In the year ending March 2020, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated that 4.9 million women had been victims of sexual assault in their lives.
This included 1.4 million who had been raped, or had faced attempted rape.
About 989,000 men had experienced sexual assault, including 87,000 victims of rape or assaulted rape.
In total, 98.5% of the rapists were identified as men.
(Source : BBC 2021)
Why are some of us too scared to walk alone at night?
Or have to make sure we bring our friends with us when we go to the toilets at the club?
Have you ever gotten a phone call from your friend asking you to stay on the phone until they reach home?
You know you can't help them over the phone, but the comfort of knowing that someone will be directly informed if something was to happen on the road. This helps to de-escalate fear.
Some women and men who have been assaulted, whether in public or behind closed doors, have acted in self defence in order to get away from predators who hide behind helpful personas... in order to find their prey...
KAIDEN NELSON'S ATTACK ON A PRE-TEEN.
Even in broad daylight, attacks are happening, Must I remind everyone about what happened to a Pre-teen in November 2020. While on her way to school in Mitcham, South West London a 26 year old man took her and raped her.
A child. In her school uniform. On her way to school, probably thinking about what new trend on tik tok to discuss with her friends. And that same morning. Her innocence was snatched from her.
A COLLECTION OF STORIES FROM VICTIMS OF ATTEMPTED SEXUAL ASSAULT:
Self Defence Stories.
True Stories by both men and women.
I had been living through Japan for 2 years after College (1983-1985).
Before returning from Tokyo to California where I am from, I shipped home my clothes and travelled 3 months on my own with only a small rucksack. It was very liberating!
In those days (80s), there was a French airline UTA which sold cheap multi-city tickets for young traveller’s.
I think it cost me $700 to fly from:
It was exhilarating, sometimes lonely but mostly fun. In Pape’ete I visited the Gaugin Museum. It started pouring rain as I left. Two Tahitian-Chinese girls picked me up in a truck. They convinced me to leave my youth hostel and move in with them. One night around 2am they woke me up and insisted we go to a nearby disco on a beach. That’s where it happened!
An extremely tall Polynesian man came up behind me and slowly but surely slid his hand over my shoulder to touch my breast. I was 25 and had been practicing Aikido daily in Osaka and Tokyo for two years. I gently but firmly took his hand, turned his wrist and pulled it straight down in a classic Aikido self-defense move and put him on the ground- then ran like hell!
I was a little frightened but yes, but also empowered as I got to use my moves.
By 6am I heard the roosters crowing, packed my rucksack and flew to LA. The first time I’d be stateside in over 2 years. Strange culture shock for me! And felt very lost! Three months later I met my Japanese photographer husband, moved to NYC and married and my whole life changed again!
I believe I still know some basic moves from way back then (I’m 60 now!) and could defend myself if needed, unless there was a gun!
CRIME SURVEY FOR ENGLAND AND WALES:
One in five women have been the victim of stalking since the age of 16 - twice the number for men.
"HE WAS LAUGHING WHEN HE FLASHED AND SAW THE FEAR IN MY EYES AND THAT’S WHAT SCARED ME THE MOST, THAT HE GOT SO MUCH PLEASURE OUT OF SOMETHING SO PERVERTED."
"After this happened I could never walk down that road in the dark without having a panic attack..."
I would like to share my story.
When I was 19 I was flashed by a stranger who followed me down a dark road near my house.
This man came from behind me and lifted my skirt and said “Hello” in frighteningly overly-friendly voice, I turned around and he showed me his private area. In this moment I was frozen and thought I might be raped or murdered.
I then just said to myself, "Just scream and run", "Why are you frozen just RUN".
After this happened I could never walk down that road in the dark without having a panic attack, where I would end up screaming and running. Even being on on the phone to someone sometimes didn’t help.
The roads nearby scared me too as I knew he was still out there and there are many more like him. He was laughing when he flashed and saw the fear in my eyes and that’s what scared me the most, that he got so much pleasure out of something so perverted.
If a person is able to flash a stranger their genitals. Then who knows what that person is capable of. Thats why It's better the be safe than sorry.
I immediately started screaming and ran away home.
Unfortunately, no one heard me.
I called the police as I ran but police never found him. The police asked me what I was wearing because when they came to my house to question me they saw I had a skirt on. This made me super uncomfortable and feel like it was my fault.
The officers were both male. I was wearing a skirt, black tights and a longer coat that covered it and I had to show them my coat to prove it covered my skirt and they were like “Oh”. Really disappointing.
Then, I opened up about the experience to friends who found it funny at the time, some have apologised to me since but this made me feel like I was scared for no reason.
I have been groped a few times at clubs and in the street had my bum smacked when I was 12 years old but that experience above was definitely by worst.
BEING DRUNK ISN'T AN EXCUSE TO BE A PREDATOR.
My friend and I were once bar hopping, and we're walking to another bar on a night out in London. There was a man completely intoxicated, dressed in a shirt and smart trousers, clearly looking like he had came from work. (Classic city type if you get my drift)
He started to heckle my friend and she instinctively just looked at the floor and didn’t really react to it.
I happened to be walking just behind her at this point and there was a bus stop in front filled with people. The man Staggered over to us and then proceeded to try and hit my friend from behind in the head.... he swung his arm up and around to hit her head from Behind (she was literally just trying to walk down the street) but thankfully I saw what was happening and hit his arm upwards so that when he swung he missed her.
He then fell to the ground and was completely off balance and I was fuming. We got away from him as quickly as possible but I wish we had hung around to call the police and get him sacked from his job.
Physically attacking a women when drunk just because she ignored you on the street is horrendous. He may not even remember what he tried to do, he was that drunk and there lies the issue.
My friend then pointed out later that there was another man at the bus stop that looked like he was about to run over to us but if I hadn’t have been there, she would have been hit before anyone came to her assistance. I am tired of men thinking they have any right to even yell at women let alone try to assault a stranger on the street for simply walking past him.
"He turned and he grabbed me so hard that I had a bruise afterwards. He was insulting me and calling me Bitch".
So I was walking home from the train station on the Whitechapel road, which is crowded street. It was not a night but like 6-7pm. I wasn´t wearing skirt or dress (just realised Im automatically explaining I was not tempting him with my clothes which is horrible I have need to explain myself). But yeah, I was walking and he touched my butt. Casualy like it was my hand which would be also not appropriate. He was watching my reaction and acting like he is just passing. But as I had some of these situations already a few times I got pissed and kicked him to his leg. Reflex I would say. He turned and he grabbed me so hard that I had a bruise afterwards. He was insulting me and calling me bitch. Whatever. In that moment I got scared but it was not like I would be afraid about my life. just not pleasant.
This one is strong experience and I didn't talk to many people about it. It happened like 2years ago and I think in that moment I was suppose to tell someone but I was afraid what would happen and what would anyone say. Anyway... Im from Slovakia so this story is from my city Bratislava. My dad did some work for Thai massage salon and he got some vouchers for massage. Nobody likes massages in my family so I used them all. I was usually going to the same guy so we knew each other. He was always so polite and friendly. We usually talked during massage about his and my life. He had my contact because when I was agreeing on massage I texted him asking about times etc.
Once he texted me as, asking me when I was coming back as he didn't see me for a while. So I said I used all my vouchers so I was not planning to pay as the treatments are very expensive. He said I can come for massage no problem because he has some free time in salon today and then we can have a greet tea after. LOL
I came because had time and my back was killing me. So while I was there we talked as normal. During the conversation I mentioned my boyfriend and he goes "Oh you have a boyfriend ? Why you didn't tell me?". It made me think why should I ??? You are basically a stranger. But I didn't think it was too serious.
We then began my session. There was moment when he put so much of coconut oil on me and his hands slipped on my breasts when I was on my belly. But I made him clearly know he should be careful. It never happened before so again didn´t feel weird or did not ring the bell.
Then at one point I felt like it takes ages and I'm there so long. I asked how long I have been there and he said its almost two hours. But you know that feeling when you are at a massage and you listen to that meditation music, with all essentials oils. So because the purpose of me being there was to relax I went into a half sleeping, very relaxed state where I then ended up falling asleep.
I have not realized but after he told me how long Im there already I said oh gosh I need to be somewhere ( I just feel something is wrong as WHO THE FUCK DO FREE MASSAGE FOR 2 HOURS! ) He said yah yah sure okay. Im just gonna finish a neck and you can go. I said fine. he put my head on his legs and did massage on my neck as he said. Then suddenly I feel him coming closer but as I was in this relaxed state...
Until he already kissed my lips, and I quickly had to react... I did some sort of Matix move and rolled on the side fro the mattress but my towels stayed there. I was hiding my breats and was looking at him he knew was wrong move and he was like sorry sorry, I didn't mean to... However while he was saying he is sorry he was trying to hold my arms fro the back and he grabbed me so strong pulling me back. I started to yell at him to leave me alone so everyone can hear in the salon. Then he moved on the side but I was very afraid I was shocked and honestly didn't know what to do. I went to try if door are open and it was. he was saying how sorry he is. I told hi mto leave still super mad. Quickly dressed and didn't say anything just left. I didn't tell anyone at that place because its family busnines so the first thing was like oh they will not do anything its their family.... Then I was trying to tell at home but I could talk about it. Following weeks I was super sad and every man who looked at me made me upset and angry, disgusted. After a few months I told to my sister and mum, I dont think my mum took me seriously because she was laughing as it was funny story so it made me think good I didn't tell before. Now just like a month ago I brought up the topic and she was surprised like I never told her she said I thought it was differently, like he just touched you or something. I still don't know why she took it like that. I could not tell to my dad because he would burn that place... Sooooo that´s it. But I have to say this story really left some damages on me.
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA AFTER BEING OR NEARLY BEING ASSAULTED.
In some situations, the fear takes in toll on you, you may start to have anxiety when going back to certain environments or situations.
The mental toll may begin to manifest in forms of physical chronic pains.
It also may encourage Drug and Alcohol abuse problems.
Additionally, people who are victims of attempted or completed rape are at an increased risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. This could lead to additional physical and emotional health problems.
DISPLAYS OF INDECENCY
I was in park with my friend on bike. It was weekend so people around not just us. We were cycling on one of the little roads there and a man jumped naked on us from the side , pretending he got scared of us. I was so surprised and shocked but I guess he just liked to all naked showing his parts around. Well , just funny one, I was not really scared but who know if I was 14years old in the same situation how I would feel about it.
In this situation I was scared and was seriously thinking Im on the way to experience the worst. I was going from party but was not super late yet. I was little tipsy but called uber and nobody was coming so I was waiting for a bus instead.
Bus was not coming for 20 minutes and then when one came he just passed the stop. So I have decided to call an uber again. Someone accepted but I don't know which kind of uber it was he was there in one minute.
I came closer to car and asked for which name it is. He said my name with little laugh so I felt like Okay this my taxi.
Then I was sitting inside and I saw my app is showing driver has not arrived yet.
I asked again if he is my cab because got this kind of strange feeling inside.
Then he started to laugh again. He asked me where I want to go and I said he should know where Im going.
This is when I started to 100% feel like something So I realised something is wrong and tried to open the doors. But it was locked. He started to drive and he began to say that he doesn't want to drive me home. I started to panic and yelled at him to let me out. He was still driving but very slowly. I cant remember everything he said as I was little drunk but then my cab came and I started to call that driver so he let me out in the end but honestly I was very afraid in that situation....
SO... WHERE CAN I FIND SUPPORT?
Below are links to two separate articles, which contain all the relevant hotlines regarding sexual assault, as well as the UK National Domestic abuse hotline.
The information is right at the beginning of the article. So you not have to read any potentially triggering material if you do not wish to.
To all victims: You are strong, you are worthy... and karma doesn't skip anybody.