Thursday, 30 August 2007

Domestic Violence

Photo from

"I am a sixty one year old Indian lady and have been married thirty-nine years. Like most Asian societies (Indian society), it is very male dominated. In the past through alcohol abuse, my husband would get very violent. He had beaten me up severely enough to cut my face open (which warranted stitches), kicked me and punched me many a time with a closed fist. Life for me would be to just get out his way and often spend evening after evening locked in my room. Through the Woman's Centre, I heard of the Personal Safety course, my intention being, to be safe on the street against racial abuse, I decided to have a go. Since taking the course, I have generally felt more capable in myself. One evening, my husband having had a few drinks, thought he would do the norm. I used my personal safety skills and defended myself by thrusting my fingers in his eyes and kicked him away. Next morning he awoke (sober), with one black eye and the other completely blood shot. Since then, he is well aware of my capabilities and dare not strike me, in fear of getting hurt himself. I don't lock myself in my room anymore, and now have confidence and freedom back. "

He didn't get what he wanted.

"I am a resident of the Kings cross area and often travel alone at night. I sometimes travel by public transport, but usually I travell by bike. Recently I was dragged from my bicycle in Hoxton. It was late evening, I had dismounted my bike and was pushing it near the pavement, when I was approached by a man. He asked me for a light. I thought he looked a bit rough, but I diddn't had an imediate sense of danger coming from him. I said I didn't had a light and was moving on, when he suddenly grabed me and pushed me down on the pavement. The street was empty, it was only me and him and I started to struggle and shout, and when he did not let go I made a grab for his crotch. He let go of me and backed of, with a look of susprise on his face. As he went, he said " "Well I got what I wanted, didn't I?", which I think he said to save face. At that point several people came running, alerted by my shouts. They were asking "What happened?" and, "Are you ok?" .

This happened before I attended LCPS self defence course. Although I acquited myself fairly honourably and got away fairly unscatered, I would have been infinitelly more efficient about it. I would also have been better prepared and would have reported the attack to the police more efficiently. I might even not have been attacked at all, since your course provide excellent advice and practical steps to take as safeguard against attack."

On the Street

Photo from

"At around 9:30 at night I was coming home from the Gym on foot, a walk that takes no longer than 15 minutes. That evening I had managed to pull a muscle in my leg, so I was not walking as swiftly or confidently as usual, which I think it made me appear a perfect target. As I approached the block I live in, I heard steps behind me. I turned quickly to see, shaken by the noise. It was late and few people were around. He came up close behind me but passed and continued on the pavement; we looked at each other briefly as he passed. We were alongside my block. The flats are approached from the central courtyard, accessible from either side through large arches. As I turned I saw him further up the street walking away from me. I was about 10 metres inside the courtyard when he reappeared beside me, there was no one else around. I sped up but he caught up with me, pushing into me from the side. "What?" I said to him. "I just want to talk" he replied, but by then he had propelled into the wall, fencing me in with his torso and arms, with his tongue on my face and a hand on my chest. He was taller that I so all I could think to do was to swear loudly and punch him in the direction of his groin, though I think I was pummelling his stomach. The poorly aimed punches had an effect though, for he was gone in seconds. With hindsight I can see how I should have appeared less scared, and I wish I had made more effective use of the moves I was learning at the LCPS course. On the other hand, I know the course has made me see the importance of making noise and showing I was not going to be an easy target. I reported the attack to the police, through I wondered what good it could do, and feeling silly as I was obviously unhurt. I was glad to find soon after, that someone fitting his description had attacked at least four women in the vicinity in the two past weeks. Thankfully he has been arrested and is in custody and full statements are being taken from all involved. Some of the women attacked have been severely traumatised, and I can see the experience has had more effect on me than I first thought. Even in the most crowded areas I can jump at the sound of footsteps behind me, but this is only a small thing. "

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

A Telling Incident -

"Had a tiny, but telling incident.

A pavement, half of which was cut off with work paraphernalia where the road was being dug up so the pavement was too narrow for more than one person a time. A man was approaching from one end and I was approaching from my end in the opposite direction. It was broad daylight and a busy area. It was a situation where you know that at one stage one or other of you will have to wait and let the other pass, distances were such that I knew I would get there first so logically I should go first and he wait.
I was in two minds, as previously I would probably just let him go first in order to avoid any possible embarrassing squeeze or confrontation or too close proximity in a narrow space.

On this day I thought logically I should go first - and so I did. He had not expected it and was bearing down rapidly (swaggeringly?) on where the narrow bit started and had to stop abruptly to let me pass. As I emerged, I was just about to give him a thank you nod when he swung into the narrow bit, just avoiding pushing me, and under his breath loud enough for me to hear F.... Bitch...

I ignored it and smiled to myself..."