BY KATRINA BLOWERS
I’d just been out to dinner with a group of old friends and was excited to be in Sydney on a rare child-and-husband-free night away.
“Just drop me anywhere here,” I’d told my best friend who was driving me home.
“I don’t know….” she said, looking worried. “I’ll be fine,” I assured her. “There are people around. My apartment’s only a hundred metres away. I’ll be fine!”
I’d already seen them as we looked for a place to pull over. A group of young, twenty-something, well dressed guys singing what sounded like soccer chants and looking like they were having fun. There was nothing sinister or threatening about them. I didn’t give them a second thought as I waved her goodbye, stepped out of the car and walked towards them.
What happened next happened so quickly it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when or why the mood shifted.
As I got close, one of them broke away from his mates and came running towards me. Grabbing the back of my head, he tried to force his mouth onto mine.
As I tried to push him away, his friends surrounded me in a tight circle. They were still singing and chanting, jumping up and down crushing me between them.
Suddenly I was pushed against a wall. There were hands grabbing my breasts, my crotch, squeezing my butt, tugging at my clothes. Bodies pressed into mine, rubbing themselves against me.
I’ve often wondered how I’d react in a situation just like this one. I remember thinking that this was it – I was going to get gang raped. I thought of the cars driving past and how public the space was, but I was completely obscured from view. I’m not a tall person and anyone passing by would have just seen a group of cheering guys.
Miraculously, I stayed calm. I tried reasoning with them, telling them I had two young kids, that this wasn’t ok and I’d had enough.
There was a gap in the group and I made a run for it, right into the middle of the busy road. I walked quickly in between the cars until I got to a crowd of people.
Shaking all over, it was then that I began wondering what I’d done wrong.