⚠ TRIGGER WARNING:
This article discusses child sexual abuse and other disturbing things that may trigger victims suffering from PTSD.
“I’m transphobic.” Melbourne girl recounts her traumatising sexual abuse by transgender woman at a public restroom that ruined her childhood.
“I was only 11,” 18-year-old Melbourne girl Charlotte opens up about her sexual abuse at the hands of a transgender woman at a public restroom in a popular Melbourne mall.
“It has taken me almost 9 years to fully open up about this. I was so young at the time of my assault that I really had very little understanding of what actually happened to me. I know that I was scared and that I was hurt, and that’s really all I could tell my mum at the time,” Charlotte struggled to admit.
“I was assaulted, as a child, by a transgender woman in a public bathroom. I was 11 years old when this happened and this was one of the first times I had gone to the public toilet by myself. I’d usually take my mum with me, when I was younger my dad would take me into the men’s room with him. But at age 11, I was starting to go by myself.”
After she was abused at age 11, Charlotte has trouble going to public bathrooms by herself. “Even today I cannot go by myself. I have to take a friend with me, and they have to stand right outside my stall while I go.”
Charlotte explains that she was just a 11-year-old girl with her mother at a Melbourne shopping mall when this happened. They were just finishing their shopping and were in line at the cashier. ” I couldn’t hold it in any more,” Charlotte said, so her mother told her to go to the public restroom that was only metres, and in eyeshot, away from the grocery store entrance.
“It wasn’t the first time I had gone by myself but I was still very anxious about it. When I walked in I saw that all the stalls were occupied, so I nervously stood by the sinks waiting for one to become available. After a few seconds I saw one of the doors swing open and out came a very tall scrawny person. I distinctly remember not hearing a flushing sound so I didn’t want to go into that stall, so I just stood there awkwardly and tried not to look at the person.”
“They approached me, squatted beside me and put their hands on my shoulder. I remember recoiling in disgust because I did not see this person wash their hands after using the toilet. Scary thing is, I remember every single word they said, and every single action after this. It is like it is burned into my brain,” the now 18-year-old Melbourne born girl recalled.
“I felt their eyes looking me up and down and they asked me, ‘Aw, hun, where is your mum?’ I told her that she was in line with the shopping and they said, ‘That’s OK. Auntie Jay will help you.’
Charlotte was very confused why this person would call herself her aunt. She did not recognise that person and had never seen them before in her life.
“The person took me back into the same stall they came from. I remember holding my breath and being grossed out because they didn’t flush. I remember my legs feeling numb and my face feeling hot. Then, when they closed the stall behind them, I remember seeing a completely clean toilet. Like they hadn’t even used it.”
Charlotte continues to open up about her assault in graphic detail. “I remember starting to cry but this person would let out this fake sympathetic laugh and say, ‘aw, hun, don’t worry, your auntie is her for you.’ My hands were frozen stiff, my vision was blurry but I still remember everything. I remember them lifting up my dress and pulling down my underwear. I remember they lifted my dress up above me head so I couldn’t see, but I could still feel their cold hands on my body. I remember them instructing me to pee. I couldn’t, I was scared. They touched my private area and said, ‘Here this should help you relax.’ It didn’t. I started to cry more.”
Charlotte said that her abuser took some toilet paper and proceeded to wipe her very roughly. “They were very aggressive with me. They even dropped the paper and continued to pretend to wipe with their bare hands and focused a lot on my butt.”
Her attacker then lifted the toilet seat and said, “maybe if you watch me pee it will make you want to, too.”
“I was very confused when I saw them pull it out. I wanted to run but they had their left hand around me and pulled me tightly to them while they peed. They even took me hand and made me touch it.”
Once the predator was done urinating he picked Charlotte and put her back on the toilet seat and told her not to leave until she’s finished. They left abruptly without washing their hands and was never seen again.
“I felt like I had been in the bathroom for hours but this all happened in a matter of minutes. When I ran out I was shocked to see that mum wasn’t waiting for me right outside, she was still at cashier bagging our groceries. I ran to her crying and didn’t say anything. She asked me what was wrong and all I could really say was ‘someone hurt me.'”
Charlotte later did disclose all of the information to her parents and she confirmed that they did contact the authorities. However, local police could not do anything about it because it happened “so long ago.” She’s refrained from speaking about her assault since and admits to being terrified of Google searching the incident to see if there have been more reported assaults.
“I was so young. I didn’t understand all of this. I didn’t understand the concept of genders or transsexuality. I didn’t even understand my own sexuality. I was 11 years old. But today, it makes more sense to me. I know what happened and I know that I was the victim of child sexual assault. And it pains me to say this, but today I’m transphobic, especially towards transgender women. I am terrified of them. It is hard for me not to see a sexual predator when I look at them.”
Charlotte told us that it was our article on transgender rights activist, Alok Vaid-Menon, that inspired her to reach out to us. “His [Alok Vaid-Menon] comments triggered me. Made me so angry. I felt like I needed to get my story out there,” she added.
“These days the narrative is that transgender people will come into bathrooms and abuse little girls,” Alok posted on Facebook under his alias Darkmatter over 5 years ago.
The controversial comment reads: “I believe in the radical notion that little girls are complicated people. There are no fairy tales and no princess here. Little girls are trans, queer, kinky, devious, kind, mean, beautiful, ugly, tremendous and peculiar.” But Charlotte whole heartedly disagrees.
“People like him [transgender activist Alok Vaid-Menon] are predators. My childhood was ruined by these [transgender] people. My innocence was taken away from me when I was only 11. I’ve been traumatised for life by this and I now have massive trust issues with men and transgender women.”
“The narrative ‘that transgender people will come into bathrooms and abuse little girls’ exists because it happens, and I am one of those little girls who it happened to,” Charlotte concluded.
It is very important to educate our children to keep them safe from predators. The Australian government reported that the number of sexual assaults recorded by New South Wales Police alone increased dramatically in March 2021 – up 46% from February 2021 and 65% from March 2020.