Why We Need to Stop Ignoring Bar Room Sexual Assault

A few weekends ago, I was sexually assaulted at Frog. This was not the first time that I have been sexually assaulted, and I doubt it will be the last, but there was something about this incident that made me snap.

Let me explain. When the incident happened, I was standing on the dance floor with my (6’8”) boyfriend and about five of his male friends. I had been drinking, but I was not drunk. I was wearing an off the shoulder top, but the sleeves were on my shoulders because I was also wearing my jacket so there was barely a whisper of cleavage. And yet, a guy still felt that it would be appropriate to reach out and grab my chest as he walked by.

Everything happened so fast that I wasn’t able to find the guy who assaulted me as he copped a feel and then quickly slipped into the crowd. I was dumbstruck. “Did that actually happen?” I asked myself as I searched the crowd. Then I got mad. What exactly about my presence or appearance had been an invitation to touch me? What satisfaction did this guy get from grabbing my boob? Did those five seconds really make that much of a difference? I was also confused. I had been doing everything that they tell you to do to prevent sexual assault, I had been doing everything “right.” I was with a group of guys. I wasn’t drunk, and I wasn’t wearing anything revealing. And yet, I was still touched inappropriately.

I have seen incidents such as this brushed off time and time again. And let me tell you, I am tired of it. I am tired of hearing excuses like “Oh, he was just drunk, it didn’t mean anything” or “Don’t take it too seriously, it was just the alcohol talking.” And I am tired of being scared that myself or my friends will be touched in a way that we have not consented to whenever we go out, and be forced to accept it under the guise of alcohol. This phenomenon goes both ways too — I have seen women who have a few too many drinks and do exactly the same thing. Alcohol should not be an excuse for people to do whatever they want and not take any responsibility for their actions.

To the boob grabber — I am honestly baffled at why you thought I would be okay with you touching me like that. If you think it is appropriate to disrespect girls in such a way and cannot control your urges, then perhaps you are not ready to interact in greater society.

And to everyone else — think twice the next time you decide to touch someone, friend or stranger, without asking. And if you see something, say something. Just because it doesn’t look like a big deal to you, doesn’t mean that the other person feels the same. Everyone, men and women alike, should have the right to go out and have fun without the threat of being touched in a way that they have not consented to, regardless of it’s something as small as a boob grab, or as large as forced intercourse.

 

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