Not My Imagination.

I was inappropriately touched by a farm worker when I was six. (It was my family’s farm.) I only vaguely remember the incident (including the memory of an awful burning sensation between my legs) but I am in no doubt as to whether or not it happened – it happened. Years later, I vocalized this to a male relative. The response? ‘You sure you eh imagine that?’

When I visit the village in which I grew up, I still see the perpetrator of my loss of sexual innocence…just hanging around. He looked me in the face and smiled the last time I saw him in the street. My entire body stiffened like I’d been slapped.

I don’t think he remembers what he did. I suspect he’s done it to other girls, many times before. I wonder if they were told it was all in their heads, too?

– Mara.

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The vagrant

I was walking down the road in Roseau, Dominica … me and some girlfriends. We were chatting and laughing, the way teenage girls do. A vagrant came up to me and touched my breast … just like that. I couldn’t react, I just froze. That breast felt dirty for days after.

Myrrh

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Beer on my head

I was a student at UWI. One night a drunk man at the bar on campus came up to me a started trying to talk to me. When he realised I was ignoring him, he began to curse at me and then emptied his beer over my head. 

I felt humilated and helpless. How are young women expected to react to such advances?

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