When I was six years old, I gave my first blowjob.
“It’s a game”, said He. “Don’t you want to play?”
It was too big, and I threw up on him.
He said I’d do better the next time.
When I was seven years old, I watched a group of fellow second graders cheer as a boy in my class tried to kiss me. He hugged me from behind, giggling all the while.
I threw sand in his eyes, and was sent to the Principal.
When I was eight years old, I had an elderly teacher ask me to stay behind in class. He carried me on his shoulders, and called me pretty.
“Teacher’s Pet!” my friends declared, the envy visible on their faces.
They ignored me at lunch that day.
When I was nine years old, an older girl on the school bus would ask me to lift my skirt up for her. She was pretty and kind, and told me that I could only be her friend if I did what she said.
I wanted to be her friend.
When I was ten years old, a relative demanded that he get a kiss on the cheek every time we met. He was large and loud, and I proceeded to hide under my bed whenever I learnt that he was visiting.
I was known as a rude child.
When I was eleven, my auto-man told me that we would only leave if I gave him a hug every day.
He smelled like cheap soap and cigarettes.
When I was twelve years old, I watched as a man on the street touched my mother’s breast as he passed us. She slapped him amidst the shouts of onlookers telling her to calm down.
She didn’t calm down.
When I was thirteen years old, I exited a restaurant only to see a man visibly masturbating as he walked towards me. As he passed, he winked lasciviously.
My friends and I shifted our gazes down, aghast.
When I was fourteen, a young man in an expensive car followed me home as I walked back from an evening class. I ignored his offer to give me a ride, and I panicked when he got out, only to buy me a box of chocolate that I refused. He parked at the end of my road, and didn’t go away for an hour.
“It turns me on to see you so scared.”
When I was fifteen, I was groped on a bus. It was with a heart full of shame that I confided in a friend, only to be met with his anger and disappointment that I had not shouted at the molester at the time when it happened. My soft protests of being afraid and alone were drowned out as he berated my inaction. To him, my passiveness and silence were the reasons why things like this continue to happen.
He did not wait for my response.
When I was sixteen, I discovered that Facebook had a section of inbox messages named ‘others’, which contained those mails received from strangers, automatically stored as spam. Curious, I opened it to find numerous messages from men I had never seen before. I was propositioned, called sexy, asked for nudes, and insulted.
When I was seventeen, I called for help as a drunken man tried to sexually harass me in a crowded street.
The people around me seemed to walk by quicker.
At eighteen, I was told that sexism doesn’t exist in modern society.
I was told that harassment couldn’t be as bad as us women make it out to be.
That I should watch what I wear.
Never mind you were six, never mind you were wearing pink pajamas.
That I should be louder.
But not too loud, a lady must be polite.
That I should always ask for help.
But stop overreacting, there’s a difference.
That I should stay in at night, because it isn’t safe.
You can’t get harassed in broad daylight.
That I should always travel with no less than two boys with me.
You need to be protected.
That it can’t be that hard to be a girl.
I am now nineteen years old.
I am now tired.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-656-HOPE for the National Sexual Assault Hotline.
Survivors of sexual abuse: http://www.stopitnow.org/
RAINN – National Assault Victims Resources: https://rainn.org/get-information/links
International Sexual Assault Victim Resources: http://rainn.org/get-help/sexual-assault-and-rape-international-resources
National Sex Violence Resource Center: http://www.nsvrc.org/
Not Alone – Together Against Sexual Assault: https://www.notalone.gov/resources/
Safe Horizon – Moving Victims From Crisis To Confidence: http://www.safehorizon.org/page/rape-and-sexual-assault-13.html
For Parents & Friends of Sexual Assault Victims: www.pandys.org
Pandora’s Project For Victims & Their Families: http://www.pandorasproject.org/
Take Back The Night – International Activism: http://takebackthenight.org/
Here is a movement in America which has gained popularity for victims of abuse, if people are not aware they should be: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/domestic-abuse-survivors-paint-black-dots-on-hands-to-signal-they-need-help_55fc36bde4b0fde8b0cdfbb4
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This is amazing.
I can see the trueness of the words reflecting in my own life.
When I was experiencing this as a teenager, the older women around me seemed to look away. I felt like I was being left to the dogs.
Now, I look to help younger women, it’s my responsiblity as a woman.
This is the first time I have ever commented on this site.
I can feel change is coming.
It is a beautiful feeling.
I fail to see how this: “When I was ten years old, a relative demanded that he get a kiss on the cheek every time we met. He was large and loud, and I proceeded to hide under my bed whenever I learnt that he was visiting.
I was known as a rude child.” Is child abuse… This is a completely normal thing within a lot of families. I often used to ask my nieces for a kiss on the cheek and a big hug, yano, because I actually love them!
The majority of these though are good examples, one or two definitely left me scratching my head however.
Wing Da Wongnum ba, you should research the mental effects of sexual abuse. It is very common for someone who has been sexually abused to feel very uncomfortable with any physical interaction, especially when they are abused by someone they trust. (ie parent or family member) This would make it extremely difficult for someone to talk about it, let alone have other physical interactions with people regardless of the other person’s intent. To the writer of this poem my heart goes out to you. Be kind to one another.
Great job!! Very poignant, seemingly accurate for many, yet not so explicit as to have folks turn away from reading it. I truly hope, and expect, it will go far and help many. I will like and share it now. Godspeed.
Well lets see if someone if forcing themselves on you or you are forced to touch them as in lets say you go to jail wingdawondnum ba and your cellmate decides you have to kiss him whenever you leave for meals etc.etc.etc. and you have already been raped by the guards you probably wouldn’t be up for “oh its just kisses”. Or say your uncle used to anally rape you and your new cell mates not only looks a bit like him but also has the foul stench that he did(whether it be cigarettes, body odor or whatever). And what she left unsaid is that the loud relative who demanded kisses everytime he came over was also I am sure touching her and making her touch him inappropriately(or sexually abusing her however you need to hear it to understand). Its called sexual abuse for a reason….its abuse that is based in sexual actions….I hope you never have daughters and if you have sisters i pity them and your mother yeah i feel for her as well. Ask the women you know/are related to and see how many either burst into tears, or turn silent and stony eyed, or don’t sleep for a week after you ask if they were ever raped or abused especially as a child. Those are all normal reactions of rape/abuse survivors…they don’t have to spell it out for you, now you know. Again this also applies to any female you know who once happy and bright eyed who know looks defeated and won’t look you in the eyes anymore, the one who starts never leaving her home(or if her abuser lives in her home she will do anything to not go home). So instead of making a joke out of it be a real man and start killing all child rapers and anyone who forces themselves sexually on anyone. See if more real men did that they would get more consensual sex in appreciation than they could handle, and that my friends is the truth…I know no one wants to hear it but your creepy uncle joe or uncle wong well they need to die period as it has been proven again and again there is no cure or treatment to stop rapists/child rapists other than ending their lives to save those the would abuse/or have already sexually abused from further pain.
Mikki Mise, although I agree with somethings you mention especially to the ignorant wing da wongnum ba. You are as ignorant as they are. You speak as though only women can be raped or sexually abused. I can promise you boys are often abused as well, and have little to no support. Stating that anyone should be killed is wrong, regardless of the reasoning. Also, the writer of this poem did not leave out that others were touching her, maybe you shouldn’t assume anything you do not know about. I myself was abused as a child and do not feel anyone should be killed because of it. Stating someone should be killed makes you no better than them. In the words of Ellen, “Be kind to one another!”. Also, on a final note, many sexual abuser were sexually abused. This does not make it right, but gives you an idea of why it happens. Killing people won’t solve any problems, this is an issue at the core of society.
This is really sad. I have a 2 friends who were abused as children…and it affects everyone in a different way. One of the more common ways is never letting anyone touch them again(so, relationship problems) or turning gay because of the horror of what their own sex did to them.
The sad thing about children being molested is that they’re too young, and they don’t know how to reject. And when they do, they’re practically forced into it. Not saying that rape to older women is better…but when it comes to kids, often than not…they really grow up very damaged(sometimes becoming molesters themselves).
If I ever come across a molester…I know that I wont hesitate to smash their face in.
(about the gay part..it goes both ways. Sometimes it turns someone gay–heard it from someone from their own mouth–or it repels them from that sex. So a straight person might become gay after such an act, or a gay person might become straight..though more often, its the former).
I was abused by my Step father all my life physically and verbally, and my half brother has tried to force himself upon me. Although some nights I would wake up with my panties down,and him trying to shove it in me. But my brother was shaped how he was by my stepfather, he took the worst of the beatings and I would scream and try to stop my Step father each time he strangled him, it made my beatings even worse. Abuse is a horrible thing that shouldn’t be tolerated. Don’t be scared to speak up, my mom was and she’s still to scared to leave.
Thank you for this poem – It shows that we are not alone; for so long, I thought I was one of the few and far between who seemed to get harassed to that extent at such a constant. Don’t tell us to “Smile”, expect us to submit, be ‘brogressive’, or even try to argue how feminism runs the world.
It may be surfacing and becoming more apparent but there’s still a long way to go. Couldn’t have put it better myself.
This is both sad and beautiful. It is strong and vulnerable. As a man, I cannot know the struggles of girls/women, and I don’t pretend to. I was always amazed at the strength and will of women. If you are so inclined, please look up an entire festival (not the best word) devoted to just this. It is called Girlfest. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the first one years ago. It celebrates women and their awe inspiring strength, perseverance, and will, while illuminating their struggles and oppression for the world to see. I admit it is hard to hear and gut wrenching to see some of their painful stories and after maths, but is something I think all should know and respect.