In freshers week, a male freshers rep put his hand up my skirt and laughed when I hit him. A female freshers rep told me I needed to learn to take a joke.
I went home with a boy and changed my mind. He didn’t agree.
Boys who kissed me when I couldn’t see straight. Boys who put their hands on my friends in darkened clubs and tried to punch me when I pushed them. Boys who followed me home from work, who shouted at me in broad daylight.
A student house party. A girl showed me to the bathroom where the bath was full of water. The door didn’t lock. A boy had followed me. He pushed me into the bath and held my head under the water by my throat. He pulled at my clothes. Eventually, I was able to run. I kept running. When I got home, my friend asked me if it had been raining.
When I talked to the police at seven the next morning, they asked me what I was wearing. How much I’d been drinking. They took my statement and the DNA from under my fingernails and they put my skirt in a plastic bag. They never did find him. I should’ve been safe. But we are never safe.
Words by Cassidy Harvard-Davies