“I felt something hit me from behind, specifically hitting the right side of my butt,” she wrote. “I turned around, a group of guys was walking behind me. They chuckled so I thought, ‘It was probably an accident. Afterall people do bump into each other sometimes at concerts.’ I thought I heard someone say, ‘Do it again.’ But I dismissed it, thinking I probably misheard.”
Not before too long Howley soon realized it was indeed not an accident.
“Less than a minute later, I felt someone slowly run their fingers over my right butt cheek from the bottom & squeeze. I was wearing a long, velvet skirt – I could feel it all – and the heat of his hand.”
She wasn’t about to accept this behavior.
“I whipped around, I pushed him backward and I screamed ‘Don’t you ever f***ing touch a women like that. That man just grabbed my ass!’ He gave me a dopey face and put his hands up in the air, as if pleading innocence,” she writes. “Two security personal who happened to be standing by grabbed him and motioned for me to follow. I was hot with anger.”
A friend of the jerk approached Howley in a lame attempt to defend his bro. “How can you blame him? It’s not his fault you have a nice ass,” he remarks. When she didn’t back down, he informed her that she was overreacting. Of course, that was his response.
Howley arrived at the security office, where it was was a case of her story against his, where they were calling Howley a liar.
Once the police arrived, they queried if she wished to press charges. She explained that she wasn’t sure. “They told me that I’d have to stay for a lot longer while they did the paper work, that I’d have to show at not one, but probably multiple court dates,” she says. “They said it would be hard to prove.”
However, she began to doubt her decision. “My anger faltered and a small voice emerged in my head, ‘Is it really that big of a deal? He just grabbed my butt. Stuff like this does happen all the time. I don’t want to hold these people up. I don’t want to have to make my mom and Grandma wait.’”
After giving it further thought while the police interviewed the groper and his friend, the head of security told Howley she should press charges. Her mom and grandmother also agreed and the doubting voice in her head began to fade, and was replaced with anger.
“Why WASN’T it a big deal that man felt entitled to not only touch my butt once, but confidently and invasively grab it for a second time?
Why was I expected to take it as a compliment?
Why was I worried about burdening the police officers with paper work? Why was I worried about being believed?
Why was my first reaction anger, quickly followed by self doubt?
Why was it ‘just an ass grab?’”
Prior to the concert, Howley and her mother and grandmother had discussed the Kavanaugh hearings concluding that perhaps one day men wouldn’t feel entitled to grabbing women.
“As we waited, I thought to myself that maybe it had to start with not dismissing the small things. To stop saying, ‘it’s just an ass grab.’ To stop dismissing what we’ve been taught as women to withstand and tolerate,” she writes.
The police returned from questioning the man and inquired as to whether she might want to press charges. They revealed to her that since no penetration happened and he didn’t touch her private parts that it wouldn’t be viewed as sexual assault, just battery
“I gave my answer with the same confidence that he grabbed my ass with,” she writes.
The man was taken off in handcuffs. He would require an attorney and money to make bail. “I didn’t care if I couldn’t prove that it happened in front of a judge. I’d take it as far as it could go. In part for myself, yes, but really for all women (and men) who know this same experience far too well, and who experience far, far worse,” she says.
People are concerned about Howley’s legal fees as her post circulate online. She claims that she will be represented by the state and November 27th is her first court date.
Others have reached out to share their own incidents with Howley. Many applaud her for actually taking action, however, she wishes to point out that these things have occurred multiple times before — where she chose to do nothing.
She wants other women to know that those didn’t report in the past “are still so incredibly brave for simply surviving beyond their experience.” Howley stresses that in sharing her story, she doesn’t want to shame any woman’s choice to not come forward, “but to inspire the next action they take.”
By proceeding to press charges, she is dismissing the small voice that tells her to speak up over something that might be considered “an inconvenience.”
“I’m saying goodbye to the temptation to believe ‘it’s just an ass grab.’ You grabbed the wrong, right butt cheek, homie. I’ll see you in court.”
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