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When I was at University in the seventies, I had a number of friends who worked for Women’s Aid. Among the horror stories they recounted, a theme kept emerging. They told me that some of their women did not fall into the inept category of women of low intelligence and/or mental disturbance, who were badly suited to think like someone SAS trained to avoid stalking, psychopathic men. Some of their women were intelligent, completely sane, and despite reacting rationally to their circumstances, were unable to avoid the situation. They told me these women had given up their jobs, severed family ties, not even telling their families where they were going and had moved home right across the country, telling no-one where they were – and yet their pursuing men still found them. No-one could figure out how this was happening.

Well, I have a suggestion. Perhaps the police told them.

When I was at University in the seventies, I had deliberately chosen the University of Ulster (Coleraine Campus) as I was country raised, liked its remote setting away from a town, and imagined this would be a tranquil setting in which to study. Both my parents were country raised, and we were quiet people who spent more time reading than socialising.

I did not get a grant so I was subsisting on my savings, and every week I was getting further into debt. So, apart from my Women’s Aid friends,  I was not socialising. There were not a lot of Philosophy students so I knew very few people. Also I followed suit with my parent’s character and was a totally risk averse person. They had taught me to avoid random social contacts with male strangers, and never reveal my name nor address to anyone.

I flat shared to save on rent and I lived in a tiny, remote terrace cottage on the coast road between Portrush and Portstewart. To get to it you had to drive out of town, find a not obvious lane that looked like a dirt track up to someone’s house, go along it, turn a corner, and then to get to my house walk through the neighbours yard. The lane was not a through road. It led nowhere.

So one day I came home to find my flatmate flustered and very alarmed. She said she had driven into the yard on her motor bike and a man appeared. He asked for me by name. She said something seemed not right, so she had said she was not me and that I was not home. She asked me if I knew this person and of course I didn’t. I only knew my Women’s Aid friends and about 3 Philosophy students, all youngsters.

This occurred over a period where strange men had started hanging around the house. The single lady on one side sold up and moved back to England. The elderly man who owned the yard that anyone had to cross to get to my flat was also very upset and worried and warned me about the men hanging about. He later bought a guard dog.

Actually, old George solved the problem of the men hanging about when he nearly shot a policeman trying to clamber over his fence one night. A friend of my flatmate,unknown to us, had an abusive boyfriend, so every so often she would take off to hide out with friends. On this occasion the boyfriend had reported her missing and given the police our address, so the policeman, unable to find the way into our address, had tried coming over George’s back gate. George, now paranoid about the freaky men hanging about had his shot gun out and was about to shoot when the man called out “Don’t shoot. I’m a cop!” The word must have got out. After that the strange men hanging about stopped. So, although I am a Brit and gun ownership is virtually impossible in this country, I strongly support the right of citizens to hold arms. Especially when you are a woman.

I only found out about “gang stalking” last year, though I had been completely mystified about what had happened when I was at Uni. I had not connected the trouble starting when a policeman tricked acquaintanceship with my flat mate on pretext she had parked in the wrong place, kept turning up, asking questions about my sex life and giving me a huge pile of porn magazines confiscated from students. (I found another student who wanted them).

That I was rejected for post-graduate study, before my finals. That I was prevented from getting work in the area. That a family I baby-sat for started getting phone calls from an IRA family. That when I moved to another town and found work in a shop, police called and spoke to the manager.  That I was sexually assaulted at a charity I volunteered for. That when I moved to England for work, rapists were moved into the flat beneath me – they were Turkish migrants who lured a girl of limited intelligence and raped her in the flat. Her brother came round and they wouldn’t let him in. He stood outside, crying  and screaming, “Why did you do it?”

That at the multiple-occupancy addresses I shared in London with my late husband, prostitutes were moved into one address, and the rumour that I was a prostitute was spread to my employer and work mates. A rumour they discounted as rubbish.

That both myself and my husband on several occasions were offered opportunities to engage in criminal activities (such as making a false claim on insurance when one place we lived in was burnt down), which we declined.

But I have covered this in other blogs.

My point is, there was no reason for the police to have any interest in me. But events from University on suggest I was being set up for sexual attack, having false stories that I was a prostitute spread everywhere, resulting in perverts homing in on my address, which someone had given them. And in several other places where I lived, rapists and wife-batterers were moved in next door.

Too many things happened, to be passed off as coincidence.

On the basis of my experience, a working class woman, not pretty, not social, and nobody could be more risk-averse, being constantly surrounded by perverts wherever I went – sexual harassment, sexual attacks and coercion into prostitution are not happening to women by accident, or “their own fault”.  They are being orchestrated. And the police are involved.