I have opened my blog to those who need to share their thoughts and feeling following the Sarah Everard murder and discussion around violence against women. Huge thank you to Kelly for sharing her experience of sexual harassment in an honest and open way.
“My sister and I were followed by men in a car when we walked home from the park as children.
At school, I was sexualised before I was ready to be for having big boobs. They were commented on or touched multiple times without my consent, often by older boys.
Female cousins were told to watch out for my aunt’s new partner at family parties, as he would try to get us away from the crowd and into a room alone.
My bum was slapped by a stranger while I was standing at a bar in a nightclub. I’ve lost count of how many times I have been grabbed by guys at gigs.
Walking back to my car after shopping, a man begged me to kiss and marry him and got angry when I ignored him.
Volunteering at a homeless shelter, one of the guests followed me around to the point where I had to finish my shift away from him in the kitchen.
LITERALLY YESTERDAY on a lunchtime walk, two teenage boys rode past me on scooters and one of them shouted “Will you give me head?” Midday, broad daylight.
These are just the instances that immediately come to my mind. I have more stories. Every woman I know has countless more horrific stories. 97% of us.
We can’t walk home alone, we can’t be alone with taxi drivers either. We can’t say no to men in fear of making them angry at the rejection, if we say yes we’re blamed for leading men on. We’re blamed for our own assaults based on our outfits or alcohol consumption.
We leave a friend’s house on a Wednesday night, we wear bright clothing and trainers, we phone our partner to say we’re on the way – one week later we are human remains.
We could all be Sarah.”