Read the results of our online survey on Womens' Safety - some of which is depressing and even shocking
- Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
“I have been followed home from work in the early hours on more than one occasion.”
These are the worrying words of one woman, from Huntingdonshire, who responded to our survey on how women across the district feel on the subject of personal safety.
Some of those who took part were brave enough to share their experiences and told us about the measures they had taken to, at least, feel safer.
Nearly 70 per cent of the women in Huntingdonshire who took part in our online survey said they did not feel safe when walking alone at night due to lack of street lights and police presence.
Cat-calling, beeping of horns and being harassed for phone numbers were some of the experience's responders recounted.
Even more alarming were isolated threats of rape and verbal abuse towards women who were pregnant or who have learning difficulties.
"I’ve been followed, cat-called or, worse, had rape threats when not acknowledging the man,” one woman wrote.
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More than 500 women took part in the survey, launched by The Hunts Post last week, as part of a wider debate about women's safety got underway.
Most of the women who took part in our Hunts Post online survey preferred to remain anonymous but were happy for their comments to be published.
One woman from Brampton said she had “clutched her house key” when walking through “certain areas” on dark nights and “changed shoes from high heels to trainers” after a night out.
Others said they had felt safer in a city centre than in more secluded areas and were concerned about if they were to break down alone on rural roads.
A selection of women from St Neots who took part, said: “I am wary of my surroundings, who is behind or around me and I do remain extra vigilant in the evenings.”
Another one added: “I’ve always been told to be more aware when alone and scan my surroundings. So, it’s just second nature.
“There is a lack of street lighting, no visible police presence at any time of day and crime hotspots around the town.”
And another survey responder said: “Not enough areas lit up, broken street lamps or areas with too few lights.
“It is a bit intimidating and makes you nervous when you can't see everything clearly or what to expect.”
“You get unwanted cat-calling, beeping and being approached by people you don’t know and then there’s the space invading on public transport,” another added.
However, nearly 60 per cent of women said they did feel “generally safe” in the daytime and their main cause of concern was travelling alone on darker nights.
One woman from Huntingdon, said: “I do worry about individuals in the town centre who have been drinking or on drugs, or if I had to walk a less lit route. This is less of a concern specifically about men.
“I think the focus now must not be on more policing but should be on educating people about how to spot signs of mistreatment of people early on such as misogyny in schools and workplaces and call people out on it a lot earlier rather than allow such views to gain passive support.”
Another responded with: “As a woman it’s instilled into us from childhood from our parents and media to be wary of men as we are considered weaker physically next to men.”
“Females exist with an underlying awareness that at any point there is the possibility of being physically overpowered by a male,” one woman from St Neots added.
More than a week after the disappearance of Sarah Everard, heartbreak turned to outrage as women everywhere recounted experiences of feeling unsafe and threatened on the streets.
The 33-year-old was last seen on March 3 in Clapham on her way home from a friend's house. A police officer has been arrested on suspicion of her murder.