At the h a n d s of men…

I look down at my baby girl with fear in my heart, afraid that one day she may become a statistic.

Sitting here thinking… preparing myself mentally to write this is reliving it over and over again. I won’t deny it.. the fear of opening up stems from insecurities of what people may think of me. Especially my close friends who are completely unaware of this. I don’t want you to think less of me, that I’m broken or need to be pitied. I can proudly say that I am possibly the fucking strongest person you will ever meet, purely based on my resilience.

*** t ri g g e r   w a r n in g ***
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At the h a n d s of men…

At the tender age of six, I would go to my neighbours house. He was an old Italian who grew the most delicious tomatoes in his little green house out the back of his property. I would often be allowed to taste them, and for that I was fond of this old man. But one day, I visited him, smelt the alcohol on his breath when he lifted me up and touched me. I knew instantly what he did was bad, it hurt me. After that whenever I saw him on his porch I called him a bastard.

At fourteen I was coerced to lose my virginity to boy I admired. Six months of my life I will never get back. Police were involved. At school, I was known as a ‘slut’ and could potentially ruin a young boys life. Can you see where am I heading?

At fifteen I was at a party with my girlfriends, after falling asleep I woke up to a man putting his fingers inside me. I was drunk but I never once consented to this. I didn’t even know what he looked like. But I should have been more careful! See what I did there?

At sixteen I entered my first domestic violent relationship with a boy who came from a ‘good’ home. Tears and sprained shoulders was a weekly occurrence… I spent one year and a half with him. I should have left him when I had the chance! If only I had the courage!

At nineteen I went to a party with my boyfriend. There was a young bloke there who just wouldn’t leave me alone! When I keep telling my boyfriend he fobbed it off, exclaiming “oh he’s a faggot.” After two drinks I was incoherent and then all of a sudden, this bloke leads by the arm to where the cars were parked. Even though I couldn’t talk I did let out a scream. Thank fuck two guys came to my aid, and the guy wasn’t seen since. Even my boyfriend couldn’t protect me…

At the age of twenty, I worked in a Hotel as a waitress on a traineeship. The Head Chef was this towering and intimidating French man. One day he cornered me in the kitchen and said he could rape me and no one would ever know. I looked at him straight in the eye and calmly said that he couldn’t say that. I remember distinctly how he replied, with his nauseating French accent, “I can say what I like it’s my kitchen.” I resigned and took them to court. I remember their lawyer was trying to brand me for being some kind of gold digger.

At twenty-one I had a girl’s night in town, with the intention of crashing at her home. After a fantastic night, we all said good night and I went off to bed. But then I awoke to a man in my room getting in bed with me. He was touching my body, and I told him to get out. He even went on to say that he didn’t even know if I was ugly or not… I took the blanket and slept in the lounge room. My friends found me and I told them what happened. I found out that this guy had a girlfriend and was terrified she was going to find out what happened. But he wasn’t sorry for what he did to me…

And society makes it all fucking worse! We are constantly victim blaming. The focus is always removed from the perp and straight onto the victim, on how she could have made her situation safer. Women are terrified to catch public transport at night, sit in the front seat with a taxi driver, hold keys between their fingers, take self defense lessons. Women, daughters, young children are conditioned that it is a possibility that they could be sexually assaulted. But what are we doing for our young men?

This is what I fear for my daughter..