'I wonder why I don't have the same freedom as a male': Teen posts account of being sexually harassed

Divya Kishore
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An Italian teenager's Facebook post giving an account of the sexual harassment she faced when she was returning home one night has gone viral. Anita Fallani from the northern Italian town of Scandicci shared her post, which talked about being followed by a man on the street, over the weekend.

The 18-year-old said the man came towards her as she waited for a tram after a night out with a friend.

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"You see me and you think you should start bothering me. I've never seen you, I have no idea who you are, but it doesn't stop you. 'Good evening miss, how are you? What's your name? Why don't you answer?'" Fallani wrote, recalling the episode.

She first ignored the stranger, but he kept following her, she wrote.

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Fallani — who is the daughter of the mayor of the Tuscany town — said she initially thought the man would stop harassing her after she boarded the tram. But she was proved wrong.

She put her headphones on, but the man still would not stop and when she got off the tram, he continued to follow her.

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"I feel like crying. I feel lonely and I don't know what to do," Fallani said in her post.

She even pretended to call someone, but the man kept following her asking, "Where are you going? Are you coming with me?" she wrote.

After reaching home she felt "safe" but soon that feeling was replaced by "deep anger", she said.

"Mine is a story like so many. There is nothing extraordinary, it is not an exception, but one of the many things that make up our lives, completely normal," she wrote. Such incidents had become as usual as "getting a fine", she added.

"I wonder how many times we should feel 'lucky' for not being raped."

"I wonder why I don't have the same freedom as a male", Fallani wrote.

In another post, she said she decided to tell her "terrible and very distressing experience" to the world because it was "a common experience that can't continue to be normal".

Her story, which seemed to hit a nerve, caught the attention of several national dailies like La Repubblica and Corriere della Serra. Her father has said that he was taking the help of officials to investigate the case and find out who harassed his daughter.

Woman in shadow

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