Three years ago, in an underground carpark I was sexually assaulted by an old man. I was eight months pregnant and walking with my toddler in a trolley.
If you want to read about that it’s here.
I went to the police and made a statement and one year after the incident I was called to identify the offender in a line up. I was shown pictures of 12 old men and I needed to recollect the man who had grabbed my vagina and intimidated me 12 months prior.
In that 12 months, I’d had a baby and had about 5 minutes sleep but still I pointed to the man who touched me up because I recognised his face immediately.
About 6 months after that, the detective handling the case told me that he’d been to see the man and he didn’t speak English. There was a big family powwow with his son and his wife, and the police explained that the man was in trouble for indecently assaulting a woman.
Over the next few months they went to the their family doctor and got a letter stating that the man had dementia and he didn’t know what he was doing.
Nearly two years after the offence, the detective called me to tell me that all charges were dropped. He also said the man didn’t appear confused or addled when the family were all talking but alas, his hands were tied.
The case was finished, as was my trust in the legal system for dealing with incidences such as this one.
Today, I saw that man who assaulted me standing outside my local supermarket. I did a double take. Could it be?
I never really imagined bumping into him although obviously we live in the same locality but suddenly there he was. Standing nonchalantly (waiting for someone?) wearing a jaunty hat with a feather in it. Just hangin’.
I pegged him by the same underbite that I recognised in the police line up.
Do you think I walked up to him and punched him in his stupid Muttley jaw and told my kids to never live in fear of someone who tries to intimidate you, or do you think I freaked out, got teary and went home and angry scrubbed my oven until it sparkled?
I couldn’t move for minute and I was just staring at him and he was staring at me. My heart was racing like a rabbit in my chest and I feared it would burst from my throat and shoot across the shopping centre and hide under the pop-up handbag stand.
He looked calmly back. He didn’t look away.
The sound of my kids bickering pulled me out of my vortex and we entered the supermarket.
This man is not a scary looking dude. He is a 78 year old man who is shorter than me by a head. He is stocky, but I am strong, however any perceived physical strength I have was taken away from me by a man who intimidated me.
I’ve been thinking a lot about domestic violence and violence against women recently. I’ve been trying to think of a way to pen something that will make a difference, but I have no words for this feeling of powerlessness I feel women have in our society when it comes to violence and intimidation from men.
My mum always tells me not to walk alone after dark, but its such a shame that I cannot walk without fear. I could hold my chin high and say I will not be terrorised and live in fear, but who is the fool after they have been attacked or worse when I could have just caught a cab?
This is not the post I’m trying to brew about violence against women, but it’s just reminded me that by simply being a woman I am at risk, and even a little old man can intimidate me sheerly through the fact that he is a man.
I cried when I got in the car and I don’t even know why. I’m putting it down to the adrenalin burst needing to disperse.
I did clean that oven. I cleaned it good and proved to it that I am in control of my life and my Ilve six-burner can never take that away from me.
If you like what you’re seeing, stick around and have a flick through some related posts.
Want some more? Why not like my Facebook page now?
You can also subscribe via email, or follow me on Instagram and Twitter at The Holsbys to be sure you always Keep up with the Holsbys.