Here’s How Street Harassment Affects Women’s Mental Health—And How We Heal

Read the full article at the Talkspace blog

I remember what I was wearing: A blue tank top with a picture of a peacock, jean short-shorts, and flip-flops. I remember the weather: High summer, sweet grass scenting the air and the sun just beginning its slow descent to the horizon. I was walking down a country road, lost in my thirteen-year-old daydreams, when suddenly —

Honk honk!

A car horn split the air with its grating clamor. A group of men in the car waved their hands and heads out the windows, hollering at me.

It felt like I jumped a mile. My body flooded with shock. Fear. Self-consciousness. The moment before, I was at ease in my space, my body, my summer daydreams. Now, my sense of peace was ripped away like a wax strip torn from the heart.

That was the first time I was street harassed.

Do you remember the first time you were street harassed? Were you a little girl? A young woman setting off for college? Or has it happened so often you can’t even remember the start?

If you’re a woman, chances are you’ve experienced street harassment — and not just one time. In fact, some surveys show that as many as 85% of women report experiencing incidences of harassment in public space — including behaviors like staring, sexual comments, whistling, and even groping — before the age of 17. That means almost all of us have been street harassed before we’re even licensed to drive.

 

Read the full article at Talkspace.

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