diving friend that was renting the room next to us. She obviously trusted him or something to put me in there. He would make comments about how I would grow up to have a nice body – a remark that I never understood because I was 7! I ended getting molested by that son of a b*tch and I never grasped what he had done until YEARS later. Now I distance myself from older men. I grew up being wary of others.” –hafyu
“I was 8, I was helping my younger cousin on to her tricycle so I picked her up and as I was bent over from picking her up some creep on a bike whistled at me and yell “aye mami”. I was in pink shorts and a matching Winnie the Pooh shirt. My dad chased him down the street with a bat.
 I just remembered this one. Another time was when I was 9 and my cousins and I were swimming in a river in between two hills. Our parents were on one hill BBQing and the other was too steep for anyone to climb up so the only way you could get to the side facing the river was by going over the hill from the other side and hope to God you wouldn’t slide down the hill and into the rocky river. Anyway my cousins and I are splashing each other and being kids. I see something out of the corner of my eye and see this big fat white guy looking at us through binoculars. So me being a kid thought him having binoculars was cool so I yell and point “HEY LOOK HE’S GOT BINOCULARS!” And once I said that took off pulling his pants up. When I was like 17 or 18 I realized he was jerking off to us playing in the water in our swimsuits.
 for those that are confused as to why I put the guys race in the story, that is how my 9 year old brain chose to remember him. We lived in a mostly Latinx community so seeing this random pale white guy was not a common occurrence. The only white people I came across as a child was when we went to different cities or the teachers at school. Take it as you will.” –princesspotato92
“I was 7 years old, I was at a place called “Health World” it was an exhibit about the human body, that was really popular at the time. There was also a large group of highschoolers there with their school at the time. 6 boys, tried to gang rape me in one of the exhibit halls when they thought no one was looking. They were all 15-17. It started with them making comments about my skirt (“That’s a short skirt, Little Mama”) and one of them backed me into a wall. It was a blur from there. I remember someone saying “HOld her down, make sure she can’t fight.” and I started screaming for my mom and my cousin.
The difference of time, between my mother stepping away to get my cousin from a trash can (she threw up), and them trying this was like five minutes. They dropped me, before they could get my clothes off but I remember very vividly how horrible it was. I felt so violated and scared and dirty…
I repressed how violent this encounter actually was, until my ex-bff’s mom slut shamed me saying “You must be a little slut, after all those boys couldn’t keep their hands off you at that musuem.” (and yes they were punished but a teacher tried to actually defend them and tried to say it was my fault… Until my mom pointed to me, sitting on a chair in the corner, in my little pink skirt, my Little Mermaid T-shirt and my pink Winx Club sneakers. He still tried to keep defending it even when my mom pointed out “SHE’S SEVEN YEARS OLD. HOW IS IT TO ANY OF YOU, THAT TRYING TO GANG RAPE A SEVEN YEAR OLD SEEMS LIKE IT WAS A PERFECTLY APPROPRIATE THING? IS THIS WHAT YOUR TEACHING THEM!?”)