I’m strong, confident , 31, single and I live alone.
I frequently go out socially into nightspots such as Northbridge, Mount Lawley , Leederville, Subiaco and more.
I regularly catch cabs on my own, go out running through my neighbourhood which is extremely well lit on my own, and have been known to walk home from some nightspots on my own.
I’m always vigilant of my surroundings and constantly let my friends and people I know where I am headed. I never leave a night out without telling those around me that I’m going home. I also let them know once I’ve gotten home that I’m there safely.
As a single woman, I am constantly preached to about security and safety. I’m not stupid and I’m aware of what can happen. The situation over the weekend involving the disappearance of Jill Meagher is a grim but also real event. This happens not only to well-known journalists, but also to everyday women.
No matter what you do you will, and I am being honestly frank about this always find in every city there is a display of potential threat to the wellbeing and safety of all women no matter how many precautions you take. You cannot say that one city is safer than the other, the threat is always in our midst.
You may think I’m rambling a little and want me to get to the point. To get to that point I have to tell you about what happened to me this weekend just passed.
I have lived in my current ground floor apartment for Four and a Half years. Apart from the occasional meth head doing a bit of a wander by, which is always to be expected when you choose to do the whole “Inner City Living” I have never felt unsafe or at risk in my own home. This changed on Saturday Night.
After catching up with friends, I made my way home early (8.30 to be precise) and decided a night in was required. I had a cigarette outside, came back in, closed my glass sliding door popped the lock , put my pyjamas on and wrapped myself in my duvet on my sofa. The inside light was on and I absent-mindly forget to pull my blinds down. I fell asleep.
At 12.30 I woke up, for no reason whatsoever and just looked up to the back door. I thought I was having a nightmare. A man stood within a foot of the door, completely naked. Wearing some form of mask with only his eyes exposed and a Kangol Flat cap, he was furiously masturbating. I was petrified.
I couldn’t scream, I tried to shout telling him I was going to call the Police. He spoke back “ I’ve been here for half an hour already, what’s the point. I’m going to get you”. He continued to keep going with his act whilst I tried to close the blind, grab my phone and lock myself in my bedroom.
I have no idea where he went. To get to my garden this lunatic had to find exactly where to go through a large car park and walk past SIX other ground floor apartments before getting to mine.
You may laugh and think, “Oh yeah, some crazy getting his kicks on by exposing himself Blah Blah Blah etc” . But he had locked his eyes with mine and threatened me, for all I knew he hadn’t run off but could have been hiding anywhere in the complex. Even worse, he could live there. I don’t know. There are 40 Apartments.
The police attended the scene and a report was made, I was questioned as to whether the individual appeared to be armed . I found it very specific and after asking more questions I then found out this was not the only time this had happened. In the past MONTH there had been several incidents reported, and the discussion was had that there may have been ones that weren’t reported.
I have seen nothing in the local press about any such incidents. Nothing has been issued out to any Media Outlets that I know about the incident on the weekend. I was told that this was being treated very seriously, because of the nature of the act along with the threat. The responsibility here should be that the Police Force should be creating an awareness within the community about this especially where a large population of single women live.
How do I have faith that this individual will be caught?
I don’t .
Also I now do not want to go out in the dark on my own anywhere, not even to take the rubbish out to the bins. Which is goddam ridiculous and nobody , whether you are male or female should have to continually question how safe it is do go about your normal daily routine.
This includes catching up with friends down the pub, at their houses and so forth. I understand Jill Meagher’s intention of walking home was that she did it all the time and the route was known to her. That doesn’t mean it stops the stranger invading your route or following you home.
I’m not here to lecture anyone. I hate to think what could have happened if my door wasn’t locked, But it didn’t. These things happen. My confidence has been knocked and I’m scared, BUT I will move forward and try to not let it eat me inside. I would make the worst recluse.
Do me a favour guys and girls, when your friends ask to walk you home say “Yes”, or share that cab.
Being vigilant doesn’t mean you have to change your lifestyle.
* For those of you that live in the West Perth / Leederville / North Perth area or have friends please warn them.
Description* 5’10 Caucasian Male, Blue Eyes, Stocky / Medium Build – Slightly Hairy . No Identifying Tattoos. Could be bald Unsure due to him wearing a hat. Police have said that he may have stashed a backpack containing Screwdriver / Flashlight, Tape and his clothes somewhere nearby. If you hear or see this man Please contact the Police immediately.