TikToker Alleges Gym Refused to Ban Man Who Followed Her Home in Viral Video

A woman on TikTok alleged a man followed her home from an LA Fitness in South Florida and was not banned from the gym afterward.

The video posted by Jessi Balter, or @jessibalter on TikTok, received more than 6.8 million views and 6,550 comments since it was posted on December 11.

"The day a man followed me home from the gym and into my apartment," the on-screen text read. "I reported the incident to LA fitness and they refused to ban him. How can they care more about a contract than their own member's safety???"

Balter told Newsweek that the fellow gym-goer showed up at her apartment, barged inside and assaulted her after she left the gym. She said she threatened to call the cops unless he left and he did. She said she has not heard from him since.

"Check your priorities, @la.fitness," the caption of the viral video read. "Get these disgusting men out of your gym."

She explained that the next day she went back to LA Fitness and asked if they would ban him from the gym and they allegedly refused. She alleged that now that the video has gone viral, they offered to ban the individual.

"But it has been 2.5 months and I fear that if I report his full name now that he would come back," she told Newsweek. "To protect my safety and prevent future encounters I am not comfortable releasing more information now."

Balter said that LA Fitness refunded her for the last month she was charged. She said she switched gyms and feels that her "safety is prioritized" there.

Balter told Newsweek that the reason she wanted to promote sexual assault awareness and the ways in which people respond.

"The amount of women who don't report their sexual assault because they fear that people won't believe them or they fear for their safety after they report is a really sad statistic," Balter told Newsweek.

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), about two out of every three sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Many who did not report said it was because they feared retaliation, others said it was because they did not think the police would believe them.

Out of every 1,000 perpetrators, RAINN estimated that only 50 reports led to an arrest and only 25 were incarcerated. According to RAINN, approximately 975 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will walk free.

In an update video, Balter said she spoke to the manager of operations of LA Fitness in South Florida and that he apologized for the response. He told Balter that he plans on implementing training for employees so that they don't ignore similar situations.

She said he offered her the refund and when he asked what else he could do, she told him to read through the comments on her video to see what other people have said about their experiences at the gym.

More than 6,550 people commented on Balter's video. Many users mentioned their own experiences being at a gym as a female.

"I was touched inappropriately on my hands/arm by an old man at my club when I was 17," one user recounted. "I finally spoke up and they won't remove him. I see him."

"Something similar happened to me at LA and their response was 'oh this happens a lot with this member,'" another user commented.

Balter told Newsweek her goal was not to have people cancel LA Fitness but rather be aware that situations like this can occur anywhere.

Newsweek reached out to LA Fitness but did not receive a comment in time for publication.

Woman working out at gym
A woman claimed on TikTok that she was followed home by a man after leaving the gym. She alleged in the video that the gym, LA Fitness, did not ban the man after she requested something be done. Ivan Romano/Getty Images

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