“It happened 42 years ago.”

It happened 42 years ago, but every detail is as stark as if it happened yesterday. I was 14 years old, walking home from junior high school, books in my left hand, my violin case in my right.

I cry now for the young girl that I was — I never told a soul what happened because it seemed so very small…even though the horror was so large and engulfing. So quick, like lightening, a man walking toward me, in a suit, reached out his left hand and cupped my crotch, squeezing and then he was gone.

What had I done wrong? I couldn’t understand anything about the incident except I felt really dirty, felt I now had a horrible secret. And I didn’t even stop for a second. I gripped my violin case’s handle as hard as I could, pulled the stack of textbooks tightly against my chest and walked the remaining 6 blocks home.

My mom made me an afternoon snack, and I did my homework. I always got “A’s.” I was never the same after that afternoon, never felt truly carefree again and always held a guilt that I couldn’t “get over it.”

I am so grateful I can tell this story. Maybe the shadowy outline of the monster man will fade a little now because the women who made this site possible would never tell me that what happened was “nothing,” or wonder why a 56 year old woman is crying like a little girl right now as she relives that day. Are these tears of relief? sorrow? anger? How I wish I had…..

Submitted by MVH on 8/13/2011

Location: Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD

Time of harassment: Day Time (9:30A-3:30P)

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

4 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. omega418

    I read your post awhile ago and still can’t find the right words to express myself. I am so very sorry for this loss. I say loss because you did lose something. The right to walk anywhere and feel safe. A part of your childhood. What he did was molest you plain and simple. I’m just so sorry this happened to you or anyone because you know he has done it before.

  3. Golden Silence

    “I am so grateful I can tell this story. “

    Opening up about a traumatic incident is the first step towards healing. Trust me, you’ve got a great support group here in us. The little girl you were is not to blame for what that sicko did, and the woman you’ve become is brave for telling your story.

  4. Anonymous

    This is my first visit to this site. I am really inspired by your bravery in telling your story. Thank you.