Street Harassment: Nasiha's experience

2 am in the morning I stood in a long line to use the Bathroom at a dingy McDonalds restaurant in London. Fidgeting as I felt the pressure of my bladder, I was paying no attention to my surroundings or the people who were packed together experiencing the same situation as me. I was getting nervous as I realized that I wouldn’t be able to take it any longer and the 4 people in front of me now suddenly seemed like a thousand. Each minute ticking by felt like hours and while in that haze, I felt a hand softly caress my backside. It was a slight movement yet my senses switched from my urination problem to the situation at hand. Literally.

It was a small movement but it felt heavy as I realized it was intentional. I moved a few inches in the compact space, perhaps it was only a couple of centimeters but it still gave me a sense of relief. Not even 2 seconds later I felt the same hand grab me this time, I jolted with movement and swiftly turned around to face the violator, I was disgusted and disturbed to say the least and my face indicated so. The man looked away as I faced him and played it off as if he didn’t know, I turned away and inched closer into a nook next to the bathrooms. I felt relief wash over me as I found my safe haven but then I saw the man blatantly push into the same nook eyeing me with hunger and determination. I was never ready for this form of street harassment and I am forever traumatized.

-Nasiha R. |18, Virginia