Back in 7th grade I used to take the bus home from school. One time, as I walked to get off the bus, someone touched my arm. I thought it must have been on accident so I continued on and thought nothing on it that night. Then the next day, it happened again. I thought maybe it was on accident, maybe I imagined it. Then the next day, it happened again like clock work. So I turned around and saw this guy that I had never even met before laughing with his friend looking at me. I told him to stop touching me and then I left. Then the next day, it happened again. I was near the front of the bus on all occasions and this time I rose my voice and said stop. The bus driver looked at him and then at me but did not say anything so I got off the bus. Then the next time I got on the bus, it happened again. By this time I had enough because it was not my arm he was grabbing, it was my waist. Each time I’d pass by it’d be a different body part my leg, my side, or my arm. I finally told my parents that some guy kept on ‘hitting’ me and then they responded that this is how boys show their affection. They continued on claiming that boys are not as mature as girls this age so they don’t know how to react when they like someone. I felt dejected because I thought they would be on my side but they weren’t. I started to miss the bus so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the no named boy that didn’t know how to express his feelings.
Then, in 8th grade he continued. He grew up a bit and got more confident. He continued to touch me whenever I passed him. I continued to tell him to stop but he never listened. The bus driver always placed him in the front because he was a trouble maker so I had no way of avoiding him. So I finally decided to sit near the front so that I can get off as quickly as I can and maybe the bus driver would notice. He said “Hey babe” and then he said I would feel tight and wondered what my vagina would taste like (he speculated pineapples, he was a real genius). I ran off the bus but this time, he got off on my stop and followed behind me. He started saying disgusting things about my body and my legs, and I felt so sick. I still didn’t know his name. I never told my parents about this incident because when I did open up about it before they completely shut me down. I kept quiet because I was ashamed. I thought maybe it’s what I was wearing, maybe it was the way I act, maybe I misunderstood. Sometimes when I recall those memories, they sound so strange that I barely believe it. Eventually he stopped saying disgusting things, but he continued to call me babe until the end of the school year when I escaped into high school.
I’m still affected by that experience. I hate hugs because I hate it when people touch me. I can’t stand it when people say babe or baby, I just feel sick.
It is disgusting that we perpetuate rape culture by saying things like “boys will be boys”. There is never an excuse for sexual harassment nor assault.
I want any other young girl out there that is being sexually harassed to please please tell someone. Please do not think that it is your fault. Please don’t feel like you can’t talk about it because you will feel so free if you do. Only recently, I’ve been able to tell some of my close friends about it and it feels amazing.