“I can’t have been older than 13”

I can’t have been older than 13 the first time I was touched by a man in the street. As I crossed the road he reached out to grope my crotch. It was so brazen I was convinced I had made a mistake. I stood frozen at the other size of the street for a good few seconds. Unfortunately this was my initiation into the world of unwanted attention and inappropriate catcalling that would become such a big part of growing up in my area of East London. Since then I’ve been kissed at, followed in cars, called a bitch, told I was a c*ck-sucking sl*t for not responding to an “alright babe?” And a “blonde c*nt” for seemingly no reason other than pure misogyny.