I’m a 16 year old girl, living in Brussels (parents moved from US to work here). I’ve recently stopped hanging out with my friends at the mall or the city shopping street, because of the looks, catcalling and remarks my friends and I get. My friends and I do not dress provocatively, but we do wear sun-dresses and shorts in summer, which we should be able to do, without being shouted at.
I really hate this behavior. A few weeks ago I was waiting for my friends outside a cinema (It hadn’t opened yet, I was 10 minutes early), It was 2 P.M, and around me were couples, groups of friends, families etc. Yet, 3 men still approached me trying to touch my face and kept asking me to come with them, and tried to pressure me into going into their car with them. I got so scared, I ran away and called my parents to pick me up.
Since that experience I don’t go anywhere without my mom or dad. This has really had a bad affect on me, I wish the sexual street harassment would stop. What is disgusting is when they do it to underage girls as well. I know 13 year old girls who are touched by strangers. It makes me sick.
Some people say it is flattering that men find them “hot”, but it makes me feel even more worthless and empty, as if the only reason I exist is to be looked at for being female.
Location: Brussels, Belgium