We had an incident last month. Quite a scary one in fact.
My second daughter Jemima was travelling home from college on her regular 4.45pm train, when two young men got on the train and approached her. One sat on her lap, and the other filmed the entire episode on his phone, along with Snaps to friends.
They were aggressive, and threatened to rape her, grabbing her phone and telling her boyfriend they were ‘taking his girl’ with them.
During the ten minute train ride, they touched her body, barricaded her in so she couldn’t escape, and made sexual, degrading comments and threats. A terrifying experience for a 16 year old!
There were a few other passengers on the carriage, and nobody did anything.
We were lucky. Jemima managed to jump over one of the man’s legs and make a dash for the doors as they opened.
It was only hours later, after making a police statement, and a hot bath, that we even remembered the rape alarm she had attached to her bag. Unbelievable!
Would it have helped? Who knows. Studies have shown a safety alarm is more likely to deter an assailant than to attract help. Thankfully it didn’t matter this time that we hadn’t used it. But it has shown us that anything can happen at any time, and I don’t think we’ll be forgetting it again in the near future!