“Oi, you’re being rude y’know, so this is what you get”

New submission from Natalie

I was walking to my friend’s house on a sunny day and a car drove past with four men in it. As they drove past, they slowed down and began to shout things at me. Eventually the car stopped and as I walked past the guy in the back seat said “`Oi, come here, my friend wants to ask you a question.” I just carried on walking without acknowledging them.

I’m sick of guys thinking that I’m obligated to talk to them because they want sex, which is essentially what this form of harassment is about. They drove past me and stopped again. By this point they were outside my friend’s door and I didn’t know what to do. My only options were to turn back or keep walking. In the back of my mind I was scared they were going to attempt to drag me into the car but I refused to show any fear and let these guys gain power over me. As I drew level with the guy in the back seat, he spoke to me again. This time he said “Oi, you’re being rude y’know, so this is what you get,” and he proceeded to lean out of the window and throw a bottle of juice over me. In that moment I was frozen with shock. I had to turn left to enter my friends and he kept throwing it as I walked away. I shouted at them as they drove away but I also desperately asked my friend on the intercom to let me in as soon as possible.

I was really shaken up and I went from being furious to upset. I had juice in my hair and it had stained my clothes but I also couldn’t wipe off the feeling that I had been assaulted. The look of aggression in his eyes and the violent way in which he threw the juice at me made me feel as if he might as well have leapt out of the car and slapped me around the face. For the men in the car, it was a joke, a way of putting a random girl who thinks she’s too nice in her place. For me, it was a gross violation of my space and a moment where I felt intimidated, harassed and powerless. The fact that all four men in the car were complicit in it and thought that their friend’s behaviour was acceptable, is even more baffling to me.