My story – why #reclaimthesestreets matters

I am going to be in so much trouble, because the National Maraphone is 3 and a half hours old and I haven’t made a single call – which is unusual for me. I’ll make it up in the week, I promise.

Like so many women, I’ve been profoundly upset by the events of this week. I think we all feel it because we all have a story to tell, something we were lucky to escape from in one piece. But these things cast a long shadow.

When we talk of being frightened if we are walking alone somewhere, we have good reason to be. When we talk about having our fingers through our keyring, just in case, we have good reason. When we talk about our constant vigilance, our constant scanning to work out potential escape routes, it’s because we’ve been followed by someone who has scared us.

I woke up this morning feeling that I needed to go back to the place where a man threatened me two years ago and make a video to tell that story. I still find it hard to be there and I’m very grateful to my niece for giving up her morning to come with me to film this.

What happened to me is on the minor end of the scale and I was lucky to get away, but virtually every woman I know will have had a similar experience.

When I managed to get away, the first thing I did was dial 999 because I was really worried that he might come after me round the other path – I’d run up some steps – and the vibe I got from the call handler was very much “What do you expect us to do about it?”

By the time two very sympathetic Police officers came to take my statement six days later, another woman had undergone another very similar incident on the path behind my house, also in broad daylight.

So that’s why I’ll be on my doorstep with a candle (and a back up torch, just in case the candle blows out) at 6pm tonight. To pay respects to Sarah Everard and other women who have been killed by men and to assert the right of women and girls to walk on our streets without fear.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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3 Comments

  • Jayne mansfield 13th Mar '21 - 2:49pm

    Thank you for sharing your story Caron.

  • Brad Barrows 13th Mar '21 - 3:46pm

    The events this week have been absolutely terrible and the thought that my own daughter could just as easily become a victim is horrific. Of course I also have a son and I know that young men are more likely to victims of other men’s violence than any other group, so I worry about him as well. It is clear that much more needs to be done to address the causes of violent and abuse behaviour in society so all of us can live lives without fear of us or our loved ones becoming victims.

  • Thank you for sharing your story Caron – it can’t have been easy to go back to the actual spot where it happened.

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