KemangIncident

I was walking with three other girls towards Hero Kemang. It was a quiet Sunday afternoon on a typical Jakarta street, wide enough for cars and motorcycles. Suddenly, I felt my chest grabbed. To be fair, it felt more like a hard slap, as the man was speeding along on a motorcycle. Before I could react, he was out of arms length, cruising around the corner. I think I screamed? But mostly I wanted to cry. It was scary and I felt violated and ashamed and angry all at the same time. Another gentleman on a motorcycle nearby noticed the commotion and asked what happened. I couldn’t find the words in Bahasa. “No, tidak copet”. “Dipukul”. He didn’t steal anything. He hit me. Was I hurt? No, I was violated. How do you express that? Who cares, he’s gone now anyway. I wanted to hide. Was I wearing something revealing? Were pants and a t-shirt revealing? Did I do something wrong to make this happen? Why would someone do that? Is it because I am foreign? A surge of questions and no answers. I was scared to walk and bike alone for months after. I am still always on alert.
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