ColumnistsVogue Williams

Vogue Williams: A man put his hand up my dress at my own birthday party

Vogue WilliamsBy Vogue Williams
Vogue Williams (Image: VIPIreland.com/Cathal Burke)
Vogue Williams (Image: VIPIreland.com/Cathal Burke)

DATA from 56 different agencies funded by Tulsa has said that over half of Irish women have experienced sexual harassment at some point in their lives.

It also stated that one in four vic­tims had been subjected to physical violence.

Some reports have described this as shocking, but this figure does not surprise me one bit.

It's sad to see it con­firmed just how high the instances really are.

The Rape Crisis Net­work Ireland has raised concerns about the con­tent and accuracy of the report, but it's terrify­ing that this is happening to so many women in our country.

Here are some of the findings from the Tulsa Report:

- One in four adults have experi­enced physical or sexual assault;

- Almost 25,000 adults who experienced domestic violence received support from organisations last year;

- More than 2,000 women and families, including 2,600 children, were supported in refuges in 2015;

- More than 3,000 adults and nearly 200 children who experienced sexual violence were supported in rape crisis centres;

- In 2015, nearly 30,000 people received help via face-to-face services, outreach ser­vices, accommodation and helpline services;

- Over one in 10 adults using face-to-face supports were men;

- Almost a quar­ter of families made homeless in March 2016 cited domestic violence as a cause of their homelessness.

Tusla said the document represented the first stage in a major information project on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

It hopes the data can help improve agencies' responses.

Women are, of course, more at risk of as­sault and sexual violence, and something needs to be done to ensure that this figure comes down.

As a woman myself I have definitely had inappropriate things happen to me that would never happen to a man.

At my birthday last year I had to go home because a man put his hand right up my dress as I walked by him in a nightclub.

It really upset me and made me furious but this was not a one-off incident.

Over the years I've had a few incidences like that and some a little worse, but none I want to go into detail here now.

However, it's safe to say they left their mark and I am super cautious even now.

I feel the way men jeer and shout at women in the street is wrong and it's aggressive.

I can't stand it actually, men driving by beep­ing and shouting inappropriate things at you. I wonder how they would feel if someone did that to their mother, daughter or sister?

These are smaller incidences but when you see the figure for sexual assaults rape and domestic violence, it's truly terrifying.