I was 23 when I was assaulted by a man on the street.
It was about 4pm on a Tuesday. Broad daylight. I was carrying home some groceries and talking to my sister about an overbearing personal trainer who kept calling her about a session even though she’d stopped going to the gym six months ago.
I saw a man walking towards us, slowly, non-threateningly. I think I nodded in acknowledgement.
But when he passed me, he lunged. He turned into an animal. There was a mad look in his eye as he grabbed under my shirt and pushed me off the view of the street into a driveway.
My sister yelled. I tried to push him away. And after maybe a minute, I felt him put his hand in his pocket, and was convinced he was going to pull out a knife.
“This man is going to really hurt me,” I remember thinking to myself.
But he didn’t pull out a knife. He began touching himself. As I lay on the ground, terrified, he pulled down his pants and masturbated – not far from my face.
He looked at me, and then over at my sister, his eyes betraying insanity.
By this point, my sister was on the phone to the police. It must have scared him, because he quickly pulled up his pants and ran in the same direction he came.
In this moment, the act of masturbation was one of violence. There was nothing even mildly sexual about it. It wasn’t about desire or attraction. It was about power.
Television journalist Lauren Sivan alleges that one night, Harvey Weinstein attempted to kiss her at a restaurant, and she turned him down.