Today I was sexually assaulted.

Today I was sexually assaulted. I feel violated, terrified, sad, angry, and so many things. Though it’s horrible, I felt the need to share my story so for those who unfortunately have gone through something like this or might in the future go through something similar.

I’ve had appointments at a salon in La Rochelle with a male esthetician almost every 3 weeks for the last year and a half now. Even though he is an older man, I had developed a trust in him. He had usually been what I thought was professional.

The first time I had felt uncomfortable though it was when he had offered to give me a free “gommage de corps” which in English is a full body scrub. I had never done it before so we had spoken about it during my previous waxing session and he said that he would give me a free one to try it out. I said yes because it was a free body scrub, why would I say no?

So, on March 4 I had an appointment for waxing and a body scrub. The waxing was as usual but the body scrub was off to me. It was hard to tell because I had never done it before, like I said, but I felt violated. He asked me to take off my clothes so I was naked and to lay on the table facing up. Then he proceeded to scrub my body with a sort of salt scrub that he put on his hands. It was uncomfortable for me when he started touching my breasts and vulva. In my head that wasn’t professional, that wasn’t normal. But there was another part of me that didn’t want to say something because I didn’t want to offend my esthetician. He had never really been unprofessional like that before but this time felt different. He asked me to flip over and he proceeded to rub the back side of my body. Everywhere including on my butt and in between. He kept telling me to relax but I couldn’t. I kept my eyes open and I kept clenching up. I wasn’t comfortable. Yet, I didn’t say anything. For those of you that know me personally, I am not usually the type of person to stay silent but this time was different. I was scared. It was an abnormally long procedure, taking about an hour and 20 minutes. Eventually though it was over and I got dressed and left. I felt violated after that. I told myself that I would never again go to that esthetician again for anything other than getting waxed.

Before the confinement, I went to get waxed one more time. He offered me a free massage and I found a reason not to say yes. I said I was busy. I got waxed and got out of there as fast as I could.

The last two months I had been back in Los Angeles so I obviously didn’t make any appointments with him. When I got back I went and once again he asked me if I had time for a free massage. I once again found another excuse to leave. I left once again, right after the waxing.

This morning though I went in hoping again, just to get waxed. Everything was normal for the most part. Though he did make some unusual comments such as, “Wow, I’m seeing the good side of the United States right now” and “Oh what it is to be young”. Which I now realize were extremely inappropriate. When he finished the waxing he put some lotion as he usually did so the area doesn’t get irritated. This was different though. He began touching my vulva. He was no longer touching the area that he had waxed he was clearly touching my clitoris and my vulva. I found it weird but again I was scared and didn’t want to offend the guy. He did this for a while though, something like 5 minutes. He also began touching my butt and my butthole which I found very uncomfortable and inappropriate. I began to move away from him to give him a hint that I was uncomfortable but he didn’t stop. Then he kissed my butt and I immediately got freaked out. That’s when I was 100% sure it was unprofessional and that the guy was assaulting me. This was not a part of the job, it was clearly assault. I jumped up, got dressed as fast as possible. He asked me if I was scared and said that I was okay (even though I was not). He knew he had done wrong, or else why would he ask me if I was scared?! I paid and I left as fast as possible.

On the way home I started shaking. I was terrified and shocked about what had just happened. I started crying and hyperventilating as I walked home. I didn’t know what to think or feel or do. I started having a panic attack. As much as I had attempted to reassure myself that I wasn’t being assaulted during the appointment, at that moment there was no denying it. I called the people closest to me to help me out. I was crying so much that I nearly threw up when I got home. Luckily, I have the best friends in the world. In 10 minutes they were at my house. They gave me big hugs and helped me talk it out. They said that the best thing to do would be to go to the police, even though they informed me that they wanted to beat the shit out of that man. We went directly to the police station and I’ve been here stating my case all day. Everyone has been very helpful and I’m happy I came even though it takes some time. I’m still here waiting. I’d rather be outside in the sun at the beach in order to take my mind off of all that happened but instead I’m here because this needs to be dealt with. This man needs to be brought to justice. If he can’t do his job professionally then he should never be able to do something like this again. No other women should have to question whether or not she is being sexually assaulted while getting waxed or massaged or anything else. This is UNACCEPTABLE.

This happened this morning. I wanted to share it as fast as possible because like I said other women, girls, men, and boys need to know that this is WRONG and that it should said and dealt with. I would never wish sort of discomfort or violation on anyone. I am here for anyone that feels they have gone through this, I’m open to talking about it. Even if we don’t know each other yet I assure you that I’m here to talk and you can trust me to be understanding, open, and confidential. After having to explain this uncomfortable story to many people many times today, I understand that it’s difficult but it’s liberating. No one should get away with this sort of thing. EVER.

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