Women are often made to feel like being groped, leered at, and shouted at in the streets is normal and that they should just shut up about it. Yeah, so do you know what? That is NOT cool, and I wish something was being done about it.
Oh hold up, there is! Watch to see what happens when this woman brings together the power of social media and other women from all around the world who have finally had enough of this treatment.
I was just walking down the pavement one day and then just suddenly felt a hand that grabbed me from behind. I was wearing jeans, but pushing up between my legs and feeling how violating that feels. Just how much that sense of shame stays with you. Women weren't talking about this, myself included. We felt it was something that was so normal that we just had to accept it. So I set the website up because I hoped that enough women put their stories in one place people would be able to see what's going on and I thought maybe 10 or 20 or a hundred of my friends would out their stories. And I was just blown away every one of them had a story and it just spread. You can't silence somebody that have 25,000 other voices behind them saying I believe you and it happened to me, too.
I've had experiences of sexual harassment since I was a teenager really. I was 14.
At 13 I probably looked like 12.
A middle-aged man came and sat next to me. Along the journey he started saying I was pretty.
Licking me up and down, smiling, laughing, nudging each other, staring at me.
During this strange man took the opportunity to come up to me and grasped me firmly by the breasts.
He was getting aroused.
And eventually he started stroking my leg. And then, I told him to stop.
And then he started masturbating in from of me and my best friend.
I just thought he was trying to get himself under control and it's probably isn't happening.
It just scared me so much I didn't want to trouble anyone about it and I didn't get off, I didn't shout at him or anything, it's just...
And it wasn't until I got to work that I found semen down the back of my legs.
I spoke to my male friend and he was like, "Oh, Sheila, stop making it's a big deal, you know, you must have really looked sexy," and I thought, "Oh, maybe it was my fault." And then from that point on I never really said anything. So it was kind of like I was silenced when it happened and then I was silenced again because I felt like speaking up against it was pointless because maybe it was my fault.
It was normal to just sort of be quiet about something like that.
I tried and read them at the speed that they're coming in just for a minute to give you sense of how quickly this is coming in. Since 11, been beaten and shouted at, groped front and back, and started on by men multiple times. Age 15, how a 30 year-old co-worker picked me up and throw me on top of the palette because I was too pretty to keep my cherry. Waitressing, customer drops something on the floor when I bent to pick it up he force my head into his grimly erect penis. It's too quick, I can't keep up with it, but that's how quickly it's coming in. I think it so much of what's happened in the way its … has been. Thanks to social media and women being able to access it from anywhere in the world. Being able to be on the street and someone shouts at you and you can zap a tweet off on your mobile phone. That's made a huge difference I think.
It has made me feel more comfortable about saying something and standing up for myself because I just now that if other women can and they all, they can be taken seriously then I should as well and I have the power to that and try and make a difference.
It's the power of women's voices and their stories and how much they can. They're shouting back and people are listening.