"Small" sexual assaults

(503 Posts)
dittany Sun 07-Nov-10 20:32:16

Talking about these on another thread, and the effect they can have on women. Although they might seem minor - not important enough to report to the police for example - they are illegal and they do have long lasting effects.

I think one of the things they do is isolate women. The shame of being assaulted can set you aside from other people, almost as if you're at fault for being on the receiving end of them rather than the perpetrator being responsible for doing something so perverse. And even though they are something that happens to a lot of women and girls somehow each woman ends up having to deal with them and their after effects on their own.

So I'm wondering if people wanted to talk about what happened to them, how it made them feel and the long term effects (also fine to post in more general rather than personal terms too). Also how did people react if they saw it or if you told them.

May be a fairly timely thread given that Reclaim the Night in London is coming up.

dittany Sun 07-Nov-10 20:39:57

So I'll go first:

First assault - when I was 11, an older boy at secondary school (who was known for this behaviour), in the dinner queue with his friends put his hand on my thigh and left it there for about five or ten minutes. I was mortified and frozen. I just begged my friend who was sitting next to me not to tell anyone, she didn't really say anything to me. You have to imagine that I was a geeky little girl, with short hair and thick Dierdre Barlow glasses. Really easy to pick on. Nobody did anything about him, despite his well known behaviour.

Next assaults - constant groping at school by boys. I just got very angry and turned around and shouted at them. But again, nobody did anything about it and there was nobody to tell.

First flasher - getting chased down the street by a six foot plus flasher in his twenties with his penis in his hand. Very scared, stopped me walking home alone at night for quite a while. Told my mum, and she wanted to call the police, which I persuaded her not to. It didn't make her offer me lifts though - I was on my own.

Second flasher - little old man waving his willy around when I was walking down the side of my school. He saw me at the library once and recognised me and let out this bizarre "evil" laugh. Not scared of him, but still very perturbing.

Might add some more if the thread develops.

msrisotto Sun 07-Nov-10 21:13:39

one that makes me go eugh every time I remember it (which isn't often thankfully).

I was about 15/16, dancing in a nightclub with a boy who put his hand between my legs (I was wearing trousers) and started groping/rubbing roughly. I didn't know what the hell to do being pretty naive (but why shouldn't I be?).

Anyway, another one is when I was at uni, about 22, walking along a busy street when a hugely tall bloke in a long basketball top and baggy trousers grabbed my breast, squeezed and let go. I remember making eye contact with an older man who looked like a businessman, I was clearly shocked by it but he didn't do anything. No one did but several people saw. Violated.

Countless bottom grabbings in nightclubs, someone licked my breast once when I was dancing with my friends.

msrisotto Sun 07-Nov-10 21:14:21

God, I didn't like typing that out and I don't particularly like them being there now. I guess i'd rather forget about them!

HerBeatitude Sun 07-Nov-10 21:21:08

Walking down to Piccadilly underground, someone put his hand up my skirt and then smirked at me. I screamed and chased him - have no idea what I was going to do if I caught him, when other people asked what was wrong, I was too embarrassed to say what he'd done - I felt as if they'dthink I was overreacting and silly. I didn't know then, that this is technically an assault.

Another time on a tube, very crowded, someone put his hand on my arse and was squeezing it. I grabbed the hand and screamed and the guy looked at me with alarm. I then shouted "Hands off!" He was embarrassed and got off at the next stop. Again, it didn't occur to me to ask anyoen to pull the chain so that he could be arrested.

On holiday in Greece, being groped by some dirty old bloke ina tourist place.

Those are the ones I remember immediately.

AnyFucker Sun 07-Nov-10 21:21:29

gawd, where to start ?

ok, I will pick one incident

had an argument with dickhead boyfriend at his house, age about 17

he said "fuck off then"

so I did

on my own, at 2am, set off walking home. He left me to it (nice)

got kerbcrawled all along the 2 mile walk, even crossed the road, doubled back etc to try and shake the fucker off

I ran down alleys, he found me again (he would, I was the only person on the streets)

got within a half mile of my house, he was still there, I panicked he would know where I lived

I hid in a bush for an hour as he cruised the streets, looking for me

when I got in, my dad kicked the shit out of me for being late

ho-hum, such was my life then

<hugs> to all else on this thread x

RiojaLover75 Sun 07-Nov-10 21:26:02

Marking place, can't type it right now sorry :-(

DuelingFanjo Sun 07-Nov-10 21:27:26

About 7 years old, a boy (about 12 - 14) who lived down the road took me to a nearby isolated holiday house and got me to climb up into a barn. I got scared and he said I could only get down if I 'showed him mine'.

Luckily my dad had noticed I had gone missing and had come to find me so the boy was inturrupted. I remember not telling my dad what had happened and getting a bollocking all the way home from my dad before being made to eat my dinner even though it had gone cold as a punnishment. I always felt really upset that I was the one who got punnished, told my mum when I was 21.

BelleDameSansMerci Sun 07-Nov-10 21:29:55

Walking through Soho, having had a row with my then boyfriend. He was walking ahead of me. A man, walking towards me, put his hand inside my jacket and grabbed my left breast. I grabbed his hand and hit him repeatedly around the head, shouting at him until he pulled free and ran off. Boyfriend did nothing. Was ex immediately afterwards.

More recently (in the past six years) on New Year's Eve was walked to my hotel room by male acquaintance/friend. He sort of forced his way into the room (I'd been drinking and wasn't really very "with it") and then ripped my dress, grabbed my hair and forced me to perform oral sex. He pulled my hair so hard that my hair came out and my head was bleeding after he'd gone.

He was really a friend of a friend rather than my friend but when I told her and her partner they continued to be friends with him. It's as if it was my fault because I'd been drinking. I didn't do anything about this, btw, which probably reinforced their viewpoint.

Now, he's split from his wife (did I mention he was married) and my "friend" had the cheek to say to me "Of course, we know what he's like..." Well, love, if you'd believed me all along why did you continue playing tennis with him on Sunday mornings? Or would blanking him have disrupted your social life too much? Oddly, I am more hurt by my so-called friend's treatment of me than by the actual event.

Hey ho...

dittany Sun 07-Nov-10 21:30:30

These assaults/incidents aren't "small" at all are they?

msrissoto, I know what you mean about not wanting to type it out. It's very difficult. These things hurt.

(((everybody)))

Janos Sun 07-Nov-10 21:32:09

Anyfucker

And all of you, really.

Some that I recall - having my arse grabbed/pinched at school by various boys. Not just in school but afterwards as well.

One boy (I was about 11, him same age) describing me in the playground as a 'fucking slut'(!). Can you imagine? I was open mouthed at this, I just didn't know how to react.

Being followed home from late night work at a call centre (creepy).

Again aged about 11/12, I was bending over to pick something some up (in the middle of a busy high street_ and some old pervert came up and slapped me really hard on the arse. When I looked up, shocked, he was stood there with a great big smirk on his face. Fucker.

Going to a nightclub with boyfriend and dancing with him and his friends, one creepy bastard constantly grabbing at my arse and him ignoring me when I siad no and moved away. Boyfriend (twat) said I should take it as a 'compliment'.

AnyFucker Sun 07-Nov-10 21:35:20

I could actually be here all night, typing one incident after another

sorry all x

sfxmum Sun 07-Nov-10 21:35:26

I was talking to dh about this earlier in the week and getting quite annoyed, particularly at the thought that my 5 yr old will likely go through the same shit in a few year
the suggestive remarks
and grossly inappropriate comments barely understood by a pre teen
the groping
the flashing
the feeling that maybe it is 'my fault' that I was not careful enough

don't think he really understood why I got more and more angry and saddened at the thought of it

AnyFucker Sun 07-Nov-10 21:37:30

oh,sfx, my blood boils when I think what my 15yo dd will have to endure

and I think it is worse now, than it was then for me

in fact, I could type out something that happened to her only last night, but I would hog the thread all night sad

scouserabroad Sun 07-Nov-10 21:38:58

Nearly namechanged for this but I'm not a very regular poster anyway. Plus, why be ashamed of this? It's taken nearly 15 years but I'm not ashamed of this anymore.

When I was 14 I was cycling along a footpath through a park. It was getting dark, but not late - around 5 p.m I think. There was a man walking along the path but in the opposite direction, when he came level I thought he gave me a dirty look but he didn't do anything, he carried on walking, I carried on cycling.

Two minutes later, I turned round for some reason and could see the man running towards me. I wasn't scared at that point, but then he got closer and I turned round again and by then I could tell he was running towards me, IYKWM. I tried cycling faster but he was still catching up, started to panic at that point.

Then, he was right close and I was scared, turned round which was stupid as I couldn't control my bike and went off the path and into the grass, not sure how everything happened then but he tried to grab me and I fell off my bike. It knocked the breath out of me, then next thing I knew he was on top of me and I couldn't breathe or scream or anything because I was so frightened. He was heavier and stronger than me and I couldn't move. I have a blank in my mind then; the last thing I remember is that he was pulling at my trousers (I was wearing navy jogging bottoms which I threw away when I got home) then, I'm not sure why, he got up and ran.

I was really shocked but sort of got up and picked my bike up and walked home, was so shaky my legs felt like chewing gum and I had to lean against my bike. There was a lad walking towards me, perhaps the man had seen him and that's why he ran?

I didn't tell anyone about this for four years, didn't want a boyfriend for a long time because I felt so ick about myself and letting people (men) touch me. Have only ever told about three people about it. I thought I'd get into trouble because I'd been told not to go in this park in the evening, it had a bad reputation. But it was a shortcut and I'd thought I'd be ok because I was on my bike. Then as time passed I felt I couldn't say anything because people wouldn't believe me.

It may sound like nothing, but it was the scariest thing ever. Childbirth with no pain relief was a piece of piss compared to this experience.

dittany Sun 07-Nov-10 21:39:51

Feel free to hog the thread if you need to AF.

It's very hard to think that none of this stuff has changed and that it's not possible to protect girls yet.

Janos Sun 07-Nov-10 21:41:56

You do get angry when you start thinking about it all.

For example, I'd like to go back in time and snap every single finger on mr smacky's hand. I was 11 ffs!

BelleDameSansMerci Sun 07-Nov-10 21:42:50

I really want DD to learn karate or something similar so that she can kick the shit out of anyone defend herself if necessary. I'm determined that she will have as much at her disposal as possible but I feel lost as to how to provide this for her.

I feel like I had/have nothing. From the flashing old man who used to expose himself as we (group of children - not just girls) walked to school aged approx 6 years to the man chasing me with a knife at age 25 (I knew he was going to catch me so I stopped running and asked him if he was going to stab me - fortunately, someone I knew drove past and stopped his car at that moment causing the knife-wielder to run off)I feel like I've got nothing to defend myself with except my "wits". They are sadly depleted and I am now so sick and tired of men in general. It's not fair that I feel that way but, really, I'm no longer of a mind to bother to try to find a good one.

scouserabroad Sun 07-Nov-10 21:43:19

OMG, just read all the messages posted while I was typing out mine. I think of my two little DDs asleep in their beds and I could cry thinking this shit might happen to them one day.

Janos Sun 07-Nov-10 21:43:49

Mine arent 'that' bad - pretty low level and they still make me feel angry.

Some of these stories are appalling.

BelleDameSansMerci Sun 07-Nov-10 21:45:25

AF - x

When I was 8 my step brother (12) kissed me repeatedly and tried to get me to do other things. Went and told my who made sure he wasn't in my bed anymore. I sometimes wonder if she still remembers this. I doubt it.

Have been grabbed, pinched, squeezed etc countless times in clubs, pubs etc. Punched a guy in the face for it once when I was about 16. I was at Glasto this summer and was in a tent dancing when a man came up and grabbed my breast. I shoved him back and a guy next to me had a bit of a go. The man then started to "square up" to me, calling me names and had to be pulled away by his mate. I left the tent and my friend following me heard him say "well her tits were there so I just grabbed them" hmm

Was in a pub (in Ireland, where I grew up) when I was about 16 and a priest struck up a conversation with me. I naievly thought he was being nice and talked to him for a bit then excused myself to go to the loo. Came out to find him waiting. He pushed me up against the wall with his leg between mine and tried to force himself on me. I managed to get away and hid in the toilets. Didn't tell anyone.

A few months ago I went for a drink with a friend of a friend who I then allowed to sleep on my couch as he'd had a couple too many to drive home (wasn't drunk though). He tried to kiss me and I said no, let's just stay friends, and went to bed. Woke up to find him having sex with me. I was absolutley distraught and feel completely between a rock and a hard place as he is friends with all my friends and has just moved in with one of them. They're having a housewarming party and I will be expected to go. I told my (now) boyfriend and one friend but no-one else. I hate seeing him he makes me sick. I feel like that's actually rape, but don't know what to do about it. It still makes me angry and upset.

pinkthechaffinch Sun 07-Nov-10 21:48:44

When staying in France with my French pen pal a man exposed himself to the 2 of us, on an otherwise deserted beach.

First time i had ever seen an erect penis.

We left asap and told her parents who actually shrugged and said 'quel bete homme' sounds like a stereotype but sadly true.

Numerous gropings of bottom and breast in nightclubs. I thought this was normal behaviour to be expected in night clubs although I once threw a drink over a particularly pervy old man.

dittany Sun 07-Nov-10 21:48:53

That is rape NurseSunshine. That's terrible.

Sending good safe vibes to everybody on this thread, nobody deserved any of this.

Janos Sun 07-Nov-10 21:49:12

NurseSunshine

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