‘I wish more people would help to make it socially and legally unacceptable to treat women like this.’

When I was 13, and just starting high school, there was a corner in the hallway every girl knew not to walk by alone. I didn’t. I was pulled aside by one of the guys crowding this hallway as he proceeded to stuff his hand down my shirt. In a crowded hallway. The other boys laughed and cheered him on. This same boy , later, pulled his penis out in front of me, in the middle of the hallway later saying to me, “This is what you do to me.” No one reacted. No one did anything. So neither did I. I walked away.

Two boys dragged me kicking and screaming into a bathroom stall (in front of ALL of our friends). One guarded the door while another one ripped my uniform in an attempt to force himself on me. I was screaming, fighting, kicking, and these friends of mine were outside the door laughing, catcalling, telling me I could come out anytime.
The boy who tried to force himself on me, came around later for round two, stealing my disc man, running to the back of the school where, I realized later when I tried to tell a teacher, there were no cameras,(therefore no evidence) as I chased him for my discman. He cornered me and forced himself on me AGAIN. I bit him, grabbed my discman and ran away. I came to school the next day to find my locker surrounded by a group of guys calling me a slut, whore and every other name under the sun because THAT SAME DOUCHEBAG, spread a rumour I performed oral sex on him at the back of the school. One friend, one blessed friend defended me, throwing those bigger, taller, heavier guys away from me and my locker. I promptly left that school. I never told my parents. Any girl who complained about sexual harassment was promptly made a social pariah, given the culprits were all “popular”.

10 years later, I can’t leave my house without being catcalled at, yelled at or called obscenities when I choose to ignore them or defend myself. It makes the experience of, going to the mall, walking to the bus stop an unnecessarily unpleasant experience when around almost every corner a man is leering, gesticulating, following or calling at you. I’ve had men follow me walking home in their cars, or corner me on the bus. It’s disgusting. I do not dress provocatively, in fact I am VERY sensitive to the type of attention my wearing shorts on a summer day, is going to attract. I’m fed up. I shouldn’t have to walk down the street cringing at men yelling at me. They need to know this is ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE. I wish more people would help to make it socially and legally unacceptable to treat women like this.