Weronika’s Story: Only a Touch

Weronika’s Story: Only a Touch

I don’t how should I start this. Telling someone about my story helps me at first, but later I feel like I had given my burden to someone else and I feel guilty because of that. But I can’t stay silent. The memories are eating me inside, not letting me go to sleep.

My story takes place when I was 14. It was a Friday night and we had guests in our home. It was after 23 PM and I had to go with a dog outside before going to sleep. So I went. We’ve been living in the block of flats in a place that actually is safe. Or at least was. Not for me anymore.
I was walking with my dog maybe 30 meters from the door to my block of flats and in one moment I saw man walking out through it. He didn’t saw me and he walked to the next door of another block of flats that was actually the same building with mine. He tried to open a door, but it was closed (mechanical password door lock didn’t work anymore so late). He started walking back to the first door (mine door), but of course, it was closed too.
And then he saw me.
He looked at me but didn’t say anything.
I got a bit scared of the sight he was giving me. He looked at me… so intensively and hungrily. I started to walk back to the door (where he was still standing) and started to open it, but then he asked me if could I open it for too because he forgot the key. I was innocent. I just wanted to be good. So I agreed and let him inside. I started to go to the elevator, but then he asked if I could open another door for him. It was a door near the elevator that leads to the corridor to the next block of flats (to that one he tried to go in from outside). I agreed. Again. I took my dog in my arms and a key. He was standing right behind me.
I put the key into the door. And I felt his hand sliding under my arm, pulling my top down and starting touch my breasts.
I froze. I got paralyzed from the fear for at least a few seconds. These seconds were the worst seconds in my life. During the time I couldn’t move in my head came million horrible thoughts: what should I do? should I scream? what if he will put a hand over my mouth? what if he will fight with me?

Finally, I decided to scream, because if the situation gets worse… maybe some neighbours will hear me.
I jumped back and he jumped away from me. He raised his hands saying he’s sorry. I quickly opened a door for him and let him go. When I got inside the elevator, I heard him saying “See you”.
When I was in elevator I was still in shock. I didn’t know what to do: be quiet? scream? cry?
“Be silent. It was nothing. You’ll forget” I told myself. But when I came back to my house and saw my parents – laughing and unconsciousness of what happened to me a minute ago – I just burst in tears.
We reported everything to the police right away, but I couldn’t sleep after that anyway. I was shaking and crying all night. Then another one. And another.
The day after it happened I saw him again outside during the day and then I saw him going to some car. Police closed the whole case after 2 years because they couldn’t find him. I only remembered that he was from India and a number of a car plate. Still… it wasn’t enough information for them. They only made sure he’s not one of my new neighbours from India too. He was just visiting them that night. That’s all.
My parents don’t know what kind of mental consequences this “touch” caused me. They don’t know how many times I was crying at night. They don’t know how difficult it’s have been for me to carry that burden – these memories and fear before strangers touch – for almost 4 years. It’s still difficult for me. Even now. Even if it was only a touch. But I KNOW that if I wouldn’t scream back at that moment… he would do more. He wanted to. I could feel it.
You know what also is horrible? The fact that if police would find him, here in Finland we have so stupid law, that he would only have to pay compensation to me. Just like he would have to pay me for what he did.
There is no proper punishment for such people. There is not enough money, not enough jail sentence that could make me forget what he did to me.
Because this what he did to me wasn’t only a touch. For me, it was much more.
He took something from me – a part of me I’ll never get back.
I want to go to psychologist. To someone who could help me, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid that I will be assessed as hysterical, because “it was only a touch”.



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