- I’m 18 and walking to work from high school. A man I don’t recognize drives slowly alongside me for two blocks before asking, “How much?” I ask my parents for a can of mace. They tell me to calm down, it was only a joke.
- I’m 20 and interning at a major metro newspaper. The person I’m shadowing for the day comes on to me. I report it to my professor. The man laughs it off.
- I’m 22 and raped. I report it to the police. The man commits suicide and we never go to court. The man’s sister harasses me for the next five years. I do not engage. I change my phone number.
- I’m 23 and covering a commissioners court meeting on the first day of a new job. The sheriff sits next to me, grabs my thigh and tells me how much he looks forward to us working together. My male colleague sees this. Nothing is reported.
- I’m celebrating my 24th birthday. A man at the bar takes a photo up my dress. I have a panic attack and sprint home. Nothing is reported. I don’t leave my apartment after dark for the next few months.
- I’m 25 and standing up to a man who is trying to load my on-the-verge-of-passing-out friend into his car to take her home for the night. The man calls me a fucking cock-blocking bitch and I drive my friend home.
- I’m 28 and I get a text from a friend who is in the online dating scene. She tells me who she’s meeting and when, where they’re going and what time she’ll be home, what car he drives, what tattoos he has and where he works. We practice helping other women and making sure we are all safe. We do this in honor of our younger selves.