I remember the incident clearly. It was almost two years ago, 8pm in a small park behind a major road in Athens, Greece. I was 18 at the time. The park had lights and it wasn’t dark. Before that incident, I had never thought about being mugged, or harrassed or afraid in any way because of the central location of the park and the fact that it was very bright, early in the evening and surrounded by houses. I was on my way to meet a friend when I passed through the park. I saw a group of 10 boys (more or less) who seemed to be about 15 each. Immediately I thought to myself: Oh no. How scary and disturbed is that? Fearing for your life, your safety, your peace of mind when you see a large group of boys? Feeling helpless even before anything happens? I started walking faster than I normally do and I was looking at them to see if they’re looking back at me or trying to follow me. Suddenly, one of them starts walking towards me and follows me. I kept going, not knowing what to do because already feeling scared, embarrassed and helpless. While following me, he shouts at his friends: ”come see this! Look what we have here!”. Keep in mind, we’re talking about 15 year old’s that could be even younger than that. At that point, I felt like screaming. I was already walking way too fast but he could still catch up. The only thing comforting me was that soon, I’d be out of the park and into the busy streets with lots of people around to save me. Unfortunately, before that could happen another boy of the group started following me and his friend. The first guy that had started chasing me, was now trying to touch my butt. When I figured what he was attempting, I started jumping to the left and right, like a car swerving, just trying to get away. He was laughing the whole time until he got what he want. He groped me from behind when one of his friends yelled at him to go back so they could talk. He let out a disturbing laughter and stopped walking as I kept going, trying to leave the park. I can’t describe the feeling of being chased like that, by boys who are trying to harrass you and put their hands on you. I cannot put into words the thoughts that were running through my head or how disgusted I was that teenagers at that age, in 2015 felt the need to make fun of a girl and scare her in that way, so as to seem cool in front of their friends and have a laugh at someone’s fear.
It was the Friday before Christmas Eve and the pub was bustling with familes and friends all celebrating the approach to the Christmas weekend. I had gone out with my friends, of which im the only female. They are all great, really respectful guys which meant that what followed was a shock to the system. It was about two hours into our little Christmas meet-up when I decided to go and play pool with a good friend of mine. It was all very funny as neither of us could play to save our lives. However the atmosphere changed for the worst when a group of six, bulky men starting shouting comments at me. I was shocked. It consisted of comments about by body, especially about my arse. They proceeded to call me over repetively. Ordering me to walk over to them. I tried to ignore them but the comments got worse and worse, louder and louder. I felt very uncomfortable but attempted to ignore them, not wanting them to think I was afraid. When the game ended they were bellowing at me to come over to them. I didn’t know what they were going to do, I was afraid and felt so inferior. So powerless. I briskly walked to my friend who went and got my boyfriend. Once he got there they stopped but I was quite shaken. A few minutes later I found out they had hurt my other friend who i had asked to go and get my boyfriend. They had hurt him becuase he had helped me. I was angry and wasnt going to tolerate it. Quickly i walked back to the area they were sitting and checked they were still there. They were. I approached the desk and told the manager everything. She was shocked too. She said she was going to talk to them but I left the pub with my friends before any more trouble was caused. I am still shaken up and shocked to discover how happily people will be so sexually derogatory, demeaning and violent. If it happens, report it. Its the only way we can all make a difference.