An Italian teenager’s account of being sexually harassed has gone viral after she described feeling “lucky for not being raped”.
Anita Fallani, 18, from the northern town of Scandicci, said she was returning home at night when an unknown man started asking her questions.
She ignored him, but he kept following her. Ms Fallani wrote: “I wonder why I don’t have the same freedom as a male.”
Her words have been reported in Italian media and shared thousands of times.
Ms Fallani – who is the daughter of the mayor of the Tuscany town – described being targeted by the man while she waited for a tram after a night out with a friend.
“You see me and you think you should start bothering me. I’ve never seen you, I have no idea who you are, but it doesn’t stop you. ‘Good evening miss, how are you? What’s your name? Why don’t you answer?’,” she wrote, recalling what he said.
She said she ignored his questions and, after boarding the tram, put her headphones on, hoping that the man would stop bothering her.
But later, when she got off, he followed her. “I feel like crying. I feel lonely and I don’t know what to do.”
She said she pretended to call someone but the man kept following her. “Where are you going? Are you coming with me?,” she recalled him saying, adding: “I’m starting to get seriously scared.”
When she finally got home, she described how she initially felt “safe”. But then the feeling became “deep anger”.
“Mine is a story like so many. There is nothing extraordinary, it is not an exception, but one of the many things that make up our lives, completely normal,” she wrote, saying that it had become as usual as “getting a fine”.
“I wonder how many times we should feel ‘lucky’ for not being raped.”
Her story has been picked up by the websites of major national newspapers La Repubblica and Corriere della Serra, with the articles being shared thousands of times on social media.
In a second post, she said she shared her “terrible and very distressing experience” because it was “a common experience that can’t continue to be normal”.
It was not immediately clear if the authorities were investigating the case.