Sexual harassment: Awareness may be high but has anything really changed?

Two Stories. 40 years apart. The reality of everyday encounters with creeps.

Ruth Fae
6 min readDec 10, 2021

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Three young women hugging, eyes closed. Photo from the shoulders up.
Photo by Gemma Chua-Tran on Unsplash

Yesterday afternoon, a friend’s daughter was sexually harassed at her local shopping centre. Simply popping to the supermarket, she was exposed to twenty minutes of physical and sexual intimidation that left her shocked, scared and feeling incredibly vulnerable.

Comforting her last night, she said,

‘I just froze. I didn’t know what to do. I’ve never dealt with a man staring like that, sitting right next to me, touching his junk.’

Sadly, I’m surprised she made it to 19. I was 11 the first time a man publicly ‘touched his junk’ and scared me.

Following the viral explosion of the #MeToo movement, an American 2018 study on Sexual Harassment and Assault, commissioned by non-profit organisation Stop Street Harassment, showed that ‘81% of women and 43% of men have experienced some form of sexual harassment or assault in their lifetime.’ 66% of these women reported that the harassment occurred in public places.

Unexpected and unwanted, physical or verbal assault makes us feel embarrassed…

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Ruth Fae

Intuitive Writing Coach & Editor. Author. Storytelling is magickal. Words weave spells. Align with your inner magick to become a confident published author.