Saturday, 18 October 2014

Scared: stranger danger and use of space

It's 5am and I'm awake because I just had a horrible nightmare.

I dreamt that a young, fit (as in quick and strong) man attacked me and my children in a secluded spot.

It's made me think about how much more concerned I am now of 'stranger danger' than I was as a younger woman. Which is ironic, because of course I was at more danger then, and was in fact sexually assaulted a few times. 
There are lots of places to hide in those trees

None were especially serious, thankfully, and the time when it was a complete stranger was actually the easiest to deal with because I had no concept that I 'should' do anything other than kick him in the nethers and scream like hell. I also didn't mind what happened to the man at the hands of those who came to my aid (who were more interested in a fight than a distressed damsel).

The fact is that attacks of any type from strangers are rare. And when they do happen, it's young men who are at highest risk, and yet we all know of a case or two which is someone like us, mainly from the news. 

I'm also now painfully aware that I'm not as fit as I should be, and that I have three beautiful children, whom bad people might want to hurt.

But it's not very likely is it?

I shouldn't let it curtail my movements, partly because that's exactly what the sick puppies want. And I really don't want their actions to be effective like that.

But I do.

After an incident in a Bradford KFC toilet, I ask my boy to come to the ladies with me, even though he's 9. He doesn't mind yet, but it can't go on forever.

Now if I'm out walking and see a man who looks strong and fit, by himself, I head quickly to where others can see me. I know that most men are kind and good, but I also know what I have to lose, and since becoming a mother it's too too much to risk.

It doesn't have much impact day to day, but it does limit the walks I'll go on. The only way around it, I think, is teaming up with friends for walks. Now I see the benefit of those rambling groups.

It makes me mad that those sick puppies who do these rare attacks are having such an influence on me!

Which leads me to a question. Do you feel like this? And if so, what do you do about it?

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