Once when I was about 15, two friends and I (a girl and a boy) were sitting in bed together having a film day. The guy friend was sat in the middle. During the first film I noticed that his hand had begun stroking my leg (at first I thought it was an accident but it was way too regular and prolonged to be so). I kept trying to shift away from him, not wanting to “make a scene”. However, when he moved his hand to in between my thighs and actually touched me I got out of the bed and went to the bathroom. My girl friend followed me and found me confused and in tears. She asked me what had happened and when I told her, she said that he had been doing the same thing to her and that I should take it as a compliment as it meant that he liked me. When I eventually did get back into the bed he had stopped doing it, and I thought that that was that. Until I fell asleep and woke up to him with his fingers inside me trying to kiss me (my girl friend was nowhere to be seen).


Two years ago, I haven’t moved out from my parents that long, a friend from home visited me. We went and had a couple of beers and he slept over at my place. I didn’t really worry about it because I have known him for a long time by then. But he didnt just go to sleep. He started to feel me up and ended up between my legs. I had do really use force to get his hand out of my crotch. Endet up with letting him feel my boobs to stop him from doing anything else because I didn’t feel powerful enough to really push him away.

anonymous, via email

When I was 14ish years old I went to the cinema to watch a film with a guy that I was just friends with. We had always been just friends and there was nothing more. Half way through the film he started to try and hold my hand. It made me very uncomfortable so I moved my hand to my leg and thought that would be it, but he continued and progressed to him trying to force his hand between my legs. I didn’t know what to go so I just sat there and felt sorry for myself. Luckily the film ended and it didn’t go any further than that but it made me feel inferior and worthless for years until I ready your book and it made me realise that it’s okay and that I’m okay. What he did wasn’t right. But it wasn’t my fault. Thank you.


Every time I go out partying with my friends, being fondled or groped is a guarantee, but a few months ago I was left alone in the middle of a crowded club, a man approached me and grabbed at my waist talking to me. I couldn’t hear him, but I replied ‘sorry, I’m just looking for my friend’. He didn’t let go of me, and I pushed his arms off and ignored his continuing advances. I have never really had an extremely violent response from rejecting a guy, but this man grabbed my forearm yanking me towards him and began shouting into my face. “Who the fuck do you think you are ignoring me? You stuck up bitch, you don’t ignore me.” And I was petrified as he grabbed at my bum. I wanted to sob as no one was helping me, and the man was at my face, but I’d heard of girls who fought back and got glasses smashed in their faces. My mother always taught me to just walk away from these kind of men, but she never said what to do if they followed you. Eventually, I was able to wiggle myself away from his grip after a harder shove at him. I considered myself lucky that I managed to escape. That same night, another boy, who was my friend, groped my chest and held me to him forcefully by shaking an arm around my waist and pinning me to his back. The next morning I told my Mum, she didn’t seem worried, I’m still not sure if any of this constitutes as sexual assault.


I told my Bestfriend that my ex boyfriend has attempted to rape me and she is friends with my ex boyfriend. So instead of her defending me she says “because I don’t see him in a sexual way it doesn’t really matter to me” and also saying “I don’t know what you exspect me to do.


I had a friend for many years who always took a fancy to me. He seemed nice and I trusted him and he had been dating my best friend when we were 16 years old. Eventually we ended up at some parties together and he drunkenly used me to cheat on his girlfriend, my best friend 3 times. One of these times involved me being pinned, saying “no” 4 times, and telling them that if he went any further it was molestation. He did not care. He went further. And I was molested by him inserting his fingers in to multiple times, while I was too weak to fight him off of me. I tried to forgive and move on, hoping that if I pretend it never happened, continued being his friend, and never said anything to his girlfriend the incident would go away and I would quit feeling damaged. I tried to speak up, and told 2 of our close friends, but he found out and texted me, infuriated. He later went on to tell me that I was never allowed to talk about it again, and manipulated me by playing victim, and telling me that it hurt him and made him sad when I “brought up something from the past.” Years went by and I thought this boy had changed. At the end of our first year of university we ended up dating. He told me that after college i was to put my dreams aside so that I could follow his. Also during this relationship he would pretend we weren’t together at parties. He instructed his friends to never mention anything about his girlfriend (me) or even that fact that he just wasn’t single. And no, this did not change when I was at those parties with him. He would not dance with me, he would not talk to me, he would not look at me, he wouldn’t introduce me to his friends, he wouldn’t even stand next to me. I later found out he actually enjoyed watching me being flirted with by other men. It gave him some odd and concerning validation by other men that I, as a girlfriend, was attractive and acceptable. While i was being bothered by odd men and extremely saddened by the fact that my boyfriend ignored me in public, i did notice what the goal of this distamce was. He was constantly hitting on other women in front of me at these parties. He would poor drinks for them, take down their numbers, and chat them up all night. When i confronted him about this behavior he quickly made me the villain and said that it was unfair of me to ask him to stop “making friends” and went on to tell me that, even though it made me feel awful, the behavior would continue. At one party another atendee finally noticed this odd behavior and confronted him in front of multiple people about how he should be paying attention to his own girlfriend. My boyfriend at the time proceeded to get very mad at this attendee and told the attendee to stop telling him what to do. Multiple other men approached me that night to explain they had been to multiple parties where they had seen me, and never once got the impression that i had a boyfriend, much less that he was actually at the same party. Eventually I realized I was unhappy and wanted something else, but at the time I was too close to the situation to see how incredibly manipulative he had been. However I did break up with him. Later on in the year i would go on to ask his best friend if he thought that boy had cheated on me, he said he had not cheated on me, but it did seem that he had tried multiple times to do so, only that the attempts failed to be received well by the women he attempted it with. After the breakup we remained friends. However, just to be clear, I told him, about a month after the break up, that I didn’t want to have sex with him. He seemed extremely mad at me for not wanting to sexually pleasure him anymore but also, to my belief, because he had always had an extremely difficult time with women and quickly grasped the unlikelyhood of finding another woman. About 3 or 4 weeks went by and I ended up at a small party at his appartment. He stayed sober, waiting for me to get drunk. Me, being unaware of this tactic, felt I was in a small, safe space, with only close friends and proceeded to, for the first time in my life, get black out drunk. The next morning I woke up, naked, in bed next to that friend, remembering only bits and pieces of the night before. I remember shots, making out with that friend, puking twice, and some fuzzy memory of being naked, on my back, with him on top of me. I asked him what happened and he proceeded to try to initiate sex again. I told him no and moved out from his grasp. He told me we had had sex. This friend kept a security camera in his room that could see parts of his bed so I asked to see the video from the night before as proof. I could only stomach about 5 seconds of the apparently 3 hour rape. I told him that I didn’t like what he had done while I had been in such a state of inebriation. He said, and I quote “I was honestly pretty sober last night…. Yeah, I should have stopped, especially after I realized how bad(ly drunk) you were.” I was shocked. He admitted to being sober, admitted to knowing I was blacked out, admitted to having seen and heard me puke multiple times…. And had continued to sexually assault me for 3 hours. He was my best friend for 4 years and my previous boyfriend. I was beyond hurt. I struggled for a week before I finally broke and ended up telling all of my roommates and my mom about what had happened. I accused him of rape, not because I was going to go to the police, but just because I needed to hear him say it. He went on to deny it, to blame me, and to ignore me as my mental state deteeiorated. All of these things, of course only helped it to deteriorate further. We went to different universities, so I couldn’t even contact faculty to receive a restraining order. Most days I’m fine and I just feel lucky not to remember anything but the 5 seconds of video I saw. But every once in a while I still struggle with this, with being raped, with the fact it was my best friend, with the fact that I can’t put this manipulative sexual predator some place he can’t hurt anybody else. My biggest hope is that one single woman hears this story and somehow gains strength and knowledge from it. The strength and knowledge to leave a manipulative relationship, or to help someone they care about leave one. One of the biggest tellers (and problems) I see is women (and men) making so many excuse for shady/offensive/abusive behavior for their significant other and thinking that is a normal relationship. A partner should not do something to you that you are too ashamed to tell your friends. A happy relationship is not one where you constantly have to forgive and forget things that deeply bother you, or where you are even made to feel ashamed for being bothered. A healthy relationship is not one where you have to say “yes, I know deep down that this is wrong, but he said….” no. You deserve better. The people you care about deserve better. Everyone deserves better than that.


my best friend, who’s also 13, was touched on her thighs and on her chest by her guy-friend. Of course she assumed it was a mistake the first few touches, but after a while it was obvious her was doing it on purpose. I’m uncomfortable boys my age feel conmfortable treating girls like this.


One of my male friends whom I’d been friends with for years came to visit me while I was working on the road recruiting students for a college. He was in the military and a die hard Christian so it was out of character for him to drink but he brought a bottle of scotch anyways. The night started out with 1 drink and ended in many more. I had plans to meet up with out mutual friend (his bet friend) the next week for a date and he knew about it – he said he was happy for us. Since the hotel I was staying in had 2 beds I said he could spend the night, I crawled in to one bed, he took the other and I turned out the lights. I fell asleep almost instantly. When I awoke, I felt a heaviness on my body and could feel his wet lips on mine. I stayed still, awake for a few seconds to process what was going on – my shirt was no where to be seen, he was kissing me and had wedged his body between my legs (still clothed in my pajama pants). I pushed him off the bed and climbed into the other, warning him to stay away from me. The worst parts came after when I told a close friend what happened and she said “Don’t be so ungrateful, he’s hot.”


So I go to my usual pub and after I’ve been there a couple of hours I go to the bar where a so-called male friend flicked my nipple and acted like it was a joke. His friend was laughing along encouraging him and threatening to do it as well. Out of my presence they asked a third male to flick my nipple and he “surprised” me by doing so a few minutes later. Everyone thought it was hilarious. My boyfriend who saw the second “hilarious” nipple flick did nothing.


Molested by half-conscious friend. It was in Brighton, quite a long time ago. I was with an old cis male friend of mine. We had been at a party and we had agreed that I would be staying over at his on the sofa. Unfortunately for this story, he got incredibly wasted. I realised this on the way back to his. I wasn’t quite sure how out of it he was, he was still speaking, mildly, but it seemed that he was operating with basic motorised functions but not really himself for a number of hours. When we got to his house, he didn’t seem to have the keys. Later we found that his keys were in his pockets. Now I know to have checked them but he was still talking to me so I thought that he might have lost them on the way back or at the party. I can’t remember why but I also didn’t have money at the time either. This basically meant that we were on the street for a number of hours. I was quite unsure of what to do. I needed to look out for my friend, stay with them, until they were more themself. I waas holding his hand as we walked around near the lanes. It would have been seriously dangerous for him without my assistance. We were going to be on the streets for the rest of the night, morning, with basically nothing. I was worried about getting really cold. I used to get to know homemless people in Brighton quite a lot. In Brighton there is a lot more of a friendly atmosphere (than compared to, for example, central London which is where I moved to a few years later) and so it’s not uncommon for people to hang out with homeless people and talk to them there. I ended up spending time with a homeless person which at first was great. I thought company! & they offered me my and my friend a blanket. To my horror, whilst I was speaking to the homeless person, out of no-where my friend started to touch me inappropriately, the most sensitive, intimate and traumatised part of my body. Incredibly shocked by this, I moved away from him and within a few moments he had adjusted where he was at and he did it again. I don’t want to go into more detail about how horrible this felt. I said his name and told him to stop it not sure if he could hear me. Now, what was – amongst the obvious horrible ness of this – also disturbing was that I knew he was semi-conscious. He was reaching for the most sacred and intimate part of me when I hadn’t given any sign of consent in a semi-conscious state. Who the fuck was this? What’s going on?! Am I communicating with this persons subconscious?! Great. ‘Cause it’s freaky shit up in here and I do not know how to deal with molesting parts of people’s subconscious, at least at that specific point in time psychologically. Also – how did he know that’s where that part of me was? I mean, why wasn’t he going for my feet, or some part of me closer to him? It was very obviously direct and disturbing. What should I feel about this? Seriously…what the hell…my friend just molested me when he was semi conscious. Also! If he was in any way conscious, this was a friend of mine, I trusted him…I mean, he knows about my past about this stuff, I have told him about it to ask for support and help. Really quite angry. Really quite confused. Also simultaneously and still (rather ironically at this point) really concerned about his wellbeing. Also! How am I going to explain this to him the next day? I mean I have to… I have had so many uncomfortable conversations with people only out of necessity about such things. ​It’s pretty surreal and I really don’t mean in the dreamy sense. SO BASICALLY, I got up, moved us to the North Lanes – not really knowing how to process all this but knew I had to move as the homeless person started being creepy too and I was like BLAHHHH – I went just round the corner to the North Lanes. It was too early for people to be around much, but it felt safer and I found a great bench (outside the bagel store facing the on-foot path with loads of cafe and shops that were about to open) in the North Lanes which seemed like a good place whilst I meditated near. Someone from a cafe gave me a muffin for free but was also creepy – really spun me out and gave me a tiny glimpse (but obviously not a real representation as I am hugely privileged in various senses such as being white, I seem cisgender to others, having a home, usually having the option of a roof over my head from family and friends and so on) but a small idea of how dangerous is can be being female-bodied, vulnerable and on the street. I mean there were so many creeps and my friend sexually assaulted me when he was out of it. Really sucks. He was really sorry. I’m glad that he accepted it happened and was really sorry about it. It does help when people do that.