When I was about 11 years old, my younger brother, his friend (who both would have been 7-8 years old) and I were walking home from school. My brother’s friend violently grabbed my genitals as we were all walking home together. This was over 15 years ago, and I only just remembered it and how sick to my stomach it made me feel at the time. How does a kid that young learn to do things like that?

When I hooked up with someone I’d had a crush on in high school – in my early 20s – I slept in his bed, and he asked me for sex. I didn’t want to have sex with him and he seemed to respect that, but he wouldn’t talk to me the next day. A couple of nights later I saw him – he was drunk – and he yelled out to me with our friends/acquaintances around “Do you want some cock?!” I was mortified. I think my female friend who was with me at the time, had sex with him a few weeks later.

When my ex would make me feel guilty for not having sex with him at least 3 times a week.

When the same ex told me I should wear short skirts.

When the same ex told me I should get a brazilian wax because I will ‘love it’ and ‘never want to go back’ because he told his ex-fiance to do the same thing and that was her experience.

When the same ex would have sex with me after I said ‘no’, but then would say ‘yes’ after he pestered me and made me feel guilty about it.

Every time I’ve been whistled at or yelled at by a guy (whether he’s walking by or in a passing car), while I’m walking down the street.

Every time I’ve been groped in a bar or club.

These are some of my experiences that show that we live in a country where rape culture is everywhere. Rape culture is not okay: EVERYBODY needs to respect one another, but men and boys especially need to respect women and girls.