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To ask for a diary of sexual harassment?

(130 Posts)
DarthMaiden Fri 13-Oct-17 23:05:11

Inspiration came from the Harvey Weinstein thread.

Sexual harassment/assault is endemic - but no one seems to be able to capture the scale of the problem.

So...my thought is we do so here. A diary of sorts.

The everyday sexism and assault we encounter.

It’s not easy to report for many women so perhaps being able to record might help.

DarthMaiden Fri 13-Oct-17 23:25:49

I suppose I should share my story first.

Aged 15 on holiday with my parents abroad. We got friendly with the family staying in the villa next to us.

They had two daughters 17 and 20. They wanted to go to a bar and club in the town nearby. I pestered my parents to be allowed to go.

The other girls met with some boys and I was left alone. Upshot I was the victim of attempted rape. I’ve joked since that a failure in the AIBU to multi task saved my ass (black humour) given he couldn’t get my pants ripped off and his shorts down at the same time as keeping my arms pinned above my head. I ran. I escaped.

Since then I’ve thankfully never experienced anything so bad. That said, I can count hundreds of times I’ve had inappropriate comments, “cheeky” gropes, experiences of being made to feel the least relevant person in room when I was the most experienced.

Oh and all the times I’ve been asked to get the coffee...

CherryChasingDotMuncher Fri 13-Oct-17 23:36:13

My two pence worth, what I remember experiencing -

- my stepfather sexually harassed me from the ages of 16-19 when I still lived at home. He would offer me money for sex and would jump out on me when I came out my room, he would be fully naked and often masturbating. He also “talked dirty” to me through the walls when we were home alone. He’d occasionally grope me. I was petrified. Mum found out and she is still with him. If I try to talk about it, she gets upset. She pretends it never happened. I don’t go to theirs anymore and I refuse to let him meet my kids. If anyone found out they wouldn’t believe me, he’s lovely and an upstanding member of his community, they’d say.

- I’ve had my bum and/or breasts grabbed in a bar more times than I care to remember, and catcalled even when I’m with my children.

- a man once got out of a car when I was walking home from School and insisted I give him my number

- when me and my friend were about 9 we were walking to my house from the baths, along a long cycle path. An old man (who’s cornered us initially) followed us. When we suspected he was following us, we took a path of the bike track. He went past the path but then looked back and saw us, so he turned and came up the path. It was obvious he was looking for us and we had to hide in bushes.

- I was in a swimming pool in France aged 8 and a teenaged boy came up to me and grabbed my vagina. He wouldn’t leave me alone when I swam off. I didn’t tell anyone.

- I was on holiday when I was 20, and we met some lads and went back to their room as a friend had ‘got’ with one of them. I was tired and didn’t feel like talking to anyone any more so went to go to sleep and pretended to be asleep in a bed. One of the lads came over and stuck his hand down my knickers.i leapt yo and ran out the room to calls of being frigid and a cock tease.

I’m sure I’ll remember more.

For women and girls sexual abuse and harassment is commonplace. FFS let’s make it stop. Let’s teach our sons to respect women. Let’s call out our peers for inappropriate behaviour. Let’s educate our girls to speak out. Let’s tell people when we see men behaving terribly. Let’s not get defensive and NAMALT when people talk about male violence.

AlmostAJillSandwich Fri 13-Oct-17 23:40:25

Hmm, this should maybe have a trigger warning in the title, and i'd honestly be wary sharing such personal stories on an open public forum. Remember, anyone can read this ,and some websites pick up stories posted her and re posts them, including in news papers.

quencher Fri 13-Oct-17 23:43:30

Not long ago there was a thread here about this. I could bring myself to talk about some, However, there are some that I can not bring myself to either talk and write down about it. Even on anonymous websites such as this. I guess it's not the time yet for me.

DarthMaiden Fri 13-Oct-17 23:46:25

@CherryChasingDotMuncher

Thanks for posting.

I’m hoping the MN community can show how common this is by collating their experiences on one thread.

Every day...it might be “minor” - I had my ass groped on the tube, to far more serious assault.

I think recoding the every day “lesser” assaults is important so we all understand how pervasive they are.

Reliving or reporting an invasive sexual assault is hell. But here you will be believed. flowers

lindblum Fri 13-Oct-17 23:50:14

I literally just posted a thread about a past incident of sexual assault! I will C&P here as it seems relevant:

"When I was 12, nearly 13, I was a gawky, speccy nerd who read Lord of the Rings on the coach on a trip to Germany and back. At the end of the trip, on the queue of schoolkids getting back on the bus to disembark the ferry, I was last in line (so unpopular). Someone touched my bottom. Not just touched - they squeezed and groped. For a significant period of time - a minute, maybe more. I did not turn around, I did not speak. I was scared. To this day I don't know whether the person who touched me was a stranger or a teacher.

Hell, this was well over a decade ago - my memory could be faulty, but I clearly remember knowing that a man was standing behind me. Much taller than me. It's a fixed moment in my mind.

Teachers were just metres away supervising the children boarding. I said nothing. I got on the coach and it was over.

I can't help but wonder if this small incident has affected me in ways I don't realise. I've always been weird about intimacy and being seen naked and - particularly - my butt.

I have never told anyone."

I was TWELVE.

DarthMaiden Fri 13-Oct-17 23:50:59

@AlmostAJillSandwich

That’s a fair point. Please feel free to report to MNHQ.

It was I hope obvious that the intention of this thread was to support rather than to cause distress to victims of sexual abuse.

DarthMaiden Fri 13-Oct-17 23:58:25

@quencher

It took me 15 years to tell anyone about what I posted here.

I finally told my mother. She was sad and angry.

Sad I felt I couldn’t tell her at the time and angry as hell at the perpetrator.

We had a long talk - she’s a lovely woman. I didn’t tell because I thought at 15 I’d let her down on my first big night out I’d messed up. She was very sad I felt that way and was clear she and my father would have been supportive.

LemonysSnicket Sat 14-Oct-17 00:00:56

As a barmaid I was constantly touched and many people didn’t understand that when I said no I couldn’t leave because I was at work.
I woke up once half undressed when I remembered falling asleep fully clothed.
I once woke up with someone’s fingers inside me.

CherryChasingDotMuncher Sat 14-Oct-17 00:03:50

Aware the DM and the like may jump on this. My real name isn’t on here, I’m fine with my story being shared anonymously.

The DM hates women though so I doubt they will publish a story about how women are disadvantaged.

DarthMaiden Sat 14-Oct-17 00:05:02

@lindblum

12 years old sadangry

Uptheduffy Sat 14-Oct-17 00:08:57

I think the Everyday sexism website does this?
Sorry for your experience OP.
(Be aware that when you @username they get an email that mentions the thread title - not everyone will want that popping up. They can easily just read threads they're on if they want to, no need to notify them)

shouldnthavesaid Sat 14-Oct-17 00:13:07

When I was 11 a boy squeezed my breasts until they were bruised.

At 12 the 17 year old boys at school used to grab my bottom or 'stroke' me, during mixed PE. The boys - and several girls - in my year would dry hump me, my chair, look down my top, would hold me down on the bus and do this then fart in my face or throw food and drink on me. They took videos and sent these to other schools.

I thought the latter was normal. The school said thats what boys do and I should try to laugh.

I am petrified of men , of sex and of being in crowded situations and often wonder what I did that made them do that.

DarthMaiden Sat 14-Oct-17 00:16:13

RE: Daily Mail or any other publication.

If you post on any forum it’s on the internet. Here is no exception.

If you have concerns about your experiences bring in the public domain then think carefully before you post,

That said, the more women who are at a point in their lives to feel able to be public about their experiences is helpful to those who are not - and may never will be.

Being clear the intention of this thread is to help highlight clear how prolific sexual abuse and harassment is.

dazedandconfuse Sat 14-Oct-17 00:32:27

I went to a party a couple of years ago and somehow ended up extremely drunk although I hardly had anything to drink (don't want to be that person who pretends they got spiked cos they were smashed, I've been in my fair share of drunken messes, this was different) I woke up in the morning, couldn't remember a thing, I was completely naked in my friend (who's house it was) bed, alone. I threw on something and went to find my friends dotted about the house. They were all screaming with laughter when I found them saying they'd heard a lad making "sex noises" from outside the room, that the lad had come and found them before he left and said I was fast asleep so he'd tucked me in and kissed me goodnight. My friends thought it was really funny. I have no idea what happened that night, I was stone cold unconscious. Makes me feel sick to think about how much my friends let me down that night.

NoLoveofMine Sat 14-Oct-17 00:39:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FucksakeCuntingFuckingTwats Sat 14-Oct-17 00:46:16

On my seventh birthday my aunts neighbour abused me. No one believed me.

At uni walking home after a night out. Turned round and a guy was walking behind us wanking. We ran, he chased. For to top of the road and I turned and screamed and he legged it.

In a club about 18. Walking in single file as people walking the other way walked I'm single file past you. Guy going opposite way shoved his hand so quickly up my skirt and in my knickers. I threw my drink in his face and got thrown out the club.

About 22. I was so drunk I was being sick at my friends cousins house. They all left to go into town and I was left at his. Woke up next morning in his bed.

NoLoveofMine Sat 14-Oct-17 01:19:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NoLoveofMine Sat 14-Oct-17 01:19:41

Sorry Fuckssake my post seems a bit silly after yours. So sorry that happened.

DarthMaiden Sat 14-Oct-17 01:20:55

@NoLoveofMine

Gotta love the the public shaming...

Mess with your body and head and leave you looking confused and wondering wtf? whilst they think they secure some score/validation/victory....

NoLoveofMine Sat 14-Oct-17 01:22:24

Indeed DarthMaiden. Worst thing is I felt embarrassed and still feel embarrassed about it. The way people on the Tube glared at me and glanced at my chest after what he said, none offered any support, a few glared. Vile.

gluteustothemaximus Sat 14-Oct-17 01:26:18

Shit. Here we go. Sorry for any repeats. Some I’ve told already on MN.

- 70 year old man put his hands on my thighs and up to my vagina. I was in a car, no escape.

- sleepover at church at 13-14. Man who was 25 groped me most of the night. Told me I enjoyed it as I didn’t stop him.

- walking around town aged 14 ish, two men chatting to me and my friend, car pulled up, they tried to put us in but we ran.

- walking home one night under a subway, met boys we knew from school. They were bad news. They pinned us against the walls, started fingering etc, I genuinely believe we would have been raped but we both ‘went along with it’ and because we seemed to ‘enjoy’ it, they stopped after a while. Aged 14/15.

- same man from sleepover, church man, forced me to give him a hand job, kept my hand there. Awful, hated it, but didn’t really know what was going on. Didn’t know what the sticky stuff was either. He kissed me afterwards. I told my friend. She told the church leader, I was labelled a trouble maker as this man had a girlfriend. Only 15. He was ten years older.

- definitely groomed by 28 year old man when 15/16. At the time I thought he was my boyfriend. He made me give him a blow job. I hated it. He then climbed on me, in his car, and forced his way in. Really really hurt. He wasn’t really in, but kept pushing anyway. Told me I was a ‘difficult woman to make love to’. I felt shit. And I bled very badly, my stomach really hurt.

- age 16, went to a party. Was offered a drink, don’t recall anything else. A man kept trying to offer to take me home, but luckily a lady came to my rescue. My drink had been spiked, and nobody knew this man. Lucky escape.

- aged 17, I went back for a one night stand with a man. I had a drink. Became a blur afterwards. I vaguely remember another man in the room, and they both took turns. I literally had no strength to do or say anything. Just heard voices saying ‘turn her over’.

Some of these stories have never been told. Some I will never tell anyone in RL. It is because of shame. And sometimes just too painful. And sometimes I feel situations were my fault.

I have friends stories too. And haven’t even listed the amount of catcalling, lewd remarks, pervert bosses, teachers, and other ‘minor’ incidents.

Thank you for all sharing flowers

NoLoveofMine Sat 14-Oct-17 01:28:52

gluteustothemaximus it doesn't seem enough to say but so sorry and thanks for sharing flowers

DarthMaiden Sat 14-Oct-17 01:32:43

@NoLoveofMine

The point of the thread is nothing is less significant.

Part of the problem is women don’t tell the “minor” stories - the everyday harassment. It’s just normal. We just get on with it.

I’m sorry for everyone whose experiences encapsulates serious sexual assault like my own.

That doesn’t diminish the legitimacy of day to day “low level” harassment.

When I say a diary it’s trying to show how every day, in every workplace women are targeted.

It might not get support, but the everyday “small” stories of sexism and bullying grow into a bigger picture. flowers

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