The first time I was sexually assaulted, I was nine. I had no sexual awareness at all about myself. I wasn’t in puberty. I was a naive, happy, skinny little kid…. I was walking down the street in a busy downtown area just around the corner to where my mother was working. We were going shopping that afternoon. But at that moment I was alone. I suddenly felt a hand cup me and 2 large meaty fingers glide from back to front of my female parts between my legs. And I froze, cold. I wasn’t sure what to do and I started to cry. I sometimes think I remember the man’s face. But I don’t. I only remember the older, weathered looking man a few feet in front of me walking in the opposite direction who yelled, “Hey!” and ran after the man who assaulted me. No one stopped. Not a man or a woman, to console me or asked to escort me to safety. I was left standing in shock in the middle of a moving crowd. It’s like no one else even saw what happened. Maybe no one else did. So finally I walked on to my destination, confused and upset. …when I related what happened to my mom, she got hysterical. It totally freaked her out. But then, I was told my shorts were too tight. In retrospect, I think she didn’t know how to react at that moment. It was a lot for her to deal with and embarrassing. It was right then and there I learned to shut up about things like that. And I buried the whole incident. I normalized it for myself. So when it happened again (differently), I got angry but accepted it as ‘part of life’. It took me years to understand that this kind of behavior wasn’t normal or ok.
When I was 17 I lost my purse on the way home with a friend. I told my friend to walk on as I wanted to retrace my steps. I was busy looking at the floor for my purse when i was aware of someone walking toward me. It was 6pm and a busy main road so I didn’t feel threatened. I was wearing no make up and ‘trackies’ because I had been cleaning a house. As the person got close to me i looked up at him and he grabbed my breast hard through my sweater. I Was shocked and carried on walking, trying to compute what just happened. He followed me, calling out Oi! Come here! I walked faster but I didn’t break I to a run. I don’t know why. As he got close to me i turned around and told him to leave me alone. He grabbed my breast again and twisted it hard. He said, you fucking bitch I came all the way back for you. (Meaning he had followed me) i ran home crying and phoned the police. The police officers looked at each other when I described the man as though they might know him. They never followed it up or got back to me about it and I had no further support. This was 1997 and happened In Crewe in UK.
I was raped and half of the trauma of the rape has been its aftermath. It’s the stuff you don’t expect that’s the worst….my feminist roommate moving out a week later because she couldn’t deal with my trauma, my secret fear that people are tired of my need to talk about it or emote…how in reality I’m expected to have recovered already (just a year later). Ppl just want me to “get over it.”
My partner’s dad asked them whether I was a lightweight or not as I was coming over for the holidays and found out that I (really) am. He laughed saying that my partner should definitely take advantage of that.
I was fifteen and on a bus home from a different city. About an hour into the four hour journey, a man got on the bus and sat next to me. He pretended to be asleep and kept leaning forwards, resting/ rubbing his face on my breast. This was a few years ago now, and at this point no one had ever talked to me about sexual assault and I didn’t know what to do. All I had been taught was to be polite. So I was, I shuffled and tried to lean away but he would slowly move to a position where he was back there. Years later, I still feel stupid for seriously considering that maybe he was just asleep and now wanting to cause a fuss. He tried to wait for me when I got off the bus but left when he saw that I went to friends who were waiting.
I was sexually assaulted, then called a liar about it all when I finally opened up to the police. I’ve never felt more alone. I’m left knowing that the investigation isn’t going to go to cps because all the witnesses were his friends, who are the ones texting me, bullying me. I’ve been called a slag and a liar, all sorts I find it so unfair. Boys get away with so much, it’s not right or fair.
When I was in Year 8 at secondary school, I was sexually assaulted. We were in art class, our art teacher was demonstrating so we were stood gathered round her. I was wearing a skirt with ankle socks as it was hot weather, suddenly I felt a boys hand go up my skirt and touch my bum. I froze. I pushed his hand away. After my teacher had finished we returned to our seats. The girl next to me could see something was wrong, I told her what had happened. She told me the same boy had groped her and 3 other girls and the school were already aware. She asked me to tell a teacher, she went and fetched one, we went into another room. The teacher was quite genuine and understanding, what I didn’t know at the time was that she would be the only one who would be. They contacted my parents, whom went on to contact the police. After a few days they came round, took my statement and said it wasn’t in my best interest to press charges as it would ruin his life and he would probably learn from this with just a telling off. Bare in mind I was his 5th victim by now. The school agreed to move him out of my classes and he was suspended for a week. After a year he was let back into my classes and the school completely forgot about it. He told everyone I was a liar, eventually I moved schools.
A few months ago I was at the mall with my mom doing some morning shopping and as we where leaving the mall I had to go to the bathroom. I walked to the restrooms while my mom sat at a bench outside waiting for me. I went to the restroom, washed my hands, and then bent over to get a drink. Suddenly this guy was grabbing my butt, and hard. He squeezed and then worked his way down. The whole thing lasted for about 10 sec, but it still hurt. Physically and mentally. I’m 14 yes old (13 when it happened) and I was really scared and confused about the whole thing. I was paralyzed and terrified in the moment, and didn’t know what to do. I was used, touched, and violated. In that moment I became an object. I didn’t tell anyone till yesterday actually. As a project at my school we had to write TedTalk. I wrote and performed mine on sexism in the everyday life. As I was researching for my project I came across the TedTalk that this project came from, and it really opened my eyes. So I decided to share my story on here, and in my TedTalks. My opener to my speech was my story, and it was a great way to get things off my chest and spread a good message. It really helped me, and I’m really thankful of my teachers being really supportive during the whole thing. Everyday sexism is real. It a problem. And it needs to be fixed.
When I was 11 years old a 16 year old boy at school with all his friends smacked me on the bottom extremely hard and it really hurt me, to them it was just funny and it made his friends laugh. I was too young to understand what sexual assault was and never reported it. I assumed it was normal for boys to do things like this. When I think back on it now I’m devastated and even though it was something so little I feel violated. I was so young and defenseless. Why is this happening in schools?!
I need feminism because when I was 4, we learned the colours. After class, a group of boys came up to me and asked what my favourite colour was. I said “blue” and and one of them replied, “you can’t like blue, it’s a boy colour”. Upon telling him that my dad’s favourite colour was purple, I was told, “your dad must be a girl then”. I didn’t tell my dad because I thought that being compared to a girl would upset him too much. My dad is a feminist. I need feminism because when I was 13, my class worked on a project with NATS AIS. In the final stage of the competition, I was transferred into a group with 6 boys ‘for representation’. As project manager of my last team, I assumed that I’d have some creative input and delegation opportunities. I was put on research with a guy who played 2048 the whole time but still took full credit for the work I did. One lesson, the project manager was away so I took it upon myself to show some initiative and start the PowerPoint presentation. The next day, it had been deleted without a thought and a new one was being made; it was exactly the same but grammatically incorrect. When I tried to argue, I was called bossy and told to ‘get back in the kitchen or wherever [I was] supposed to be’. I need feminism because I saw the bewildered look on Harvey’s face when I did better than him on a physics test., despite the fact that I had beaten him on every science test beforehand. He used to call me dumb every lesson, still does. He just can’t believe that a somewhat attractive girl has the capacity to be good at science. Or maybe his ego’s just big. I need feminism because a girl I go to school with got raped by a boy in our year. For three weeks leading up to the event, she had reported him to the school 6 times for touching her inappropriately in class, she even had witnesses. He got a ‘serious talking to’ and nothing more. He wasn’t even moved away from her in class. She came into school crying and she stopped talking for a few days. One of our mutual friends got really mad at her for ‘being over-dramatic and complaining too much’. When I got angry at this, she said “well if it had been me, I would’ve just told him to stop and kicked him in the balls’. I had no words.