17th March 2021
My name is Jessica. I am 30 years old. That’s me in the picture. I decided to try to write down every memory I have of being subjected to male violence since I was born.
I am a chartered psychologist with a PhD in forensic psychology. I grew up in a working class town on a council estate in a pretty regular family.
In this blog, I am simply going to list every instance I can remember of harassment, assault, abuse, threats, violence, rape and harm from men and boys.
The purpose of this personal post is not for sympathy or for support.
The purpose of this post is to show that I am 100% sure that if every woman I knew sat down and thought about every instance of male violence they were ever subjected to, they would have a long list. Our lists would look different and also very similar. Whether it’s catcalling or sexual abuse, women and girls live every day trying to protect themselves from male violence in ways that men have never even had to consider.
Having written this list, I’ve realised that even as I’ve aged and moved into safeguarding and academia, male violence is still prevalent. You’ll notice that the perpetrators change from strangers on the street to men in my field of work.
It goes without saying that this is very uncomfortable to read. The sheer scale of it will be difficult for many of you. Please consider this a serious content and trigger warning for male violence.
Every experience of male violence I have ever had by 30 years old
9 years old: An older boy at my new school put his hand up my skirt
9 years old: Same older boy threw coins at me on the playground and told me to suck his dick whilst I sat on the floor crying
11 years old: Male family member threw me up against cupboard and broke my wrist because I ducked his drunk punch and he was furious
11 years old: Fireman who lived on our road exposed himself to me and my friend
11 years old: Fireman seriously sexually assaulted me behind garages a few weeks later
11 years old: Family friend tried to sexually assault me in living room whilst parents were in kitchen – shouted for parents
12 years old: 16yo boy pressured me to give him oral sex several times (usually I was given drugs)
12 years old: 16yo boy and 19yo man gave me drugs and made me take clothes off
12 years old: Same 16 yo boy raped me and then mocked me for crying in pain – told everyone I was pathetic/frigid
12 years old: Catcalled from moving car on way to the summer fayre
12 years old: Groomed and sexually abused daily by 25 year old man on our street for 6 months
12 years old: Boy threw me to the floor at a party
13 years old: Builder working on our house sexually harasses me every day for a week
13 years old: In family pub with parents when a man stabbed another man in the eye right in front of me. This caused a brawl where 10-15 men smashed the pub up whilst I was trapped on the floor. I collapsed from the shock/trauma. Family member dragged me unconscious to safety through broken glass and furniture causing injury to my legs and arms. Woke up with paramedics.
13 years old: Music teacher said he liked my legs in tights – reported but no action
13 years old: Waiter on family holiday sexually threatens me and harasses me for 2 weeks solid until we went home
13 years old: Given alcohol and drugs by older boys and men frequently
13 years old: Picked up by men in cars and given drugs and alcohol with other girls
13 years old: Beginning of 5 year ‘relationship’ with abuser and rapist (one of the older boys in the group)
13-15 years old: A lot of emotional abuse and control, isolation, drugs, alcohol, controlling friends, checking my phone etc
14 years old: Regularly sexually assaulted by club bouncers who let underage girls in, if you stood still whilst they sexually assault you at the door
14 years old: Boy at school put a cigarette out on my hand and held me there until it burned deeper ‘as a joke’
14-16 years old: Regularly catcalled and followed by men on the way to school and on the way home
14 years old: Attacked by local man in alleyway, strangled me and threatened me (the next year, he went on to be convicted of attempted murder of another local schoolgirl who he attacked her with meat cleaver at the summer fayre)
14 years old: Taken to middle of nowhere in pyjamas and no shoes and left there in the night by abuser. Walked home alone, barefoot.
14 years old: Sexual images of me were shared with a large group of adult men
15 years old: Pushed out of moving car
15 years old: Suckerpunched and knocked out by 28 year old man in front of other men at a car rally as ‘a joke’
15 years old: Thrown in front of a moving car in city centre by abuser. Driver performs emergency stop before running me over. Driver didn’t dare get out to help me.
16 years old: Beaten up regularly by abuser (he was 18-19 years old by now)
16 years old: Raped whilst abuser pressed large scissors to the side of my neck
16 years old: Abuser pins me to wall and strangled me until I gave him my debit card with my wages. Two of his friends watch and say nothing.
16 years old: Drugged by abuser and other 28 year old man and then raped whilst unconscious by both men
16 years old: In his car with abuser, when 28 year old man deliberately ran his ex girlfriend over and left her in street. Threatened to never tell anyone what I saw.
16 years old: Forced to clean oven with sharp knife held across my throat by abuser
16 years old: Pushed down stairs by abuser, miscarried pregnancy, first ever hospital attendance
16 years old: Abuser took all my clothes and shoes, put them all in bath of bleach so I couldn’t dress or leave house
16 years old: Abuser snapped mobile phone in half and destroyed all childhood items and photo albums
16 years old: Abuser threw glass vase at me and then dragged me through broken glass and cut my legs open with the glass
16-18 years old: Abuser regularly smashed entire house up and then made me clean it up in front of him
16 years old: Area manager at work tried to pay me to have sex with him at a conference, when I refused and told him he was disgusting, he sacked me
16 years old: Abuser steals my bank card and spends my whole month salary in strip club in one night
17 years old: Pregnant again by abuser within a few months
17 years old: Forced to perform sex acts whilst pregnant whilst being called fat, ugly, disgusting etc.
17 years old: Abuser drove car into oncoming traffic to try to kill me and unborn baby
17 years old: Frequent threats to kill me and unborn baby
17 years old: Raped a few days after baby is born, all episiotomy stitches ripped out causing severe bleeding and injury – treatment needed but didn’t disclose to nurses
17 years old: Items thrown at me
17 years old: Regularly raped post-partum
17 years old: When baby cries in night, abuser keeps jug of water next to bed and pours it over my face whilst I sleep to wake me up and make me see to baby and feed/change
17 years old: Regularly catcalled whilst pushing pram on walks with baby
17 years old: Spat at in street for being ‘disgusting teen mum’
18 years old: Punched in back of the head and head butted oven door due to impact
18 years old: Abuser threw water over me whilst I was using electrical appliance to try to electrocute me
18 years old: Tell abuser it is over
18 years old: Abuser attacks me a couple of weeks later, headbutts me, throws me over dining table whilst holding baby, disclocated my shoulder, throws large set of keys at my head, I ring 999 whilst lying on the floor (first police contact)
18 years old: Abuser charged with 13 sexual and violent offences, denies them all
18 years old: Whilst on bail, abuser sends 47 death threats detailing the ways he will kill me and what he will do with my body – police ignore
18 years old: Abuser kicks front door in to come in a attempt to kill me – police ignore
18 years old: Abuser sits most nights and throws stones at my bedroom window to intimidate me and stop me sleeping – police ignore and tell me to ‘stop tattle taling on him’
18 years old: Abuser texts me at night telling me what I am wearing or what I am watching on TV as he is hiding in garden or looking through windows. Calls to police almost every night. Police attend once, find him in garden. He tells them he is a police officer and they BELIEVE HIM. I tell them he is lying and he works in construction. They warn me not to report him again.
18 years old: Abuser convinces everyone that I am mentally ill
18 years old: Abuser turns up drunk to my place of work and abuses my managers and me – police ignore it
18 years old: Abuser and friend call my place of work and maliciously report that I have been selling credit card details to men in pubs. Luckily my manager recognised their voices from the incident earlier in the month. My computer was still investigated. Was found to be malicious.
18 years old: Abuser given access to baby. Abuser turns up at my place of work, abandons baby in car park, throws nappies and food all over work car park and leaves. Security at my workplace bring me my baby and my things whilst I am at work in call centre having watched him on CCTV – police ignore it
18 years old: Abuser reports to social services that I am incapable of caring for my baby and that I am addicted to heroin – social services investigate and then NFA as malicious
18 years old: Abuser goes to give bouquets of flowers to my parents and grandparents and tells them he’s innocent and I’m mentally ill
18 years old: Abuser stalks me everywhere, follows me in his car as I walk with pram – police ignore it
18 years old: Abuser threatens suicide regularly
18 years old: Abuser gets hold of me and whispers that he enjoyed every rape and every time he beat me up – laughs at me that he will never be convicted
18 years old: Abuser sends me song lyrics and songs about abusing or killing me and how much he misses hurting me every day
18 years old: Abuser claims he’s been falsely accused and is being alienated from his child deliberately – pretty much everyone believes him and many people try to convince me to drop charges and to give him access to baby
18 years old: Taxi driver helped me in with baby and grocery shopping and then locked my door behind him and tried to rape me in the kitchen – screamed and fought until he left. Reported to taxi company, local authority licensing and police but NFA.
18 years old: Man in stag do in bar ripped my shirt open as I walked past and then punched me in the jaw for saying I wasn’t interested in him
18 years old: Guy I knew from school deliberately put his cigarette out on my leg whilst I was talking to him and held me there whilst it burned
18 years old: Went to bank to ask for overdraft but bank manager said no. I cried and explained I had been abused and was struggling etc. He was kind. Text me 20 mins later saying he would give me rent money and overdraft in cash if I would sleep with him.
18 years old: Left area due to death threats and safety concerns
19 years old: Abuser pays man at Royal Mail to give him my mail redirection address – Royal Mail investigate and give him a written warning
19 years old: Abuser sends group of men to my new address to attack me
19 years old: Abuser abducts baby and disappears – call police but they say it’s not a crime
19 years old: Abuser stalks my social media and creates fake accounts to send abuse and threats – Police say it’s not a crime
19 years old: Abuser calls and texts frequently during police investigation with abuse and threats, police ignore every single report and tell me to call Samaritans
19 years old: Catcalled walking up a hill with pram by two men in van
19 years old: Catcalled walking past petrol station by 4 men in convertible
19 years old: Threatened in a bar for telling man I wasn’t interested in him
22 years old: A man verbally abused me for telling him I wasn’t interested in him and called me a ‘fat ugly slag’ moments after saying he wanted to fuck me
22 years old: Two men drinking on the steps of the town hall shouted sexually abusive comments at me as I got into my car after a meeting
23 years old: I am assaulted for reporting a safeguarding concern. I have stitches in my face and gums. Police officer on duty attends my address, threatens to ‘smash my face in’ if I continued with a complaint against his family member for ABH – says he knows everything about me etc. Another office is present with him and blocks my exit from room whilst other officer threatens me to drop charges
23 years old: Report officer to police force who tell me it never happened even though I had names and badge numbers
24 years old: Male ex partner throws mug full of hot tea at me
24 years old: Sent dick pic by male professional on LinkedIn
24 years old: Male ex partner throws me to floor in argument and then leaves the house
25 years old: Man in a bar bit me on the shoulder for saying I wasn’t interested in him
25 years old: Man drove up to me and screamed abuse at me whilst I sat in my parked car waiting to pick my kids up from school. Then he drove off.
25 years old: Man on internet sends me pics of myself that he has wanked over and cut my head off in each pic
25-26 years old: Stalked and harassed for almost 2 years by male professional in safeguarding whom I’ve never met or spoken to who disagrees with my work
26 years old: Sexually assaulted and pinned to wall by male stranger in a bar who wouldn’t take no for an answer
26 years old: Male academic sent me abuse because he doesn’t agree with my views and then tagged loads of pro- paedophile accounts to give me more abuse which lasted weeks
27 years old: Tommy Robinson tagged me in a post which went viral and encouraged his followers to abuse me. Received upwards of 5000 threats including death and rape threats. All of my accounts were trolled for about 3 weeks.
27 years old: Male professional in safeguarding threatened to kill me for reporting him to police for harassment after he stole my work and sold the documents on. Shared a public image of me from a holiday and claimed I had privately sent it to him.
27 years old: Sent sexual messages by a Priest on LinkedIn
27 years old: Hotel staff member helps me to my room with laptop and bags. Sits on bed and refuses to leave. Tried to come on to me. Wouldn’t leave my bed. Shouted for help.
28 years old: Male ex partner opened back doors to my vehicle and started throwing my belongings on the driveway, punched my vehicle and then opened the door to my moving vehicle as I drove into the road and tried to pull me out of the driver seat
29 years old: Trolled by MRA and alt-right movement when my book was published. Received over 10,000 abusive messages, rape and death threats over 5 day period. Reported to police, initial response was that it was my own fault for being a public figure.
29 years old: MRA activists hack my computer – police take it for investigation
29 years old: Man sends explicit threat about injuries he wanted to cause to me with weapons
29 years old: Man in Canada writes violent, abusive and homophobic articles about me for alt-right magazine
30 years old: A man stole my holiday photos and sold them online, pretending to be me posing as a sex worker for men. One of the men who bought images of me decided to tell me what had happened.
25-present: Due to being in public eye, I receive on average 3 threatening or abusive emails or messages from men per week
Okay. So that’s everything I can think of for now.
That’s 108 incidents I can remember after 2 hours of thinking and writing.
In terms of how many actual crimes have been committed in acts of male violence towards me since I was born, it’s probably thousands.
I’m not alone here. I’m not an outlier. I don’t believe there are any women who have never been abused, groped, catcalled, harassed, raped, assaulted, threatened or harmed by men and boys. Male violence is just too common for that to be possible. Even women who have been lucky enough to have never been raped or abused will definitely have been sexually harassed, sent inappropriate messages or catcalled as a girl. For example, a recent study in the UK found that 97% of women 18-25 have been sexually harassed. That’s a huge number. That’s almost every woman.
We need to have this conversation, and we need to have it now. Or yesterday. Or in the 1960s when feminists highlighted it, and were ignored and ridiculed.
One of the interests I have in this topic is that all of the academic theories of ‘revictimisation’ suggest that male violence only happens to women and girls who are vulnerable or precipitate the crime in some way.
I am of the opinion that if all women say down and completed this written exercise, they would each have so many experiences of male violence, that the theories of revictimisation would cease to make sense. Instead of repeat victimisation of women and girls being something about the individual woman or girl, we would find that male violence is so common in our communities that it’s hard NOT to be a victim of male violence.
Being female in a patriarchy is our so-called vulnerability.
If you wanted to do this exercise yourself, please don’t feel that you have to share it or share the number of incidents you can remember. It’s not useful for everyone and it can be very traumatic for those who are not ready or able to think about the scale of male violence committed against them.
However, if you have read this and think it might be useful, you can do it privately and whilst practising self-care. Sometimes it can help to see a timeline or the sheer scale of what you have been subjected to in your life as a woman.
Thank you for reading.
Written by Dr Jessica Taylor