At school, the boys make sexual jokes about girls in our grade. It is completely disgusting. At school, it’s common for someone to catcall you and make rape jokes. I tried to tell my teacher about one incident at the end of the year. He said to ignore it. It’s hard to ignore someone catcalling you and saying sexual things to you. I then went to the principal after a kid in my grade called my friend a fat f*ck and that no one would want to f*ck her. He then went on to make sexual comments about my friends and I on our way out of the school. We recorded it all down on paper and showed it to our principle. When the sexual harassment got very bad my parents decided to call the school. They told me to ignore it and “boys will be boys.” At one of my friend’s schools, she was forcefully kissed and a kid spanked her on school property. She was 11. The school did nothing. It’s unfair that we have to go to school when these incidents are occurring. The schools tell us to report harassment and bullying and when we do, the teachers do nothing. It’s absolutely disgusting. I deserve to go to school and not be scared that someone is going to grope or kiss or grab or catcall me.
To be honest, I live a pretty sheltered life. I’m 17, I don’t tend to leave the house a lot, I don’t party and I was home educated for the majority of secondary school. Even so, I still have stories to share about times I’ve been sexually harassed (not including the classic “show us your tits!” calls from passing cars nor the coercion into carrying out sexual acts that I didn’t really want to do). First time, I was about 13. I was out for a jog at dusk with a group of my friends (ranging in age from 13 to 11). We were running in the streets of my estate when this guy in a red van drove up behind us, sounding his horn at us. We ran off and he followed us, cornering us in a cul-de-sac while he drove up towards us. We got round his van and ran off, only to find that he had followed us once again, still sounding his horn. I was absolutely terrified but back then I thought that it was really our fault for being out at dusk. For that reason it went unreported. Second time I was 16 and at a friend’s house. It was night time, and she and I had gone outside on her doorstep to wait for my ride home. This car with two men in it drove up to the front and slowed to a crawl outside the gate. They started calling stuff at us, and although I didn’t hear what they were saying, I’m pretty sure they were trying to get us into their car for sex. We ran back into the house and I didn’t catch their registration, so the incident went unreported like the last one. Most recent time was at school. I had a male acquaintance through my GCSE years and he had a certain habit of making sexual jokes. The first time he made me uncomfortable was when he tried guessing my bra size, but I laughed it off because he was just “like that”. Last year, however, his comments started getting more obscene and more focused on me in particular – at one point in biology class he made a joke about me “swallowing his proteins” (clear implication) which left me feeling sick and violated. He also mouthed obscene song lyrics such as “f*ck me, f*ck me” while looking me in the eye. It upset me to the point that it gave me nightmares. And naturally, when I told him to lay the hell off all he said “jeez sorry”, and proceeded to block me on social media, as I was at fault for complaining. On the bright side though, he did actually lay off.