Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

It may be legal, but men chasing teenage girls is more than just ‘icky’ by Fiona Sturges

I remember what it was like to be young and “on the cusp”. When I was in my early to mid-teens, this meant, to some of the men I encountered, I was “not quite legal” or, as many preferred, “jailbait”. I knew back then that this made me attractive, and being attractive to grown men made me feel good.

I didn’t think much beyond this fact, or why these men wouldn’t prefer to hang out with women their own age. I was more preoccupied with what I saw: worldliness, sophistication, a gateway to adulthood.

None of these interactions became physical, which, looking back, was probably because I liked the idea rather than the reality. Other girls I knew went considerably further. My interest in older men started to wane when one of my parents’ friends tried to grope me behind a door at a party. I was 14.

I look at my daughter now and I know what lies ahead. Long before she is 16 and thus, in the eyes of the law, “legal”, she’ll be leered at on the bus and chatted up by men five, 10, perhaps even 15 years her senior.  ....

 

This article was published in The Independent on 21.2.16. You can read the rest here.

 

Inspired by our participation with the Write to End Violence Against Women awards organised by Zero Tolerance, we are now collecting examples of good journalism and writing about domestic and sexual violence and abuse to make it clear that it is possible to write about DSVA without resorting to myths, misrepresentations, minimisation and victim blaming.

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