We all know that harassment exists, that there are hundreds of people around us who, unfortunately, suffer it. But, as with many other things, we can’t know which magnitude it reaches until it touches us closely.
And unfortunately today has been my turn.
This morning I’ve spent the whole time in the outpatient clinic due to a bestial allergic reaction to a mosquito that stung me 27 times last night (I guess you can imagine how I my legs looked like). When the doctor finally arrived, after two hours of waiting, a man has let me pass before him very kindly. I’ve left the clinic, go to the pharmacy and, when I was going home, I met the same man as before. He looks at me and I go to thank him for letting me pass, to which he responds with inappropriate comments, getting too close to me and trying to invite me to drink something.
At that moment I got blocked, I still don’t know what went through my mind; I just know that I was afraid (and I’m not usually afraid). I automatically pick up the phone, pretend to talk to someone and start walking home, but to my surprise, and my horror, the man follows me, and he follows me very closely. The trip from the outpatient clinic to my house is about 15 minutes walking; this time I’ve made in 5 and still the man has not stayed behind.
When I have turned on my street I have not been able to see him and I really hope that he has not seen me enter the portal.
Now that I think about it, it may not have been the best idea to go straight to home, and pretending to have a conversation with myself was not a very brilliant occurrence either. But in a situation like that it is difficult to think properly.
I didn’t want to tell you this, but this is not just my problem but also that of hundreds of other women. You don’t know who the stalker might be, you don’t know what appearance he may have or how far he may be able to get. And with this experience I’ve learnt that even a kind gesture can be no more than an excuse to start harassment.
To all of you who have gone through something similar I ask you not to stay quiet, I ask you to share your experiences so that people can see that it can happen to anyone, even under the sunlight, and that it is crucial that we do something to stop it.
If you have read this far I have to thank you for your interest and your support. I hadn’t planned this post, but I considered it highly necessary. I promise that tomorrow I will share something more joyful.