Trigger warning: sexual abuse
To those people who have shared their own stories and/or listened to mine… Thank you, it has been an important part of my processing my experiences.
“Boys will be boys”. That’s what I was told when I was 13. I was probably told it before then but this occasion stuck in my mind. I had summoned up all of my courage to tell my mother that someone was regularly physically threatening me. He was 15 and physically a lot bigger than me. He dragged me out of rooms by my ankles. He lifted the sofa I was laying on so that it was vertical and threatened to tip me through the window. He was cruel and mocking.
And when I finally told my mother, she said “Boys will be boys.”
All the messages I was receiving from people around me, from magazines, from books, was that boys are mean to girls because they like them. This, my mother’s dismissal and my exceptionally low self worth was about to set me up for further pain.
When I was 14, this same boy, would sexually assault me.
And I wouldn’t tell anyone got years. Because “Boys will be boys”.