Harrogate Feminists

Free-text responses

The free-text responses have been grouped into several themes.

Avoidance of going out alone at night

  • “Use my car mostly therefore do usually drive very close to any destination. If travelling to Leeds on the bus I would feel very different, and be more cautious. I would not go alone at night.”  Female, 61-70, Leeds/York
  • “I don’t go out alone at night ever” Female, 31-40, Harrogate
  • “Would never go out alone at night” Female, 41-50, Harrogate.
  • “Avoid going out at night alone”  Female, 21-30, Harrogate

Other changes in behaviour

  • “Since living in London in my 20s I have always been aware of the possibility of harassment and make sure that when I am out alone at night I always wear shoes that I can run in, and that I walk quickly and purposefully to my destination, always remaining aware of others on the streets around me and avoiding – as far as possible – dark and isolated places.”  Female, 41-50, Harrogate.
  • Female, 41-50, who reports having had an experience stalking / being followed, says that she has changed her behaviour – “walks quicker”. Feels that harassment in public places is “appalling”.
  • “I no longer give eye contact to groups of youths whilst out alone at night” Female, 61-70, Harrogate

Experiences of young people

  • “A man followed me down the road …. [now I] avoid going anywhere in the dark”. Female, 16-20, Harrogate.
  • A female, under 16, reports that she has experienced verbal harassment 1-3 times in the past 12 months in the town or city nearest where she lived. As an example she wrote “names”.

Experiences of older people

  • “From  across the road 2 boys drunk, couldn’t make out what they said but used hand signs” – an example of an incident of verbal harassment in the past year. Female, 51-60, Harrogate
  • “Shouted vulgar remarks on buses” – an example of an incident of verbal harassment in the past year. Male, 61-70, Ripon

 Experiences in particular areas of town

  • “Whilst I don’t experience harrassment of a sexual nature (I’m 60), I do find drunken behaviour and insulting, sexist language and behaviour uncomfortable and threatening. I’ve witnessed the latter outside Kings Club on more than one occasion but unless I take a huge detour, I have to walk past the club on my way home from visiting friends and restaurants further along Kings Road.” Female, Harrogate.
  • “At 9.30 at night some yobs came out of a nightclub and banged on my car window while I was driving down Parliament Street… I wouldn’t like my daughters out late while in town, there are such a lot of hooligans. I think it’s got to change” Female, 81+, Harrogate
  • “Something needs to be done about young people drinking and taking over the town with drunken behaviour at 10.30pm. We need to reclaim the town for those of us who behave ourselves and know how to limit our alcohol intake. The worst is coming out of a theatre/cinema/restaurant late at night. You have to avoid the crowds of drunkards.”  Female, 51-60, Harrogate.
  • “Avoid particular areas, travelling alone on late night public transport” Female, 31-40, Manchester

Positive thoughts

  • “I have had my bottom pinched on the London Underground by an unknown woman. I have been verbally abused on the street because I was white in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. I know friends who have suffered much more. I believe it is important not to let fear ruin your life, as we cannot avoid all risk without becoming hermits.” Male, 51-60, Harrogate.
  • “Harrogate is the perfect town.” 41-50 (gender not disclosed), Harrogate.

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