My experience (TW: harassment/assault)


Reagan White, Reporter


I know this isn’t the typical content you would see in the school newspaper, but I find it important to talk about. Many women in the Corry area have been sexually harassed or assaulted, and it isn’t talked about enough. The assailants are often protected no matter how much victims push for punishment. These events leave victims with traumatizing memories that stick with them for life. Even if you “overcome” what’s holding you back, there is always a constant memory.

I am sharing my story so those of you who are scared or feel like it was your fault know that it wasn’t, and you will eventually feel comfortable again.

On Halloween of 2020, I went to a roller rink with some friends and it was packed. There was no reason for me to feel unsafe, because I was with people I trusted. I was wearing a long, bodycon dress and didn’t think that was going to be a problem. The group of people I was with all shared a booth together and it was a bit packed. Some people sat on each other’s laps and no one thought it was weird and no one, as far as I know, was uncomfortable. It was so much fun catching up with people that I haven’t seen in a while because of Covid-19. It was a mix of boys and girls and I didn’t think anything of it. A friend and I were sitting on our male friends’ laps, just like everyone else was.

This male friend of mine knows my boundaries because I have been clear about them for years. When I say years, I literally mean two years, telling him on a daily basis that I would not allow him to touch me like the other girls do (which I don’t think they were okay with either).

But as I was sitting there, I noticed he was being a bit creepy and touchy with my friend who was sitting on his other leg. She was visibly uncomfortable with the way he was looking and talking to her. I tried to get up and he wrapped his arm around me. My friend got up and he touched her in an inappropriate way and when I got up he did the same thing. He grabbed my behind, and all I could do was look at him. I never thought something like this would happen to me because I had set those boundaries.

I asked him why he thought that was okay and he said, “Well, I mean you were just sitting on my lap, so.”

I was disgusted with not only him but myself. I thought he was right, and that what happened was my fault. But I now know that it wasn’t.

Some of you may think that it’s not that serious or I’m overreacting, but it crossed my boundaries and I now think about the incident daily. It’s difficult knowing that someone I trusted would do that to me. I have grown to be uncomfortable around men and boys and I have a difficult time wearing certain things now. Recovery is a process, a process to get back in tune with my body and feel good about myself.