Fresher Hell

by

I’m a fresher at Manchester University, trying hard to fit in and make friends. A part of this being that I go out clubbing during freshers. Getting shit-faced each night is practically mandatory so, last Saturday night, I go out, just to say that I did. I. Felt. Sexy. I felt great. I was happy to spend all evening in and appreciate myself but the idea was to make friends. So I left my flat to walk down to the student union.

Three people slowed in their cars to shout stuff at me out the window. Abuse. Basically.

One person asked me ‘how much?’ and persisted until I told him for the fifth time that I wasn’t interested. THAT I REEEEAAALLLLY wasn’t interested.

and the last person. picks me up. He’s grabbing at me and yelling something to his mates. We’re on the main road from the central campus and the city centre, I am but 5 minutes from the SU and there’s a police van on the other side of the road that does nothing. He continues to grab me and mimic humping me while I kick his shins and yell at him to put me down.

Obviously I don’t own my own body. Silly me. Obviously the only reason I went out was to track down some guys to wank off in alleys. Obivously I only wore it to get yells from passers by. Silly, silly me. It obviously had nothing to do with the fact that if you’re not dressed up, you get ignored. That you don’t make friends. If anyone dares to say it’s my fault for wearing something sexy, then I guess it’s #MFIF because that’s what we’re expected to do over this god awful week.

Pissed off, Manchester, UK

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12 Responses to “Fresher Hell”

  1. Doomed Lapels Says:

    Good grief. I am so so sorry this happened to you. Is there anyone you can tell?

  2. celia56 Says:

    That’s assault and you should report it to the police. No woman should put up with this kind of behaviour.

    • jennygadget Says:

      Aside from the fact that I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to tell assault victims what they should do, it seems especially obnoxious to tell this particular woman that she should report it to the police, as if the idea had never crossed her mind, when she clearly mentioned that there was a police car across the street from where the worst incident occurred, and yet they did nothing.

      There may be a good reason why the police were unable to respond to a person that was clearly in distress and being assaulted, but, you know, there also may be several damn good reasons why this particular person does not think reporting this incident to the police is in her best interests.

      I certainly hope that she does feel comfortable reporting the incident and does so, but I’m sure as hell not going to tell her that she should. I’m going to trust her judgment on that one.

      just sayin’

  3. scrivener212 Says:

    My gods–that’s HORRIBLE! I would have run back home and not come out for a week! And this is *expected*? They had no right to do that to you! And the cops . . . I don’t suppose you got the number for their vehicle, did you?

    Whatever else, please write this up and get it in one of the school publications, maybe just in this form, as you told us. You have to know that for your situation there were five or ten girls who were just too scared of being yelled at or of rocking the boat to say anything.

    In university here in the U.S., I always carried a small container of something sprayable–hairspray, usually, since they make the small sizes, perfume once or twice, and a couple of times bicicyle oil. I did it because I lived in a bad neighborhood, but it sounds like you do, too, and there’s nothing like discouraging someone from manhandling you like nasty spray in the eyes. Since it seems like you can’t depend on university and local police to keep you safe, you might want to tuck a little insurance in your pocket.

    Don’t let them get to you. They’re the ones who needs their heads adjusted, preferably with a book press. You keep on wearing what makes you feel good.

    • popesuburban Says:

      Roundly seconded. You might also want to think about going out with a friend or two, since when you’re dealing with animals like these, there’s often safety in a herd. It’s sick that you need it, but having someone to watch your back is often a good idea.

      • mcsqueeky Says:

        That would be helpful, except she says she’s trying to make friends. That was the point of her going out. But hopefully she’s made one, or an acquaintance, so she can do this.

    • popesuburban Says:

      For some reason, I can’t reply properly to you, but yeah, it was a tip for the future. The more strategies she has to stay safe, the better.

    • jesurgislac Says:

      Please bear in mind that in the UK, carrying something deliberately to use it to spray in someone’s face can constitute aggravated assault – even if they attacked you first, but especially if the courts decide their assault was lesser than yours.

      Obviously if it’s something you’d be carrying anyway (or can claim it is!) you’re OK: and as a police officer once noted to me, everyone carries house keys and a key ring, so, you’re also okay if you hit someone with your keyring and it just HAPPENS to be something made of solid metal that hurts a lot.

  4. jesurgislac Says:

    That’s really horrible. Definitely report it to the police, and tell them you saw a car there and the police in it did nothing.

    The police may not be able to “do anything” for you in that they can’t catch your assailants, but every report justifies their being there – and they bloody well should have done something when they saw you being physically picked up, kicking his shins, and yelling at him to put you down.

    If when you report it, and report the inaction, they attempt to justify their inaction to you in ANY way – ie, saying “oh they assumed it was a joke” or “your boyfriend”, or “not serious – he couldn’t have hurt you” here’s how to report them for unprofessional behavior, because they’re attempting to justify their inaction about a violent assault they witnessed.

    The only possible justification they can give is that they were the other side of the road and didn’t see you or couldn’t cross the road – in which case, that was inefficiency on their part, they should have been on both sides of the road.

  5. theblackcorner Says:

    Hey there,

    That was a horrible thing to happen to you. So sorry. Freshers’ Week sucks anyway without having to be sexually assaulted into the bargain.

    I second Scrivener’s comment about writing up your account in the student paper. If you can, and feel comfortable enough doing so. Or get a friend who is into writing and could write about you, with a changed name if you wanted…. I really think if you could get the story out there, get people talking about it, and make students aware that this stuff is going on and is NEVER acceptable, it would be so good.

    All the best of luck for your time at uni, I hope you can get on and enjoy your studies and partying despite this.

  6. anyalias Says:

    oh sweetheart, that’s crap :o(

    the best (perhaps only! lol) piece of advice my mum gave me about uni was: “for the first year you’ll think everybody’s great, then you’ll spend the next two years trying to shake the ones that aren’t” and that’s pretty true. it’ll take a few weeks, but you’ll soon find there is a lot more to do than it seems from Ye Standard Freshers Activities at the start of term.

    i went to a collegiate uni, and though some of my best friends were made in college, my main social scene was derived entirely from music and gigs and it really was a totally parallel world to the cheesy clubbing most people did. basically, you WILL find your niche at uni, and with that will come a better social arena generally. (i certainly found that for all the neanderthals in my year group generally, the group of friends i ended up in was totally free of that kind of thing – there was plenty of drunken sexual intrigue but only ever consensual).

    anyway, sorry if this sounds a bit overly long or patronising, but just wanted to say hang in there if it all seems a bit much right now xxx

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