A chronicle of all the casual sexual assaults one endures if you're a young woman in London. And elsewhere.
echo amelie: Sexual assault and me. And so many others.
My first time started about ten minutes into the journey. I didn't even realise at first, I thought I was just standing funny. So I moved and it still felt weird, so I moved my bag thinking it was that. But it wasn't either of those things. And that's when I realised I was having my first time. Someone was touching me up behind me.
He was rubbing my thigh. He started circling and moved his hand up my shorts. I didn't do anything. I turned my music up and let my first time just...happen. I mean it was bound to happen at some point, right? Why not now? Might as well leave him to it. It's obviously because I'm wearing shorts. Best not to cause a fuss on this packed train full of probably nice adults who might have told him to fuck off if I shouted out. No. Best not.
I was late to work that day.
It was a long break before my second time. November 2012, actually. Not long ago. I was on a train back to uni, to Bournemouth, and the train had emptied after a few stops. There was just me and a man left who slowly moved to the seat opposite. Then he had a wank in front of me. So, again, I turned up my music and stared at my reflection in the window. Best not cause a fuss. It was late, I'd be in bed soon.
I didn't sleep that night.
Not long until my third time though! Yay. In December I was on a packed train home from Cardiff and a man had his hand firmly grabbing my arse all the way back. I was going to say something this time and tap the shoulder of the lady in front. But she was in a suit and looked so tired, tutting at the group of drunk lads in front of her. Plus it was late again. Ah well, it's happened twice before, I'm used to it now. I'll be alright.
I felt lower than low, actually.
But wait for it...it happened again the DAY AFTER! Cor, twice in 24 hours. Aren't I the lucky one? Aren't I lucky to be chosen for a stranger's pleasure? I mean I clearly look hot if this is happening to me. I clearly look like I'd be totally okay with that. This time I was on a tube and a guy was actually trying to finger me from behind. I didn't turn up my music this time. I moved forward. But he moved with me and pushed his fingers in further. The tube pulled into the next station and the doors opened. I stared outside, at that gap a few metres away, and screamed at myself inside to move. So I did, I ran out. And I ran down the other end of the tube and jumped back on, grabbing the centre pole as the doors closed again. Then I turned up my music. Then I stared at one spot until I reached my station.
I was sick a few hours later.