J, aged 13
I went swimming with my dad and my little brother to spend some time with them. My little brother made friends with another young girl in the pool who was with her dad. Her dad kept looking at me and smiling. Me being 13, I just assumed it was him being nice and friendly. We spent a few hours in the pool with these people and then headed back to the changing rooms to get changed and go home.
These changing rooms had open slots under them. I was round the corner from my dad and brother who were in the same changing room. I just took my swimming costume off and was fully exposed. I went to pick up and bra and what I saw made me scream. This man was bent down sticking his head under the gap watching me getting naked.
I screamed “what the hell” as loud as I could and he sprinted away. I stood there shaking and in shock but I eventually calmed down. I made up reasons for why he might be doing that in my head. Maybe he was looking for his daughter? Things like that, because at the time I was too young to register what that meant. I was terrified. I wanted to tell my dad and I had so many opportunities but I never spoke up and I regret it. I never told anyone.
I spent months replaying that moment in my head, I had nightmares. I used to imagine kicking him in the face or standing on his nose and breaking it, or telling my dad and my dad knocking him straight to the ground.
To this day I’m still on edge if I use a public toilet or changing room. I’m even scared of getting changed in my own bedroom sometimes. And to know that this man has a little girl of his own makes me so scared and sad for her. What could he be doing to her? Peadophilia is not a joke and should not be treated like one. Young girls are constantly victimised and without even knowing it. I was 13 when this happened and it took me years to actually understand what happened that day.