Bi YouTube star Melanie Murphy has given a stark warning to women traveling the world alone after a scary incident in Italy.
The Irish star told her Instagram followers on 18 March of the harassment her and her sister faced while walking around the city of Venice, Italy.
However, things took a turn for the worse once they agreed to a ride in a gondola – the famous boats used to travel around the canals of the city. After the journey, the driver allegedly led the pair down an alley where two people stood waiting. After that, her instincts kicked in and they ran away.
Murphy told her followers she was ‘posting this to warn girls travelling alone to be very, very careful and to keep their wits about them’.
She said: ‘This caption will get real heavy, real quick but let me say for the record that Venice WAS beautiful and I DID have a lovely time exploring it with my sister… for the most part.’
Murphy posted a photo of the boat driver but laments she ‘didn’t manage to capture shots of all the men working for restaurants who shouted at us, poked us, serenaded us, begged us to return for drinks with them, offered us discounts on our meals in exchange for dates (even after we made it clear we weren’t interested) and were so persistent that we both felt stuck in a loop of uncomfortable laughter, the kind of politeness expected of women in awkward situations where men are pushing and pressing.
I don’t care if things are ‘different’ in certain countries… Not in a world where reports of sex trafficking are consistently on the rise
‘I’m ashamed to admit that. I wish I was one of those women who could just say FUCK OFF, but I desperately want to avoid confrontation, mainly out of fear. When I was 17 I was assaulted, which I wrote about in my first book, and ever since I’ve been nervous around men who I don’t know, especially overly forward men.
‘Back to the man in these pictures. Married with kids, but kept flirting and asking to go for a drink with us. We were handed over to him by restaurant staff who encouraged us to go on a gondola ride with him.
‘We wanted to go on one anyway so we shrugged and went with him. After it was done, I paid him, then he led my sister and I along a crowded street saying he had ‘afternoon boyfriends’ for us… ‘no, ha, no thanks’ we said.
‘Then he veered us toward an empty alley where two men stood waiting expectantly (they weren’t Italians, and they weren’t his age, so didn’t seem like his mates). We RAN. If we were younger and more naive that could have ended horrifically… or maybe it was innocent.
‘But it felt set up, and sinister. He knew we were tourists, and alone, and he’d asked lots of questions.;
She concludes: ‘I don’t care if things are ‘different’ in certain countries, that shit isn’t alright. Not in a world where reports of sex trafficking are consistently on the rise.’
The post has over 10,000 likes and many comments wishing her well.
Gay Star News has reached out to Melanie Murphy for comment.