Upper Sixth Form (Year 13) pupil Mia Kirkland was just doing what she loves – busking in York City Centre, as she has done since she was 12.
But one day, while streaming on TikTok as she was singing, something happened.
Mia was sexually assaulted by a passer-by.
“I was really angry because I didn’t give him permission to do that to me, and that was my body.”
Watch the video of the incident below on TikTok.
@itsmiakirkland Thankyou to all the men who supported me last night some just had to ruin it #harrased #StartUpShowUp #miakirkland ♬ original sound – miakirkland
Mia bravely told her story on her TikTok channel. What happened next took her by surprise.
To date, Mia’s video has garnered over 1.8 million views worldwide, with thousands of comments of support from her followers.
“I’ve been shocked by the level of support I’ve received,” said Mia. “I wasn’t expecting this kind of reaction at all.
“At first, I blamed myself for what happened on that day. But the responses I received helped me understand that it wasn’t my fault.
“You see a lot of buskers that seem to be in control. You walk past and never see them again. But it’s not always the case. Sometimes they are a bit vulnerable.”
The BBC then got in touch with Mia for an interview about the incident and the reaction on TikTok.
“Everything that happens I remember, good or bad, and this is just unacceptable,” said Mia.
“But I’ve had to learn that it’s something people think is OK and it’s not.”
Anton Maree, Head of Ackworth School, said, “This was an appalling act perpetrated on a child. No person of any age should have to experience anything like this.
“We are supporting Mia to tell her story and take a stand against this kind of behaviour.”
As to whether Mia will return to York to continue signing in the city, she said, “I’ve already been busking since the incident. I wouldn’t have been as confident going back to it without the support I’ve received.”