Sophie’s Story: “I am frustrated that I can’t feel at home in this area anymore”

I’ve been living in Glasgow for just under six months now, as a student. I’m living in a somewhat rough area and i’m well aware it’s not safe to wander around at night on my own. However, this incident took place at about 5pm on a weekday night, in a park just down the road from my dorms. I was walking back from a lecture with two of my flatmates and we cut through a small park, as we normally do. A man emerged from the bushes, completely naked from the waist down and touching himself, and started following us up the path. We tried to ignore him and started to walk a bit quicker but as he got closer and closer to my flatmate, who was behind me, I reacted. I screamed and swore at him but he just seemed to enjoy this, and laughed in my face. He followed us through the park and disappeared when my flatmate got her phone out to call the police – who incidentally never caught him and whose only advice was to avoid that park in future.

So obviously, living in a foreign city after growing up in a small town i’m wary; this really shook my confidence. I experienced panic attacks and ended up missing some important deadlines as a result of this incident, as I felt unsafe leaving the flat. I’m glad I shouted at/reported him but I am frustrated that I can’t feel at home in this area anymore.