A letter sent to MARIAS …

I have been very scared all my life of telling this story; but here it goes.

When I was around 11 or 12, I was taking a taxi from my Dad’s house to my Mum’s house which was around a 20 minute drive.

The driver was a Muslim man who had taken me on this trip on many occasions; I felt I could trust him so I always sat in the front seat.

This particular day was very warm so I was wearing a skirt and strap top; being a child I didn’t see this as a provocative outfit.

A few minutes into the journey we started talking as we usually did, but then he started asking me sexual questions. I was very uncomfortable. I didn’t understand half of the things he was saying to me but now I understand how vulgar they truly were.

He started describing lewd and violent sex acts, telling me that he was going to do it to me exactly how he described. He muttered a few things in a different language so I can’t be sure of what he said, but his tone of voice was scary.

Telling me I was a “little white whore”

He then started grabbing my legs and telling me I was “a little white whore” because of my “sexy little skirt”.

His hand rose further up my skirt to expose my underwear (which were very childish and not sexual in any kind of way). All the time he kept telling me how ashamed I should be of myself and how if I didn’t want to get in trouble I should be quiet.

He told me that it was all my fault because I was wearing sexy little clothes and I was flirting with him. I was so scared. I was crying uncontrollably. I’ve never felt fear like that in my life.

Thankfully we stopped at a red light and I ran. I don’t know if he made a grab for me or not because I just ran away into the local park and hid in the trees. I prayed that someone would walk or drive past but the whole area was deserted. I sat for a while calming myself before I walked home.

I feared that it was my fault

I didn’t dare tell my mum what had happened because I feared that it was my fault and that I had done something wrong. The shame and embarrassment I felt was unparalleled.

I started to wear heavier clothing, with a more boyish look. I lost all my self confidence and became quiet and reserved.

I hate using taxis alone and always took the bus home from my Dad’s house after that. I’ve kept this secret for nearly 10 years now.

I finally feel brave enough to share my story.