Content warning: this post deals with sexual assault and might be triggering for some readers.
It breaks me that the following is all too familiar. That it’s probably also happened to you. Or a friend. Or someone you know.
A girl goes to a work party. Drinks flow, people talk, the music’s loud and then she gets groped by a senior colleague. It happens in public, in full view and yet no one says anything and worst of all, the girl never speaks up.
That was five and a half years ago, and I can still feel his hand forcing its way into my bra, grabbing at my bare breast.
Watch: Women and violence – the hidden numbers. Post continues below.
I was working in radio at the time and he was a “media personality”. Cocky, confident and full of arrogance, he’d been brought in to cover another announcer for a few weeks.
It was a win for the station and at the end of his stint he threw a party at the rooftop bar of a new hotel. For a small town, it was the place to be, and with food and drinks on his tab, the night rolled on.
My friends and I were at the bar when he came over, full of swagger, and someone suggested a photo. He put himself in the middle, one arm around my colleague, the other draped across my shoulder.
As the flash went, so did his hand, straight down my top, under my bra, gripping my naked breast tightly.
And then it was over. He walked off to talk to someone else. Completely shocked, I turned to my friend, struggling to explain, overpowered and silenced by a man I didn’t know. He was the big shot radio host and I was no one.
And it was so silly, I told myself, it was just a boob grab. These things happen all the time, it’s no big deal. I giggled it off.