I had never been to blatantly sexually assaulted until my 27th birthday and I didn’t know how to talk about it, so I’ll write about it.

The following story happened on July 1st, 2017. I wrote and posted it on my Facebook about 2 weeks after the incident. This was before the world erupted in #MeToo stories. I was inspired by the women in my life who had been sharing their stories of sexual assault. I’m incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by women who are supportive, caring and make me feel comfortable enough to share these stories.   

I was at a street festival on my birthday which also happens to be the birthday of our Canada. I was out with some friends and at about 11:30 PM we were headed to the last bar for the night. We stopped in the crowd to wait for another friend to catch up. As we were standing there I felt a quick hand between my legs from behind skimming over my crotch and then an ass grab. It was clearly in passing so I quickly looked over my left shoulder started angrily yelling and swearing in his direction but all I saw was the back of his head disappearing into the crowd, he was too fast. My initial flood of anger was short lived and I began sobbing in the middle of the street.

I was sexually assaulted by a complete stranger and I felt disgusting. I felt violated. I felt so FUCKING ANGRY! But mostly I felt scared. Scared that it would happen again. Scared that it could have been worse if it hadn't happened during a crowded street party. Scared that he did it to other women that night. How does someone just violate your body like it's no big deal, like it's nothing?

THIS, plain and simple, is why I fight for women. We deserve to exist in a world where we're actually treated like human beings. With one swift gesture, he ruined the one day a year that's supposed to be mine. This disgusting sexual predator got to go about the rest of his Canada Day not giving a shit about what he'd done with zero repercussions. It's still fucking infuriating that I can't do a goddamned thing about it.

I'm not looking for sympathy (it's so stupid that I feel I need to say that) I just want to share this as a reminder that things like this happen every day and they happen to EVERY WOMAN. When you make a cavalier comment about something like this or laugh at a rape joke you NORMALIZE this behaviour, it’s NOT funny and you ARE contributing to rape culture.