Lauren’s Story

A couple of months ago I was walking toward Botanic Gardens at about 2pm. From a distance, I could see that there was a group of 3/4 men, either late teens or early twenties sitting on the benches, clearly drinking. This in itself is disturbing enough considering it was a public park, at 2pm, with children around. I knew that they were going to say something as I walked past, as it seemed they were engaging most people who were walking by alone, but definitely mostly women. They had positioned themselves so 2 were on the bench & 1 was actually on the other side of the path, effectively leaving people surrounded as they passed.

When I first approached they were saying relatively common things like “Hey” “How’s it going?” “Where are you going?” “Wanna sit and have a drink?” “Come and have a drink” but when i realised I wasn’t going to respond in any way they became more mocking, & began shouting things like “Wanna taste my dick?” “I bet you’d love my dick” and laughing amongst themselves. I reiterate, there were children all around the park.

Unfortunately, I only needed to do one errand & had to walk back the same way about 20 minutes later. This time, the man who was standing opposite the bench from his friends tried to stand in front of me to block my way & just kept saying “Hey, can I talk to you?” “We just wanna talk to you”. Luckily he didn’t persist in trying to block my way & it was easy enough for me to just keep walking.

I did consider stopping and having a go at them but with the amount of children around I just was not interested in making a scene & decided to completely ignore them. I’m fortunate in that this is a relatively rare occurrence but it’s still an absolute disgrace.

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