Mansfield Chad reporter speaks out about her experiences of feeling unsafe
As a woman living in the area, I have been groped, kissed and grabbed against my will – many of my friends have too and, while it is certainly ‘not all men’, it happens far more regularly than it should.
In light of the high-profile cases of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa, it has raised the issue of women’s safety.
Over the years on nights out, I have been touched inappropriately, had hands put up my skirt and had to back away from unwanted advances from men who couldn’t seem to take ‘no’ for an answer.
Fortunately, nothing more has ever happened while on a night out thanks to quick actions of door staff who are trained to spot these situations.
Outside of the relative safety of pubs and clubs though, I have had similar encounters, meaning I now choose routes home carefully or get a taxi wherever possible.
I remember one dark winter’s morning, I was opening up the leisure centre I worked at, and had just unlocked the car park barriers before my colleague arrived, when I was approached by an inebriated man at 5am.
He tried to engage in conversation with me, which I politely declined, but he proceeded to follow me up the car park shouting abuse at me – it appeared he was unhappy that I had declined his advances.
Fortunately, despite living nearby, I always drove to work, meaning I could retreat to the relative safety of my car until others arrived.
I was made to feel vulnerable and unnerved by a stranger who seemed to think I should entertain his drunken ramblings – why?
Online dating is also an absolute minefield, all in the name of ‘looking for love’.
I lost track of the times, as a single woman, when I politely rejected a man, only to be met with a barrage of abuse.
"You’re a fat sl*g, I only messaged you out of sympathy anyway!” among other expletives.
All because I wasn’t interested – if they act this way online it begs the question; what do they do in person?
I do wonder, how have we got to a point where some men – although certainly not all – feel they have a right to act like this?
When did we stop respecting each others’ boundaries?