Emma’s story: “I tried to push him off me”
I’m still mad at myself for allowing this to go on as long as I did. I’m in high school, and every morning and afternoon I travel on the school bus. We have a very small group of kids on my particular bus, maybe only 10 at the most, so we know everyone that is on our bus. There was one guy though, he was two grades ahead of me, on the football team, and very very big and strong. For months he would do things like grab my boobs and slap my ass, and pore water down my shirt. I would tell him not to do it, but I would always nervously laugh making it seem like I was joking. Why couldn’t I just be serious? I guess one of the other guys on the bus watched this because months later he stuck his hand down my shirt aggressively and grabbed my boobs. I told him to stop and not do that (this time in a serious tone) and he said “no it’s almost my stop let me do it before I leave”. I tried to push him off me but he was very strong. I couldn’t do it. He wouldn’t let me. It was the most scared I have been in my life, and for weeks I felt dirty, unsafe, and violated. I still do. I’m just so mad at myself for not being more serious early on, maybe it would have never happened if I had stopped them from the beginning.
Emma was very brave to share her story with us.
In Canada, sexual touching without consent is a crime under the category of sexual assault. If something like this happens to you, you have the right to report it to police. If for any reason you feel unable or unready to do so, you have other options. Here are just a few:
- Avalon Centre in Halifax provides counselling to women and trans individuals 16-years and older who have experienced sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, or sexual harassment.
- Kid’s Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) provides anonymous, confidential support and counselling for children and teens anywhere in Canada.
- All schools should have anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies and resources available to student and parents. Universities and colleges also often have counsellors or student-led resources (such as women’s centres) that can offer support.
If you’re not sure how to get the help you need, please get in touch with us. And of course, you always have the right to respond, and to share your story. We’ve got your back. Share it with us, or with someone you know and trust.