Rebekah’s Story – ‘It felt pressurised and overly intimate.’

 I  was outside kings cross station having just been to the RNIB. It was dark and traffic was heavy. I was nervously waiting to cross when a drunk/high man came up to me and took me by the arm tightly saying he could ‘help me across’. I was relieved that someone was willing to help but nervous about the fact he had taken my arm (which was both intrusive and unhelpful) and that he was clearly intoxicated and therefore unpredictable. As I didn’t know how he would respond to being corrected, i responded amiably. He took me across to the central reservation and, whilst we were waiting to cross the other lane, told me that I should ‘touch his face’ so that I could recognise him again in the future. He turned me towards him, took my hand and put it on his face which was covered in body piercings and chains. It felt pressurised and overly intimate. I tried to laugh it off without appearing to reject him. When we got to the other side, I told him I knew the way from here. He’d already told me that he wasn’t going into the station, But yet he followed me into Kings Cross. I felt really scared and darted off into the biggest crowd of people I could see. I didn’t know if he was still following me as I went down to my tube line. 

Author: Hannah Mason-Bish

Criminologist and Co-Director of Centre for Gender Studies at University of Sussex

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