What gives anyone the right to humiliate a person in public and treat them so disrespectfully? Nothing, that's what.
On New Year's Eve, a couple of my girlfriends and I followed the crowds into town to dance the night away. On the packed dance floor, we sang and laughed with new and old friends.
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It was still early in the night when I felt a hand on my bottom. For a split second, I brushed it off, thinking it could have just been someone thrashing about wildly and who had lost control of their limbs. When a few deliberate taps followed, I knew there was intent behind the madness.
I spun round, not really knowing what I was going to say but ready to stop the unwanted attention. A sandy-haired guy grinned stupidly up at me, with his little entourage of males behind him.
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I didn't do a very good job at hiding my shock. My friend, who hadn't heard his comment at this stage but saw my face, confronted him. He assured her he was merely complimenting me.
His disgusting words cut right through me. Having him grope my bum wasn't great either, but that line sent me cold.
My rage was compounded by his smugness and attempt to call that a compliment. Despite being surrounded by my friends, this guy had single-handedly killed my happy New Year.
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My friends shimmied me out of harm's way and the perpetrator lost interest. On New Year's Day, I relayed the order of events to my family.
Naturally, they were as disgusted as I was. Suggestions were thrown round on what I could have done. I wished I had put him in his place with some witty remark. In an ideal world I would have inflicted upon him a few of the self defense moves I'd learnt months earlier, in preparation for overseas travel.
My younger sister told me of similar encounters she had endured in town - both in Christchurch and Wellington.
Just nights before, a man had tried to put his hand up her skirt. She was quick enough to grab his wrist with as much force as she could muster, before she forcefully told him where to go.
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We all agreed that if I had tapped the sandy-haired schmuck where it would hurt the most, I would have been the one getting thrown out of the bar, no questions asked. I fear they would not have believed either, even though it is irrelevant, that I was sober driver.
I've since watched the video of the Rhythm and Vines festival-goer, who slapped the guy who groped her breast. I salute her. Sadly, blame was placed on her by men and women, for the fact she went topless in public. Why must we continue to have to remind people it doesn't matter what anyone wears, or if they're sober or not?
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We've got to stop this blame game rhetoric, and make it safe for both women and men to simply have a good time without fear of being groped, assaulted, humiliated or made to feel uncomfortable in all manner of situations. If there is a next time, you can rest assured I'll use my self defense skills. It wasn't Content Flag Stuff Nation.
Emily SpinkJan 12 Share your news and views Share your stories, photos and videos.