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New submission from Sarah
I was walking to work at 8am in the morning on a beautiful sunny day. As I left my house I noticed a young man on a bike wheeling around aimlessly and thought he must be a student waiting to go to school or college and enjoying the warmth of the sun like I was. I walked two blocks and was approaching a central public area, but just before I got there I heard a bike behind me on the street. I stepped to one side to allow them to pass and the next thing I know I’m being grabbed forcibly between the legs.
I can’t explain the state of shock I went into, I froze and had no idea what was going on. Then I shouted at him and he swore at me and cycled off. I stumbled forward a few steps, my head reeling, and then realised I should call the police. I called the 101 number and didn’t quite know what to call what had just happened. But I’m glad to say the police were incredible and so supportive, sending a female police officer straight away.
The reason I want to share my story is for several reasons: the first is that we have to report these crimes against us. It turns out I was probably attacked by a serial sex attacker and I hope my evidence is going to bring him to justice for much worse crimes against other women. The second reason I want to share this story is because it happened on a work day morning, in broad day light in the middle of the street and I want other people to be aware.
Finally I wanted to share my story because I have found it so difficult talking to anyone about it openly because I feel so embarrassed and affected by it. For weeks I have been scared walking down streets when there’s no one else around and I hate the sound of bikes approaching behind me. I hate how much it has changed me. I am normally the most confident and outgoing person, but this had impacted my life more than I could have imagined.
I hope these fears subside in time and I can go back to being myself. Perhaps when the individual is convicted that will be a turning point, but for now I just want to say to all women living in the Brixton/Herne Hill area please to be aware and be safe.
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