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I moved to Bradford about 10 months ago to start University. Before I came here, I lived in Uganda as I was working with an NGO, I have been used to men staring at me because I am young, white with blonde hair and that is sometimes quite a spectacle in most villages in Uganda. I wouldn’t say that I am particularly “good looking” (whatever that means) and I can’t say that I dress like I’m asking for trouble.
I have been involved in two incidents now on the same road. (Great Horton Road) The first time, I was physically pushed over and spat on – because a group of guys thought it would be funny to jump at me to scare me, so I screamed, hence being pushed on the floor – then the guy who pushed me; spat on me, and so did his mate.
The second incident happened two nights ago. I was coming back from a friends house at about Midnight/1pm, and I heard a really loud group of men around the corner, so I stayed back a little so they could be well ahead of me. I started walking, but it was one of those, “Its going to happen again” kind of walks, and one of the guys turned around and saw me, elbowed his mate who then turned around; then they were all turned around staring at me and making kissy noises. I thought “fuck this” and turned back and walked in the opposite direction, when one of them came up fast from behind me saying telling me to come back so they can have a fuck. I was startled so I ran into the Takeaway and waited there until I thought they were gone. I waited at least 20 mins and started walking down St.Margarets Road – I couldn’t see them but half way down the hill, they were waiting for me. I can’t tell you the dread that hit me when I realised. It was bloody awful. I really thought I was going to be raped. They were coming close to me and one of them said to his mate, “What are you doing? You’re frightening her” and he replied, “I don’t fucking care, I’ll have her pants off her” so then I ran. I ran into my house and locked the door. Then stood in the kitchen with the light off looking out of the window, they had seen where I live and were now hanging around my house. I called the police and they came about an hour later. They weren’t caught and the police couldn’t do anything. I now have a rape alarm in my pocket at all times.
If anyone else shares a similar experience in this area of Bradford, I would really urge you to speak to the Women’s Officer at the University and there is also a Police Officer at the University at all times, who specialised in harassment. Her name is Sue Mitchell. Please go and speak to her. The more it’s reported – the more can be done to stop it.
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