May Kwento Ako: Sexual Harassment In School Uniform
Student survivor stories 🚸
Student survivors of sexual harassment came forward to share their pre-pandemic stories with us through #MayKwentoAko. Trigger warning: Scroll below to read the horrors they went through even when wearing their school uniforms.
YNA: I usually ride jeep papasok sa school. It takes 30mins – 1hr to arrive at my school. It was morning, and everyday, punuan lagi. Puno na yung seats pero ayaw pa umalis ni manong driver. Then may sumakay paningit, he was an old guy. I mean there’s nothing wrong naman until pinupush nya yung elbow niya to my right boob. Nakahawak sya sa hawakan na bakal. I dont know what to do. I want to scream but I couldn’t. It took me a while para maalis yun kasi I was scared. Umayos ako ng upo para madanggi ko sya. Then ayun ako nalang yung umupo half seat para lang matigil na si kuya. I was wearing my big uniform, as in maluwag sya sakin.
JAM: I was in JHS when it happened, I was wearing a knee length skirt partnered with a white shirt. I was waiting for a jeepney and to my surprise a taxi suddenly stopped in front of me. He said “Sakay ka na dito, free ka na”. I was internally screaming from all the fear and shock I felt at that moment. I said no, but he still insisted and offered me a free ride again. I was too shocked, so I immediately rode the next jeepney. Unfortunately, the only seat available was in between the driver and a passenger.
Again, the passenger beside me, a guy, suddenly started talking to me and asking me questions about myself. I was too hesitant to answer, so I just smiled at him hoping he would stop. He didn’t tho, he kept on asking my name, age, and if I was a student. I didn’t want to waste my transpo fee, so I answered him fake answers. He just kept on asking if I had a boyfriend, and the moment I didn’t reply, the tone of his voice got louder. At that time, I was still shocked from the taxi incident, so I pretended to receive a call from someone and got down from the jeepney ride.
I was so scared that time, I never felt safe whenever I was commuting.
DANI: I rode at the back of the tricycle on my way to school (here in Cebu, the tricycle sidecars had seats at the back, facing the next vehicle) and I was wearing my school uniform that was a few inches below my knee, dress type. While on the road, there was a man driving his motorcycle and was catching up to the vehicle I was on, hence, I was in front of him, not to mention I was the only passenger at the back. He had his face covered and had sunglasses on.
I then noticed his right hand let go of the grip of his motorcycle and instead, positioned it below his abdomen. Little did I know his zipper was already open and his thingy is already exposed. Him, upon seeing the shocked expression on my face, then patted his little friend like nothing happened. It took me a while to process that what he did was inappropriate. I was sixteen.
RIA: I was 12 when I was on my way to school, I was wearing my PE uniform, a white shirt and thick jogging pants. The jeepney I rode was empty so I sat at the very end when this guy, who looked to be in his 40s, got in and sat down beside me. I didn’t mind it at first because usually people would start rushing in to be able to go to work. But unfortunately, that morning felt too calm.
I had my heavy bag in front of me, but he still managed to rest his left hand on my right thigh. Since I was at the very far end of the jeepney I had nowhere else to go, I didn’t want to jump out because that would only hurt me. I didn’t mind it, I thought it was nothing but he started to caress my thigh, rubbing his hand on me and I started to feel really uncomfortable and scared. Good thing my stop was near and I got out immediately as soon as the jeepney picked up another passenger. I was very traumatic for me and I wasn’t able to concentrate on my classes during that day, it got me emotional and I thought it was my fault for picking an empty jeepney.
If you’ve experienced something similar, you may feel free to share your stories with us below. Our ongoing campaign, #MayKwentoAko, features stories shared with us to encourage positive conversations.
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