Diana Bunici has spoken out about a sexual assault she experienced while taking the bus.
The RTE and BBC presenter took to her blog, The Juicy Melon, to detail the assault that occurred when she was 19-years-old.
Bunici said that she was on the bus leaving the city centre after a promo shoot when a man sat down beside her.
She recalled that the man was shuffling a lot of bags around but that, at the time, she didn’t think anything of it – until he placed his hand on her leg.
“Imagine my horror then, when a few minutes later I felt a hand move up my leg.
“My heart stopped and I thought perhaps I was imagining it.
“I shuffled in my seat, making a fuss to adjust the bags on my lap and to my relief the hand moved away.
“That’s him told, I thought.”
Then, however, the man placed his hand back. Bunici said that her body “stiffened with fear and shock” as the stranger’s hand began “creeping further and further up my thigh.”
Bunici said she moved in her seat and, again, the hand was taken away… only to return as the then-teenager pretended to make a call on her phone.
It was only when she managed to smack the man away – causing him to jump up and press the bus’s stop button – that she could process what had happened.
“For the rest of the journey I sat shaking silently, heart and mind racing.
“I wanted to vomit. I felt dirty. I felt angry and I felt very, very confused.
“My Dad was waiting for me when I finally got to my own stop. He asked me how my day was. Unable to look him in the eye, I mumbled a “fine, thanks.”
“That night I lay in bed and sobbed.
“I felt disgusting. I felt ashamed. I felt weak. And I felt scared.
“In other words, #metoo.”
Bunici’s story comes after thousands of women around the world took to social media to tell their own accounts of sexual assault and harassment.
Using the hashtag ‘me too,’ they detailed the assault they had experienced at the hands of friends and strangers.
The hashtag came after multiple sexual harassment allegations were taken against Harvey Weinstein over the past few weeks.
Bunici said she kept her experience to herself for a decade because she felt too “uncomfortable” to talk about it.
She also thought it wasn’t worth sharing because, compared to other women’s stories, she assumed her’s was “mild.”
“Mild, however, doesn’t mean insignificant.
“Ignoring a mild incident and letting a perpetrator get away with it, gives power – power to do something so much more awful and horrific in the long run.”
The presenter finished her story by saying that nobody has the right to your body except for you, and that the conversation that has started since the Weinstein scandal broke is a “massively important one.”
“Men aren’t monsters – gender doesn’t make someone a monster.
“Similarly – women aren’t weak. Gender doesn’t make someone a weaker more exploitable sex – at least it shouldn’t.
“Male or female; nobody has the right to violate your body. Not in the club, not in the street, not behind closed doors.”
Bunici has been dating Kodaline’s Steve Garrigan since 2014.