I returned to my room assuming the most of the girls would be in bed and I’d quietly shower and hit the hay. Instead I walked into my dorm and while I was organizing my things out of the corner of my eye saw some figures in the dark half humping.
For a second everyone froze and then this random guy in our ALL-GIRL dorm says to me in an Australian accent…
“Would you mind leaving for a bit?”
WTF?! ME?! THIS IS MY ROOM! WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU? YOU LEAVE!
I was speechless.
Then I did not know what to say. So I said, “What’s a bit?”
And he replies, “Uhhhh, 10 minutes.”
I burst out laughing. 10 minutes?! Oh honey, that’s so so sad.
I leave, but then I realized that my new friend of 5 hours was not moving that much and I start wondering if this awkward situation may actually be sexual assault. I went to the front desk and talked to them and they said they would call security. I go back upstairs and as I’m walking up the stairs, the couple comes out of the room. She is incredibly wasted but seems okay and he does not seem very drunk.
I go back into the room and two of the other roommates had walked in on them also. The three of us talked about the situation. One of the girls was there in the bar of the hostel and mentioned that the bartender had given them extra shots they did not order a couple of times.
The next day I talked to the girl and she apologized for the craziness but I mainly wanted to make sure she was okay. She said she did not remember anything and she was pretty sure they did not have sex but she woke up in his bed wondering where she was. I told her about my background in community organizing and sexual assault prevention and training. I wanted her to know that I was not judging her, victim blaming her or trying to preach to her. We talked about consent and that if someone is unconscious they cannot give consent and most people do not understand that. She said she was never going to get that drunk again but I mentioned that she should be allowed to drink without having to worry about sexual assault. We talked for a while and it was all good.
I wrote a letter to the hostel and told them that I think they should have sexual assault training for their bar/hostel and gave them the following resources including this video about what consent it using tea as an example
Also, if anyone reads this and thinks “well, she was drunk” you’re part of the problem.
Girls should be able to go to bars, parties, shows, drink, and not have to worry about getting raped. Girls should be able to walk, bike, take public transit to work (or anywhere) without being street harassed. Girls should be able to be in relationships where their partners don’t hit them. Girls, boys, everyone should be able to live their lives without living in fear of violence.
Watch this video and if you still don't get it, let me know, and we'll have a conversation and I'll send you more resources.
I also fully understand that there will always be people who don't get it. But I will never...NEVER stop having this conversation.
For London: https://ldn.ihollaback.org
For Baltimore: https://bmore.ihollaback.org/safer-spaces-campaign/
For DC: http://www.collectiveactiondc.org