Radha and Phoebe from the EHV team decided to take on London in the Humans of New York-esque project to collect real stories from people in the city about sexism – from everyday harassment to child rape. These are some of the harrowing but incredible stories that they found from ordinary but brave passers-by. A huge thank you to everybody that contributed quotes or photos, you were amazing.
“I thought about it afterwards. I had never wanted to do it, and I had told him as much. But it didn’t seem to make any difference. There was nothing I could have done about it”
“He joked to his mates about how I had said I didn’t want to kiss him, but that was ‘no barrier’”
“I was 16, and me and my and about six of my mates used to skate at this skate park near us. There was this guy who owned the park, about 10 years older than us who used to skate with us sometimes called Tom. One time, we were all meant to be going up to Bournemouth, but everyone else cancelled apart from me and Tom. We had each booked a hotel, but when we got there he said that he’d forgotten his booking. He found a little B&B and told me to wait outside with the bags while he went and both booked us a room each. We went out after that, and bought me so many drinks I was paralytic. We got back to the hotel, and it turned out he had only booked one room – I later found out that he told the hotel that I was his brother. He pinned me down with a cushion on top of my head. As soon as I was released I put my clothes back on and ran to the police station. They didn’t take me seriously because I was drunk. At 4AM I took the first train home”
NB: The rapist in question was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
“Too many hands in the club.”
“He said that I wasn’t ‘wet enough’ so poured wine on me and carried on.”
“If you’re raped and you’re a boy, people start to question your sexuality”.
“A friend of mine was a lawyer – a very good one. She got home and was with her security guard in the evening. Her husband told her that he was running late, and would be home in a couple of hours. She was watching TV when the power suddenly turned off. The security guard had deliberately turned it off, knowing that she would have to call him into the house to turn it back on. He came in and tried to rape her. She fought back. He panicked and stabbed her. Her husband came back 10 minutes later, and the security guard was gone. Sometimes the people who are meant to keep us safe do us the most harm.”
“I was babysitting for a wealthy couple who had gone out for dinner. My room was next to the garden door, and after I put the children to bed I heard loud knocking at the door. The husband had come home after fighting with his wife. I let him in and he told me how he was freezing cold, and came to sit in my bed. I suspected something was wrong, but what could I do – it was his house. Before I know it he had removed his clothes and was lying on top of me. I was crying for him to stop. I was 14. For the rest of the night I couldn’t go home, because I knew me parents would blame me for doing something wrong, for leading him on somehow. I lay awake in my bed until 6 in the morning petrified, and then silently left the house and walked 6 miles home.
The next day He came by my school after school. He told me that I wasn’t going to say anything to my parents, would I. I said that I wouldn’t. He had an expensive sports car and a model wife, I was just a helpless little girl. I’ve never told anyone that story before.”
Finally, if you would like to contribute to this page by sharing your own stories (this can be done anonymously) please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or otherwise click on the 'submit your story' tab on our website.