Over the last few days, stories have surfaced everywhere about the dangers of walking alone, travelling alone, and they’ve shown us how scary the world really is. If you are feeling overwhelmed at the moment, here are our safety tips, and don’t forget charities like Mind are always available to chat.
YouGov did a study and found that 80% of all women had been harassed in public, and even worse, 97% of women aged 18 – 24 had been harassed in public. This all comes after the murder and disappearance of Sarah Everard and the police instructing women in Clapham to stay inside at night. We’ve spoken to young people across the country to find out their worst harassment stories.
Leigh – 21 – Brighton
“Once I was on my way home from a birthday party in town, and the route home was a long and tiresome bus journey back. I sat on one of the sideways facing seats next to the stairs of the bus, as everywhere else was full. Opposite me was a man in his 30s, maybe older, who smiled politely when I sat down. He proceeded to stare directly at me the entire journey, and after a while, I realised he was fondling himself and grinning.
When I got up to get off the bus, he stood up too, and I panicked. I ran straight from the bus stop to my flat – and luckily I think he stayed on the bus.”
Mads – 22
“I got followed home by guys on motorbikes when I was 14/15 because I wouldn’t talk to them.”
B – Peterborough
“I was 14 walking past a pub to get to the bus station, called legs 11 and wolf-whistled & stalked.”
“Was walking with my baby and had to run 20 minutes home because we were being followed.”
Anonymous – Nottingham
“My friend was leaving a friends house and was getting picked up by friends. She had to walk through a dark alleyway from the house to the car, like 5-second walk and she got cornered by this guy. Luckily she screamed and the people picking her up heard her, because they had their windows down. And went down the road to get her, and the guy ran away.”
Francesca – 21 – Southampton
“A male started speaking to me and I politely replied and walked on which was really more of a quick jog to walk away from him, he started walking towards me and asked me to suck his d**** and I said no, and he then started shouting at me walking faster saying he was going to knock me out. I still see him regularly at bus stops and I don’t think he has a clue who I am.”
“After a night out a man told me that girls like me are the reason we get raped because of how I was dressed! Safe to say that night was ruined.”
Anonymous – Nottingham
A student in Nottingham was getting a taxi back late at night on her own. The taxi driver drove her around and she realised he wasn’t going the direct route home. She kept asking him and he said this is the direct route. The fare should have been £7 but ended up being £70. When she said she couldn’t pay that he drove her to the middle of nowhere and said you need to get the money out. Eventually drove her to a cashpoint where she got the money out. She was on the phone with her housemate after a while which is what she thinks saved her in the situation. She was saying things like wait for me outside, I’m just getting a taxi home.
Anonymous – 21 – Peterborough
“When I was 15 I walked to the shops to go and get some milk, and it was about 8 or 9 pm. I was followed home by this man in a trench coat, who was making weird clicking and animalistic noises the whole time. The walk involved a small alleyway behind my house, so I ran through it to be safe.”
Anonymous – 19
“I was in a bar, and a guy pinned me up against the bar by putting an arm on either side of me. He kept asking what I wanted to drink, and when I said that I wasn’t drinking he asked how else he was expected to get me home that night.”
Anonymous – 18
Walking home from the pub with my boyfriend, I got cat-called and told to put some clothes on (I had a playsuit on under a long jacket). My boyfriend yelled at them to leave us alone, and it resulted in a horrible fight.
Anonymous – London
“Whilst getting the tube home, I was wearing my Pride outfit, and an older guy sat right next to me on an empty carriage. He got off where I got off, and was walking really close to me. I decided to get another train, even though I didn’t need to, and he followed me again. I stayed on the train because it was busy, and eventually, he got up, spat on me, and got off. Nobody even looked twice.”