I Was Sexually Harassed
Six years on and it stills haunts me...
My name is Maddie du Boulay and when I was seventeen, I was sexually harassed and I'm still haunted by it. Let's go to the beginning...
I just finished my first year at college and I was already so my father suggested that why don't I go with him to his meeting at this park in a nearby city and then afterwards we can spend the afternoon together. Seeing I was that bored, I said yes.
Arriving at the park, I found a spot on a park bench to read my book and after half an hour or soon I realised a man coming towards me but didn't pay much attention. He sat on the other end of the bench I was on and then he began to talk to me but I couldn't understand him. He moved closer, trapping me between him and the armrest of the bench and began trying to converse with me. Then, before I knew it, he had his arm around my shoulder and was stroking my chest and with his other hand he unzipped his jeans and pulled them down.
This is moment people get angry with me when I mention this part. Why didn't you call for help? Why didn't you try and use self-defense? Why didn't you run away? When you're in those situations, your mind can have the tendency of switching off and that what happened to me. Also, the area of the park I was in, it was pretty much deserted (it was a huge park) and I didn't know if anyone would be able to hear me. It wasn't till after his kissed me and forced my head down that was when I bit him hard and grabbed my things and ran.
Then I hid behind some trees, in case he tried to look for me, and tried to compose myself. But once the dam burst, I couldn't stop. My make-up was all over the face, my hair a mess and every time I tried to stop, I immediately began thinking of my father. How will he react?
Finally, after two women finding me and took me to my father, he could tell something was up but I couldn't bring myself to tell him. It wasn't till his colleague hailed down a female police officer who took one look at me and immediately understood why I couldn't talk to my dad. She took me away in the patrol car and did a circuit around the park and that when we found him and they immediately arrested him. After giving in my statement, that was when I came clean to my dad.
When it came to the part I had to come to terms with it, I was a bitch and unresponsive and just a pain in the ass. I hardly eat, I would argue with my mum constantly, I went counselling just for the hell of it and I hated every minute of it.
I helped out at the 2012 Olympics and I didn't enjoy myself, I had my 18th birthday party and I still didn't enjoy myself. Throughout the rest of that year, I just put on a mask to hide the act how much I was hurting inside as I didn't want my parents to know the truth. Come November, at the court hearing, he was sentenced nine years and it was then I discovered that I wasn't the only girl he sexually assaulted. Nine years isn't long enough.
Throughout these last few years, I still struggle. I can't go into large parks by myself, I don't believe guys when they compliment me and I still have a damn hard time when a guy stares at my boobs. Yes, I know they're big, but do you really have to comment? The other night when I was out with a girlfriend, a really cute looking guy commented how nice I looked and then he commented on my boobs—I slapped him and then felt guilty. But really should I have felt guilty? Probably not. My girlfriend told me off for feeling guilty. Maybe that's why I'm single.
The main reason that I'm posting this on here is that I want to share with girls that if you've gone through something similar that it's OK to still be struggling and it's OK to have days that you feel like you can't cope. But at the same time, you will have days that you feel invincible and hold on those days and remember those days when you come back to feeling crappy again. And on another note, alcohol, and weed isn't the answer. It helps for all about a few hours but then you waking up feeling crappy again.
For now, I feel OK and I've gone back to counselling and the occasional glass of double vodka and coke (don't judge!) and the odd cigarette (trying to quit!). And as for large parks, still staying clear of them.