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how can I look my male friends in the eye after being harassed?

Hi Sam, I am a 14 year old girl and recently I was harassed by a man at a concert. The band had started quite a long time after they were supposed to (due to technical issues) and I was getting bored. I was leaning against the stage and thinking about other things when a man in his forties tapped my shoulder and asked if I was ok. I nodded and he told me to smile. It made me feel a bit weird so I just laughed and turned away. After the band had started, he kept touching my waist which made me really uncomfortable and he wouldn't stop asking me to smile. I ended up leaving 25 minutes earlier because he was scaring me. I have to go back tosschool soon and I don't know if I'm ready to trust a guy again yet. I don't want to just stop talking to all my male friends, but I feel really shaken after the inciden. How can I pretend it didn't happen and try to forget about it?
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Sam

Hi there,

It’s never okay for someone to harass you like this. Even when you’re in a crowded situation, it's wrong for someone to purposely touch you inappropriately or make you feel uncomfortable.

You shouldn’t ever have to pretend that this harassment didn’t happen. In fact being able to accept that something happened can be a big part of being able to move on.

Feeling like you can't trust guys after you were treated badly is understandable. It’s not your fault that you’re feeling that way and it doesn’t mean that these feelings won’t ever change.

It’s important to remember that not all guys are the same as the man who assaulted you. Men are people just like women. Some people are nice, some aren’t - and most of us fall somewhere in the middle. It can help to remind yourself about what you like about your male friends. You could even think about how they’d react if you told them you were feeling like this.

If someone is inappropriate or makes you feel uncomfortable, their gender never makes it okay or normal. It can be difficult knowing what to do, but you’re never doing anything wrong by talking to members of security or even the police. Part of their role is to protect people from anyone who is being inappropriate. By telling them what’s happening, you’re protecting everyone there.

After something like this happens it can help to talk to a ChildLine counsellor, they’re there to listen and support you with anything that might be happening.

Take care,
Sam

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