Day 9. Rebecca * 13

Sunday 3rd December, 2023

The last three days I’ve posted stories from women who have been harassed by men on the street, they’ve explained how frightened they were, and, as I wrote yesterday, they were frightened because they know some women don’t make it home unharmed. Some women are more vulnerable, and some aren’t even women at all, they’re still little girls.

Rebecca* was going through that teenage rebellious phase and had stayed out beyond her curfew. She may have been a little disobedient but Rebecca was still a compassionate kid and when she saw a homeless man on the side of the road she was concerned for him. So, when a delivery driver stopped and said he’d help her get some food for the homeless man she got into his car and went along to his deliveries with him. When they arrived back at his takeaway he took her upstairs and sexually assaulted her.

Rebecca’s mum told me about the effects this has had on her:

She was wearing a gymnastics leotard under her clothing that night, gymnastics had been her passion since she was 4. She was never able to wear it again and after a year had to drop doing gymnastics altogether.

“She would regularly believe he was in her bedroom, so she started sleeping with a knife, from there she would sometimes carry it with her, she started to self harm and occasionally caused harm to others. Three years later flashbacks still affect her sleep and feelings of helplessness and anger still rein over her. Mental health professionals feel that EDMR therapy would be the most helpful thing for her, but we have to find funding for this ourselves”

Rebecca’s mum also told me that the perpetrator had done exactly the same thing to another girl years earlier but had escaped jail. He had been ordered to stay away from the takeaway business that was now in his wife’s name, but despite him having been photographed going in and out of it and working there, no action had been taken to prevent it.

*Not her real name
Posted with Rebecca’s permission.