I am 13 years old and Agender - Scared Walking Around my Small Town When...
Hi Alex. I’m a 13 year old who us agender but I look like a girl. I was with my friend yesterday just wandering around my small town and done bits who were around 16 started following us. we were both terrified as horrible things can happen to young girls at the expense of people like this. We kept on walking as they were on the other side if the street but one of them shouted out ‘hey!’ To us and laughed. We didn’t respond and they eventually left and even though they did not harm us It terrified me. I am wondering what to do because I know they could have done more but I cannot acuse the of anything as they effectively didn’t do anything even if I could sense they were up to no good.
Hello and welcome to Ask Alex,
Can I begin by thanking you for trusting us with your thoughts and worries. You have made a very positive step today, opening up and speaking about what is going on for you, this is not an easy thing to do and can I just say well done for taking this step.
I am very sorry to hear that you have had a scary experience of being followed by older kids while you were out with your friend. It is clear to see from your message that you were terrified and worried about what they could do to you and your friend. You were very brave and did exactly the right thing by ignoring them, in the future it may also be a good idea to go into the closest shop and explain to the adult in the shop what is happening, and they may be able to assist you, or the older kids may leave you alone straight away if they cannot see you and your friend.
You, your friend and everybody else have the right to go about your business wherever you are without being intimidated, harassed or followed by anyone. This type of behaviour is not acceptable and really should be addressed. It is important that you feel safe at all times, so some helpful tips would be to ensure you are not alone, let an adult maybe your parents know where you are going and when to expect you back. It is also very important if you have a mobile phone to have it fully charged and accessible if it is required and to have some numbers set on speed dial so that you can make a call in a hurry if required. If you are in fear or feel that a situation is about to get dangerous do not hesitate on contacting the gardai on 999/112 as your safety is priority. You can keep Childline on speed dial too at 1800 66 66 66 and can talk to one of our volunteers until the people who are making you feel scared, or worry walk past.
It can be helpful to talk to a trusted adult, this can be a parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, teacher, neighbour etc. They might be able to offer some further advice and comfort. You could create a safety plan with them for your next trip to town to make you feel safer, or the next time you see the individuals that scared you, the trusted adult maybe able to speak to them about there behaviour if you think this would help. It can be very difficult to do things on our own so looking for extra support from a trusted adult can make it a little easier, and it can help you feel safe and comfortable to do the things you enjoy doing.
If you do not feel ready just yet to speak to a trusted adult, please remember that our Childline service is here for you. You can reach out to talk or chat to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and our services are free and confidential. You can talk to us by phone 1800 66 66 66 or chat to us one-to-one on our webchat on www.childline.ie or by text on 50101. We will not judge anything you say to us or tell you what to do. We will look at what options may be available to you, with you.
We hope that you find the information provided above useful and again, we would like to thank you for reaching out to Ask Alex. You have made the first step by speaking out here, please continue to look for the help and support you deserve.
Look after yourself.