'I wasn't asking for it' - teary Jay-Jay Harvey opens up on sexual assault

The Edge radio host Jay-Jay Harvey became emotional as she spoke on-air about comments she received in the aftermath of her alleged sexual assault.

In her first time back on-air after a two-week hiatus in the wake of the September 30 incident, Harvey spoke more about the experience, in which she alleged her breasts were groped and she was pursued into her apartment building.

But she said the worst part of all was sceptical remarks from people who weren't there, and questioned why she sat in the front seat of the taxi.

"You should be able to [sit wherever you want]. I often sit in the back but don't really have a problem with sitting in the front - or I didn't, until now," she told Jay-Jay, Dom & Randell listeners, her voice beginning to tremble.

"I trust taxi drivers to do their job and take me where I want to go safely. Just because I sat in the front is no excuse for the driver to have done what he did.

"The taxi driver was inappropriate. He was touching me and offered to give me the ride for free if he could touch my breasts - and then he did touch my breasts. He put his hands right down my top, and then he got out of his car and tried to follow me into my apartment block.

"I should have felt and should have been safe. I wasn't asking for it - that's just the most ridiculous thing I've ever freaking heard."

Harvey posted about the alleged incident the day after it happened - but said she's now learnt the hard way not to post something of that nature so publicly, as she was heavily criticised for perceived attention-seeking and for failing to go to the police.

"I was freaking out. I was in panic mode about three quarters of the way through this taxi ride, and I don't remember everything but I felt really, really, really unsafe and scared," she said.

"I hadn't slept very well because I was thinking about it over and over in my head, like, 'How bad was it? Was it just minor?' so I went on Facebook because I didn't know what to do.

"I wasn't doing it for attention, I didn't do it for publicity - obviously. I was just reaching out."

Harvey said she did eventually go to police after public pressure, and ended up spending several hours at the station talking to officers about the incident.

She said she struggled through the statement, but learned a valuable lesson about how seriously she ought to take incidents of that nature.

"I was indecently assaulted. It was unwanted and it's not okay," she said.

"The frightening thing is it's happening to too many people. I can't believe how many people are inappropriately touched or assaulted or whatever. It's unacceptable."

Harvey has been off-air for 18 days, but said she felt as though she was ready to come back last week before getting a severe bout of vertigo, which she was told had likely been brought on by stress.

She said that same stress is something a lot of sexual assault victims experience.

"It is very hard to come forward by yourself if something like that happens. 'Will I be believed? Will I be blamed?' All those sorts of things put women and men off when something like this happens - but you do have to do it," she said.

"I want to say to any man or woman listening who has been ever assaulted in any way, and you've been able to tell police or reach out for police, that you're so brave.

"I admire you greatly because I know how much strength it takes to do that."

If you have been through an experience of sexual assault, contact NZ Police or a NZ Sexual Assault Support Centre near you.