My friends and I felt unsafe but no helped us
“Hey Alex. I’m a guy, but feminine passing, as I’m trans. I ‘m only 14, but when out with friends a guy in his late twenties approached us, wanting to “hang with us” and wanted a lighter so he could smoke with us. We got away safely and nothing bad happened to us, but it easily could have. I made eye contact with multiple adults trying to get them to come over and help us out of the situation. Nobody did, people saw what was happening and walked faster. He eventually left us alone, after I threatened to call the guards and told him to back off with a shaking voice. Nobody helped us, there’s a possibility he had a knife we were on our own right outside a popular hotel on a busy street. How do I deal with this in the future, and why won’t anyone step in when they see young people in danger”?
Hi there, thank you for reaching out to Ask Alex.
It sounds like this was a traumatic experience for you and you felt unsafe and fearful. We are glad to read that that you “got away safely and nothing bad happened”; it sounds like you handled the situation you found yourself in very well. Also, we are glad to read that you were in a public place on a busy street, as it’s always good when out to avoid deserted areas and shortcuts through unfamiliar lanes/routes. You showed great courage when you threatened to call the guards and told the person to back off however, when approached by a stranger in this manner, it is advisable to move somewhere safe, for example, going into the “popular hotel” that you were standing outside, and avoiding confrontation.
If anyone ever tries to grab you or a friend, don’t be afraid to scream and shout for help. Often, out of politeness or “not wanting to cause a scene” we endure a situation that makes us feel uncomfortable or that is outright dangerous. No one has the right to hurt or frighten you and you have every right to draw attention to the situation and get help. If ever you feel you are in danger, you can call the emergency services on 999 or 112 for free from any landline or mobile phone.
Have you been able to talk to a trusted adult in your life about what happened? You may benefit from seeking support from someone you know and trust, such as your parent/guardian, an aunt or uncle, a teacher, or an older sibling.
You can also talk to us at Childline by calling 1800 666 666 or texting Talk to 50101 or by visiting www.childline.ie. This is a free and confidential service for all young people under the age of 18. Childline is a nonjudgmental listening service that is open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.
Thanks again for reaching out to Ask Alex, stay safe.