friends

Rebecca

Half a year ago, I was on exchange and a male friend of mine wanted to come and visit me. He’s not really a super close friend but I didn’t wanted to be rude and tell him to book a hostel or anything, so I let him stay at my student room. I bought this inflatable mattress for him and put it at the other side of the room (to make clear that I had no intentions, because he’s definitely not my type and I had a boyfriend back then). He stayed for a couple of days, and I couldn’t mishear all the masturbating (also because of the sound from the inflatable mattress) he did during the night or in the early mornings. I felt so oppressed and I am quite prude in the way that I didn’t dare to mention it straight up to him. One morning, it was clear that I was awake and I heard him masturbate and I was like ‘Hej, could you stop I can hear you’ and he didn’t react (turned out he sleeps with earplugs). While the next day, during a trip he mentioned to me I should maybe sleep with earplugs cause that would be better if I had this problem of hearing everything. As if it was my problem.

Rebecca

Once I went with a friend to get some coffee and I held the door open for him. Then he made the comment ‘That’s not how it should, huh’ with a wink. Even something so tiny as this comment makes me already get annoyed, because it is those small things that make it hard to change attitude.

Barbora

Over a year ago I transited from a 3d modeller to a programmer and since then I have gradually lost all of my male friends. I guess my last job was more “artistic” and therefore not so threatening, but ever since I started programming all my (now sadly former) friends who are male and also programmers are treating me like I don’t deserve the position I currently work on. It is not like I don’t have qualification for that (I actually have a Master’s degree in programming) but they still treat me like I don’t know what I am doing and give me either unsolicited advice or nasty comments in which they doubt my professional abilities. One of my ex – friends actually approached my boss and offered himself as a paid consultant for a project I’m working on (I didn’t ask him to do that I merely complained to him about a colleague who undermined and mocked me). At another time when I was searching for work he refused to recommend me anywhere as a programmer, only as a 3d artist. I must add that none of the work I was ever assigned to do ended badly, it was always delivered in time and met the expectations, so I do not know where is the substance to all that mocking coming from apart from that I dare to actually be a woman. I know that there are people who are on top of their fields and do amazing stuff that I will never fully understand and I am not one of those (neither is any of the people mocking me, even though, apparently, they all think so…) but that fact alone is not a reason for being scolded, discouraged, lectured, treated as a fraud or impostor, and I can go on here, really… Sadly this page hasn’t a comment section I am so curious what you people think of this, because it feels like slowly going crazy. Also two of my colleagues are touching me despite my protests (this shouldn’t be happening at all, do they really need me to tell them?!). I am exhausted…

Sophie

5 years ago, on a night out at university, a man grabbed my crotch. I was battling my way through the crowd in a club to get to the bathroom so was separated from my boyfriend and friends. A man grabbed my crotch from behind. I snapped my head around quickly to see who it was but he’d moved away. I was wearing soft material shorts and he grabbed so hard it hurt.I was so scared he might assault me again in the crowd. I ran to find my friends and boyfriend and was crying by the time I found them. Through tears I told them what had happened and that I needed go home immediately. My boyfriend wasn’t even angry or upset on my behalf but reluctantly agreed to leave, my friends were annoyed that I was leaving and ruining the night. I cried myself to sleep and woke up crying in my student halls, nobody in my flat comforted me or knew how to react. It was clear they didn’t think what had happened was an issue at all. I think about that time I was assaulted every single time I’m in a large crowd.

A

I was at a friends for her 17th birthday. There was just 4 of us, 3 girls and 1 boy. I knew the boy was a creep and had been in trouble in the past (apparently blackmailed a 14 year old girl to send nude pictures) so I was always wary of him but I promised my friend that I would be kind to him. I felt safe drinking with such a small group but of course I got way too drunk. I had never been that drunk before. We were all drunk (or so I thought) and were cozied up on the sofa. I grabbed his crotch and kissed him neck, slurring my words but at that point (while I would have never done that sober) I was comfortable. I started feeling really tired and so asked my friend if I could go to her bedroom. I asked the group if anyone would come up and cuddle with me. I have only admitted to one person that at that point I wanted it to be him. The girls wanted to stay downstairs so he came up. He took a while and I actually went down to call for him. I even took off my sanitary pad before he came up. However by the time he got into the bed, the alcohol really hit me and I was out of it. I felt like i was floating in and out of consciousness. He then started kissing me and grabbing my boobs. I distinctly remember slurring out the word no repeatedly and I was so frustrated that I couldn’t move. I still don’t know if that was just because of the alcohol or if I froze out of fear. He then attempted to finger me – I remember the pain. i don’t know how long it took place and if he tried to insert his penis. Finally I came to the point where i felt conscious again. I remember turning over to see him facing away from me and I thought he might be asleep. I felt down and my underwear wasn’t there anymore and I asked him what happened to them. He sounded tired and said something along the lines of “I don’t know you must have taken them off”. I started realising what had happened and panicked. I found my knickers, shoved them on and went to the bathroom. I then cried sat in the bathtub and eventually rang a friend – it was 5am. I don’t know how long we were talking and what I sounded like but I know I was sobbing and eventually she said she was coming to get me. I went back in the room to grab my stuff and he was asleep in the bed. I went downstairs and asked my friend to let me out and she almost refused but she could see how upset I was but I said i was fine. My friend was outside in the backseat of a car driven by her boyfriends mum with her boyfriend in the passenger seat. I cried the rest of night while my friend held me. I don’t know what I would’ve done without her. Eventually I walked home the next day and got a really hot shower. I told a friend who was close with him and eventually I told the friend whose house it happened at. Eventually i was forced to make a statement, by my head of sixth form, at the police who when I refused to tell them who did it made me go to social services because I was 16. My friend who picked me up went to every appointment with me and gave me all the cigarettes I felt I needed to stay calm. The man who dealt with my case was awful and implied it was mothers fault as she had a statement that was retracted about her to social services when I was 6. Then he said it was my fault for drinking. It was an awful experience and he kept threatening to tell my parents and the meeting were to see if I was mature enough to deal with what happened without parental involvement. He judged that I smoked and drank so I did everything I could in the months after the assault to prevent him from telling my parents. My mum has always believed that what you are wearing and if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs means you are at fault if an assault takes place so her finding out was honestly the worst thing I could imagine. Eventually it was dropped. It was almost be 2 years and I still really struggle with it.

16

I was at a friends for her 17th birthday. There was just 4 of us, 3 girls and 1 boy. I knew the boy was a creep and had been in trouble in the past (apparently blackmailed a 14 year old girl to send nude pictures) so I was always wary of him but I promised my friend that I would be kind to him. I felt safe drinking with such a small group but of course I got way too drunk. I had never been that drunk before. We were all drunk (or so I thought) and were cozied up on the sofa. I grabbed his crotch and kissed him neck, slurring my words but at that point (while I would have never done that sober) I was comfortable. I started feeling really tired and so asked my friend if I could go to her bedroom. I asked the group if anyone would come up and cuddle with me. I have only admitted to one person that at that point I wanted it to be him. The girls wanted to stay downstairs so he came up. He took a while and I actually went down to call for him. I even took off my sanitary pad before he came up. However by the time he got into the bed, the alcohol really hit me and I was out of it. I felt like i was floating in and out of consciousness. He then started kissing me and grabbing my boobs. I distinctly remember slurring out the word no repeatedly and I was so frustrated that I couldn’t move. I still don’t know if that was just because of the alcohol or if I froze out of fear. He then attempted to finger me – I remember the pain. i don’t know how long it took place and if he tried to insert his penis. Finally I came to the point where i felt conscious again. I remember turning over to see him facing away from me and I thought he might be asleep. I felt down and my underwear wasn’t there anymore and I asked him what happened to them. He sounded tired and said something along the lines of “I don’t know you must have taken them off”. I started realising what had happened and panicked. I found my knickers, shoved them on and went to the bathroom. I then cried sat in the bathtub and eventually rang a friend – it was 5am. I don’t know how long we were talking and what I sounded like but I know I was sobbing and eventually she said she was coming to get me. I went back in the room to grab my stuff and he was asleep in the bed. I went downstairs and asked my friend to let me out and she almost refused but she could see how upset I was but I said i was fine. My friend was outside in the backseat of a car driven by her boyfriends mum with her boyfriend in the passenger seat. I cried the rest of night while my friend held me. I don’t know what I would’ve done without her. Eventually I walked home the next day and got a really hot shower. I told a friend who was close with him and eventually I told the friend whose house it happened at. Eventually i was forced to make a statement, by my head of sixth form, at the police who when I refused to tell them who did it made me go to social services because I was 16. My friend who picked me up went to every appointment with me and gave me all the cigarettes I felt I needed to stay calm. The man who dealt with my case was awful and implied it was mothers fault as she had a statement that was retracted about her to social services when I was 6. Then he said it was my fault for drinking. It was an awful experience and he kept threatening to tell my parents and the meeting were to see if I was mature enough to deal with what happened without parental involvement. He judged that I smoked and drank so I did everything I could in the months after the assault to prevent him from telling my parents. My mum has always believed that what you are wearing and if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs means you are at fault if an assault takes place so her finding out was honestly the worst thing I could imagine. Eventually it was dropped. It was almost be 2 years and I still really struggle with it.

when nobody helps

my boyfriend loved me, or i thought he did. we were together for a year and a half. my first relationship. he raped me more times than i can count. i told myself it wasn’t rape, that it was an accident, that he loved me – so it was fine. i sat on the feeling for months. things didn’t feel quite right anymore. he made a group of friends, and told them private sexual information about me without my permission, then asked to send explicit photos of me to the group. i told him no but the more i said no, the more upset he got. he kept trying to pressure me into a foursome with two of his friends – i didn’t know what to do or say, i tried to refuse but he’d cry and argue if i did. i didn’t know what to do. he invited me out for a meal with friends, i thought it would be a normal night – once we’d finished eating, some of his friends left, leaving him and myself alongside the two friends that he wanted me to ‘fuck.’ i was freezing cold, walking around in a jumper at 9pm in september. we walked around the town for a bit, my boyfriend kept grabbing me to the point where i felt claustrophobic, trying to be sexual but actually just frightening me. i agreed to go back to one of their houses just to hang out, i assumed we’d be talking or using our phones. when we got there, my boyfriend blocked off the area with chairs and cornered me on a sofa. he assaulted me, grabbing me and putting his hands under my clothes, not pulling his arm out from my underwear even when i was tugging on it. his friends watched, they did nothing to help me. he dragged me off to his friend’s bedroom and got me down on the bed. i was on my phone, repeatedly turning away and trying to make it clear that i didn’t want to do anything sexual. he tried to take off my jeans. it felt like a year until his friends came back in. they were trying to have sex on the bed next to us. i felt shaken and physically sick. we walked home, he grabbed my arm so hard that fingerprint shaped bruises appeared the following day, and kept asking me ‘why wouldn’t you let me touch you?’ i felt sick to my stomach from that night. the feeling of nausea, losing my appetite and vomiting didn’t stop until over a month after the attack. my boyfriend went out the following day to fuck another girl behind my back – the same girl who sat next to me and watched him assault me, doing nothing. i reached out to her and asked for help, not knowing what went on with her and him – she told me to fuck off. she wasn’t interested in what i had to say. my boyfriend broke up with me the following day so he could date her. and that was it. i have lost all my friends, respect, i can no longer leave the house and had to quit my job. i have been diagnosed with ptsd and can’t function normally. i’ve attempted suicide four times since the attack. i reported the assault to the police, but because of legal issues, they won’t allow me to access therapy. i see a therapist once every fortnight but am not allowed to discuss the assault. i want nothing more than to die. if you see something suspicious, please step in. i wish more than anything that someone would have helped me.

Anonymous

Best friends boyfriend grabbed my tit repeatedly while I was laying next to the pair of them the morning after a party. Claimed I led him on the night before but I was so drunk I can’t remember (which I had explicitly told him) and in the morning he was sober and kept trying to make me drink more. At the time I didn’t think much of it but now I have days where it pops into my head and it makes me hate myself because I feel like it’s my fault and it’s put a wedge between me and my best friend.

louise

I was telling a man whom I know quite well, but who is not my sexual partner, about femoral nerve compression in my hip and leg that I’d been experiencing lately and how uncomfortable and worrisome it was, and that I was booked for an MRI, and his only acknowledgement of this unpleasant health issue was to say “Yes, but can you still spread your legs?”

C

Fiancé’s groomsman said he didn’t want to be in the same group chat as my eight bridesmaids because he wouldn’t be able to deal with eight girls screaming over each other. He’s only ever met three of them and no screaming was had at that meeting. He’s just stereotyping and belittling them according to the “naggy hysterical girl” archetype sigh. Casual sexism.