A BUSKER who says she was sexually harassed by a passer-by as she performed in York city centre says she has received overwhelming support after 1.8 million people viewed the incident on TikTok.

Mia Kirkland said she had been sent thousands of supportive messages, and the backing she had received had given her the confidence to go back and sing again in the city centre later this week.

Mia, 17, said she was singing in St Helen's Square last Friday when a man approached her, hugged her, kissed her and then, she says, assaulted her.

"I was really angry because I didn't give him permission to do that to my body," she said.

"I shouldn't have to put up with this type of stuff. I don't busk to be harassed but that is what has happened twice in the past five days.

"He wouldn't leave me alone, no matter how much people tried to help me."

Kia said she had been scared and became quite nervous if people invaded her personal space.

She said she wanted to raise awareness of the risks that buskers faced, having had two drunk men grab her microphone and someone else threatening to throw urine at her.

She said she had received support from some men in the square and she also livestreamed many of her performances online, and felt her viewers were “like a personal bodyguard”.

She said she had received so many messages online that she hadn't been able to reply to them all.

There had been some negative comments on Facebook but she had decided to discount them as trolls.

Comments posted on TikTok included: "People need to respect buskers and their boundaries.. It's vile," and: "Shocking behaviour by that man. Hope you're OK."

Another said: "My heart just broke for you. Thankfully there were some good people there to help you," while a fourth said: "I would have floored the guy - he needs to understand boundaries."