I was so ashamed

Don’t walk home alone, don’t wear provocative outfits, cross the side of the street when you see someone coming towards you, walk with your keys in your hands – all things I get told to do because I’m a girl and it’s seen as ‘my job’ to protect myself from being harassed in public.

When I was 16, I was harassed while walking home in my school uniform.

A car drove up behind me and starting honking its horn, and as I turned around I saw a group of boys in the car with their heads out the window shouting derogatory comments at me. I was so scared, embarrassed and felt so ashamed of my body.

New research by children’s charity Plan International UK has found that, like me, 35 per cent of girls in the UK have been sexually harassed in public while in school uniform. Harassment has become just a part of my life, of girls’ lives, and a problem that we have had to accept because it’s just ‘the norm’ – when it shouldn’t be. Join me in saying ‘It’s not OK’, and let’s all call harassment out for what it is, violence against women and girls.”

Jess

Plan International UK’s Youth Advisory Panel


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