When I was twelve, a man who lived down the street started following me to and from school, when I lived in Dawson Creek, BC. He would tell me that he missed ‘seeing my pretty face’ and that he wanted me to ‘come and visit him sometime.’ When I refused, he started stalking me.
I told my mom about it, and she told me it was my own fault for not being street smart enough. So I just tried my best to avoid him until I was old enough to move to a different city. In the six years that he harassed and stalked me, I suffered panic attacks and constant fear. My grades suffered, and I was eventually expelled from school.
I remember running from him one day after school, how he chased me through the trees beside the school. I was lucky that I was a fast runner. I was terrified, but I was also so ashamed. I felt like it was my fault, that if I was somehow smarter, or less pretty, this wouldn’t be happening to me. It wasn’t until later that I realized that the only reason he did this to me was because I was a girl.
Location: Dawson Creek, BC, Canada