I was 16. 2 years ago I went to a concert with my friends for her birthday. Everything was good until I got to the front of the barriers. He kept putting his hands on my bum I kept pushing his hands away but I was too crushed to be able to move away. He then put his hands up the bottom of my shorts and penetrated me with his fingers.

I had never felt so helpless or shocked in my life. In that moment there was nothing I could do. I didn’t say anything about it that night I was silent on the way home I was just in shock as if it hadn’t happened. The next morning I told my boyfriend as he could tell something was wrong. I didn’t get the support I needed. I was told by him and my parents that I shouldn’t have been wearing such short shorts. Why didn’t I scream or tell someone? Why didn’t I move away? I now know myself that none of those options were possible in that moment and that my clothing did not give that person the right to put his hands on me. But for a long time I blamed myself.

Eventually my boyfriend did give me the support that I wanted but I have never spoken about it with anyone till now. I was made to feel ashamed and to blame for the clothes I was wearing. Responsible because I wasn’t able to get him to stop or move away. I still live with the memory of what happened but I will not let it interfere with my life anymore. I will wear what I want and enjoy every opportunity in my life. I will not let anyone man or woman decide whether or not I have the right to be touched without my permission based on my clothing. It does take time to stop blaming yourself for what happened but thankfully my boyfriend and I were able to see that the fault did not lie with me.

The person who decided to violate me is the only one to blame and I hope anyone else who has experienced any kind of harassment or abuse knows that it is not their fault. The blame lies solely on the perpetrator who took advantage of their power.