By Amy Wilson
TW: Images of bruising after a violent attack
“Six years ago, when I was twenty, someone followed me when I was walking home from the club I worked in. It was 4am, and as I walked through an underpass – blissfully unaware of his presence as I listened to music through my headphones – he jumped on me and knocked me to the ground.
In the discussions with police, medical and therapeutic staff afterward, I learned that most people will freeze in a situation like this. For some lucky reason, I didn’t. I screamed “Help!”, I kicked wildly, I continuously tried to lift my head up to see his face even though every time I did he would punch me in the face. When he tried to undress me I kicked harder still, and suddenly, he was running away.
I stood dumbly in the underpass for a short while, unable to find my glasses or my shoes. I did find my phone, though, and I stumbled off to call 999. Unfortunately in my panicked state I couldn’t articulate to the operator where I was. A taxi driver spotted me crying and bleeding in the street and took over.
I have never felt more loved or more strong than I did after that. My flatmates got out of bed and ran through the streets to meet me in the ambulance. The police were endlessly kind. The bouncers at my work drove me to and from the club after that. Everyone rallied around.
And I have felt tougher and safer ever since.”