I was 16 years old when I experienced my first sexual harassment. I was on the tram, on my way home from my guitar class. The tram was packed with people, you could barely move. I was squished between two people, so at first I didn’t realise it, but after a while I noticed that the man behind me was rubbing himself on my back. The more I was realising what was happening, the more I was disgusted and started feeling afraid. I could feel him moving up and down on my back, it was horrible. I was paralysed with fear. I looked around searching for help, as I said, the tram was packed with people. I thought that someone might have seen what was happening, that someone might help me. But nothing. No one answered my silent call. Nobody noticed, maybe they didn’t want to notice or maybe they didn’t even know what to do. So I tried to move away, it was hard because of all the people on the tram, and he was so stuck to my back that he kept following me around. I didn’t know what to do, I wanted to turn around and shout at him, but I couldn’t. I kept standing there, doing nothing. Then, I saw my guitar. It was right in front of me, I was holding it in my hands, and finally I realised what I had to do. I put my guitar on my shoulders, so that it would be in the way between me and the man. Luckily this made him stop. When I went off the tram I checked if he wasn’t following me. I was so scared I ran all the way back home. Once at home I hugged my mum so hard she said I was suffocating her. I was so happy to be finally in safe arms. When she ask me what was wrong, I couldn’t tell her what happened, I was still too shocked. I just said that I loved her and wanted to give her a hug.
After some years I finally found the courage to tell this story, not only to my mum but also to my friends. And like me, I hope that if you have ever experienced something like this, you will be able to talk about it and ask for help!
Thank you for reading my story and thank you for this amazing project. I hope that sharing my experience might help others to feel less scared and alone and altogether we can stand up for a better world.