David: « She is horrified. We all are. What she does not understand is that she begged them to stop and that this will forever be her first sexual experience. »

My daughter who turned 15 in January has been sexually assaulted at De Brouckère subway station two weeks ago. By a group of young men. She is too shocked to tell Hollaback in person what happened but she insisted I tell you her story. What happened will have tremendous consequences for the rest of her life.

She went to the movies on Wednesday afternoon with her friend. Afterwards she was to take the metro home when she and her friend were spotted by these guys. She counted five of them, two of them visibly younger than her. They approached and formed a human curtain around the girls. One of the guys showed his penis and was masturbating while another tried to kiss my daughter and her friend on the mouth. She was also touched.

After a few moments an older man intervened. One of the guys tried to push him on the rails and gave him some blows to the head. In the scuffle the rest stopped what they were doing and started to leave.

A police unit rushed to the spot but the guys were already gone. It is terrible to receive a phone call that your daughter has been assaulted and in the hospital for observation.

She is horrified. We all are. What she does not understand is that she begged them to stop and that this will forever be her first sexual experience. We’ve been advised to start therapy as a family to deal with this. Police has been very helpful but chances that they find the guys are small and given their young ages the eventual punishment will be minimal.

We will be leaving Brussels asap. We ask ourselves why we’ve stayed too long as my wife confessed she has been hasseled numerous times by men on the streets or on the tube. Personally I feel like strangling the first person I come across who in public will behave as a bastard to a lady. This whole city needs therapy.

Je suis avec toi


3 Responses

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  1. hollaback! brussels dit :

    Dear David,
    This is one of the most horrible stories that were submitted to us so far. Thank you for sharing, everyone in Brussels must know about the terrible harassment happening here! Please pass our best & warm wishes to your daughter, we hope that she will be able to heal one day. We completely understand that you decided to move away from Brussels. We hope that one day, this city will be for everyone again and that parents with teenage girls will be glad to live here. Thank you once again for sharing. All our deepest support.
    Your Hollaback!Brussels team

  2. hollaback! brussels dit :

    April 27, 2012 at 12:37

    Marylena says:

    This story makes me really very sad, tears come to my eyes.
    I’m so sorry this has happened to her, she has all my support. Tell her that all the women of the world are fed up with all the harassment and that we will fight against it! Together we are strong! I wish her a beautiful life! Thank you for sharing this!

  3. hollaback! brussels dit :

    Eva says:

    This is horrible. Actually this is the third time that I hear of a girl harassed by a group of young men at De Brouckère. The first one was from this website: http://brussels.ihollaback.org/2012/03/19/new-submission-from-ingrid/

    The second from a friend of mine just earlier this month. Maybe this is a group of young men who goes there on a regular basis? If the police can´t find them maybe the STIB could try to closely observe the area?

    I also think that in general, the Brussels Ministry of Education should send some information to the schools -early enough! Those boys without doubt received some questionable upbringing -but it shouldn´t be too hard to explain in a class how the nature of the crime of any harassment is always dependant on the consequences (the trauma of the victim and those who care about the victim), NOT the intentions. How would those boys feel if anyone treated their mothers or sisters that way? Did they really never think about it? This is despicable and has to stop. It´s simply unacceptable for any human society!

    Best wishes of recovery and strenght to your daughter and your whole family.

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