It’s not okay to follow young women. 

I was innocently walking through Dublin City at midday to volunteer with a lovely charity I’m involved in. Today of all days the clouds opened up and rained, it poured heavily. To get where I needed to go I had to walk down a few streets and one of the streets was quiet, due to the rain. When I say quiet I mean it was eerie. I couldn’t see a soul around. A gut feeling of discomfort settled in my tummy so I sped up so I would be nearer to people soon. I took my headphones off and power walked through. Nobody else was around until one cyclist flew past me and continued on his way. I heard another whooshing of a bike pushing past a minute later. But this guy stopped. He stopped a short distance from me.

O.k…I thought “maybe he just needs a sec to catch his breath but then he just sat down on his bike fully stopped and stared at me and smiled. 

Right. I had two options. Either I could continue as normal at my pace or run the fuck out of there. Thankfully, I chose the latter. Oh I ran, I ran fast. I have been told I can run fast but this was something else. I felt adrenaline kicking in. Recently I have had a lot of chest infections and have been struggling to catch my breath walking so I haven’t ran in a while. But I couldn’t stop. I had to get to safety. So, I got the hell out of there and he didn’t catch up with me and I am happy to report that I am safe. A little shaken, but I am safe. 

Is it all in my head? Was this man going to harm me if I didn’t run away? I don’t think so. Just something in my gut knew this wasn’t a good situation. Any man in their right mind would know that stopping in the middle of the street and staring at a young woman all alone is NOT okay. 

Guys. I am so fed up dealing with instances such as this. They are more frequent than they should be and has stopped me doing certain things and attending some events that I would really enjoy. 

I’m done with being scared of walking home alone.

I’m over being followed and hesitant to go out.

I’m sick of girls being taught from a young age to be scared of strangers, don’t wear that dress…it’s too short. Watch your drink! Don’t get in a taxi alone.

When instead we should be educating our children the importance of boundaries and that it’s not okay to take advantage of people. We were never told in school not to sexually assault people. Instead we were told not to wear short skirts. When will this stop? And when will schools bring in workshops and classes about consent. College is too late to teach it. Our thoughts on gender and sex are ingrained in us from a young age. 

Let’s start the conversation early and soon.



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