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Breaking The Silence: Coping With The Aftermath Of Sexual Assault

I laughed out of discomfort, but anyone would have believed I didn’t mind. The smile on my face and the glee in my eyes, makes it look like I’m having a good time. Nobody would have known that I’d just been sexually assaulted whilst on holiday with my mum in Prague; groped without my consent by a man in a bear suit who thought he could rub his erect penis against my bum whilst taking a picture with me in public.

As I said, I laughed out of discomfort. Maybe it was supposed to be a joke and I shouldn’t take things so seriously. Maybe he did it to everyone, maybe I was just too sensitive. Maybe I was meant to enjoy it. Maybe, I wasn’t meant to be bothered by the fact that a random stranger could do what they wanted to my body. But intentionally sexually touching another person without that person's consent, or coercing or physically forcing a person to engage in a sexual act against their will is sexual assault – a crime punishable by law.