I was around 13/14 when I first experienced catcalling. I was walking down the beach with my mom, sister and my bestfriend. Some locals called me with an inappropriate words. I knew it was a form a harassment, so I told my mom but she blamed me for wearing shorts.
Then years later I was on a bus, some old man touched my thigh over and over again, I moved further from him but he chase me. I was frozen, scared didn’t know what to do except for run away at the next stop. That time I blamed myself for wearing a tight jeans.
Third experience wreck my life. I lived with my aunt during my high school – university. then one fine day, I was at home doing my assignment, my uncle came to my room. He touched me and kissed me. I tried to escape but at the same time I was too afraid of him. I froze. Then he left. I broke down in tears. I told my mom because I am afraid something worst will happen in the future, but again she blamed me for not lock the key, wearing shorts, and not fight back. Then she told me not to make any accusation because it will break the family and my aunt will get a heart attack.
Since then I tried to keep everything for myself. Until last year, I heard almost everyone in the family already know my story. And some of them called me slut, for stay silent. Then I told my sister of what happened. She broke into tears. Because at the period of time, my uncle made her as his sex slave. She never had a courage to tell anyone. My heart is broken into pieces. If only I ignore my mom and had a courage to speak up, it wont be like this. I feel guilty, embarrassed, sad, angry and all kind of emotions that could describe everything.
When I finally had a courage to confront my mom about what happened, once again she blamed us for not telling her and let everything happened. And that’s it. it is the last time I saw my mom. Because I have no patience to see her face again. Because I knew she once forced my sister to meet my uncle in a hotel room alone (and you can guess what happened right?, that time my sister lived in another city and my uncle happened to visit the area).
I think my mom sold us 🙁
For everyone who read this, please educate your close one not no blame the victim when they tell their story. It might leave a much bigger scar to them. Just listen and support. I hope one day it will be safer enough for us to live in this country.
This post is also available in: Indonesian