Exeposé News online (24 March 2015)
Women in Exeter have been urged to take caution after a group of men tried to lure a female student into their car last week.
Elizabeth Wright, a Classics student at the University, was walking with her partner Jamie Fuller between Exeter St David’s and Birks Grange on Sunday 15 March when the pair were approached by a silver Seat.
“I stayed on the opposite side of the road but my partner walked over as their behaviour suggested we knew them,” Wright reported later on the ‘Spotted: Sexism at Exeter University’ Facebook page.
Yet the four males in the car then attempted to lure her into the vehicle. “When he walked away they shouted “he [my partner] said I could have sex with you, he said we could f*** you,”” Wright recounted.
“I am deeply concerned that women will be fooled into approaching their car thinking they know these boys,” she said. Stressing: “I hate to think what would happen given how clear they made their intentions,” she urged students to “please be careful and ignore beeping cars, even if you think you know the people in them.”
Wright’s post on the ‘Spotted’ Facebook page has since been shared over 160 times, with commenters advising her to contact the police or Estate Patrol. “The police were called but we didn’t get the number plate,” said Wright.
Since the incident, Wright has been visited by the Residence Life Team, who have offered emotional support. When contacted by Exeposé, she said: “The experience has shaken me to the core. The fact that they were laughing about what they were saying and doing highlights a serious issue – sexual harassment is still a joke for a lot of people, and it’s something which needs to be addressed.
“I can’t thank campus security enough for all their help and support. I was worried that I wouldn’t be taken seriously, but they have treated the issue with diligence and respect and I am so grateful to them for their kindness and sensitivity.”
Wright was also keen to raise awareness that students can collect free panic alarms from the University reception in Northcote House. “People definitely need to know about them,” she said, adding: “you don’t have to sign for them or fill anything out, and you can take as many as you want for your friends.”
She added that while the police have not contacted her personally, they are reportedly working closely with the University, and have met with Estate Patrol to discuss the incident further.