I was a young male trainee at the European Parliament, fresh out of my postgrad studies and excited to get involved in politics for change.
During a group off-site, I was too lenient with the open bar and ended up more under the influence that I usually allow.
A friendly man followed me all night and his bravado grew as the hours passed.
During conversations with other people, he repeatedly put his hand under the front and back of my shirt to feel my skin. I would remove his hand and firmly stated that, no I was not interested.
By the end of a long night, while trying to create distance between us, we were a few of the last people still standing from the group.
Drunk and vaguely uncomfortable, I decided to go to my room and sleep.
He followed me and begged to be allowed to take the extra bed.
I tried to get his friend to take him back to their hotel but he claimed he was too drunk to walk and insisted on staying.
Having no fight or ill thoughts, I allowed him to take the extra bed in my large room and I went to sleep in my own bed.
The feeling of someone touching me woke me up but the alcoholic influence kept me lethargic and confused.
I continued to push his hands away from my body and repeatedly told him to stop.
At one point, he finally did, reluctantly. in the morning, he was still there and I felt ashamed, naive and hurt that someone who had been told no so many times would still insist on touching another’s body.
I felt guilty towards my girlfriend, angry I was not more forceful and that I let him in, and scared at what else might have happened if things had gone worse.
I did not tell anyone except my girlfriend for a long time out of shame.