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Anexity after being stalked on train

(9 Posts)
alwayssleepy Thu 08-Jan-15 12:28:33

A few years back I had a problem where a man at a train station, where i waited to go home every from work day, started sitting very close to me. He also started taking pictures of me and of my legs, and in the end I reported it to the BTP.

They arranged the next day to pick up the man, and they called me at the station to make sure he was there, and then again when I was on the train for me to tell them which carriage the man got on at. When we got to the station where i would change to my second train, they came straight to me and got me to point the man out as he got off the train, and then hid me behind some stairs while other officers took him away.

I gave a quick statement and then set off to get the bus home (I didn't fancy another train), but on the way back to the bus station I was called back as it turned out the man was on the sex offenders register and I had to give a much longer statement. My boyfriend at the time sat in while i gave the statement (this isn't really meant to happen), and was shocked that it had taken me so long to report this man and what had been going on.

The officers said that he had been taking pictures of me, and my legs, but had told them he hadn't 'got any really good ones'.

The case went to court, he pleaded guilty so I did not attend, and he was sentenced to a rehabilitation order, a curfew, tagging, a restraining order was placed on him, and he remained on the register.

So you would think that was it, and I can move on. But I still suffer with anxiety when out of the house on my own, and in particularly when on the train. I worry that I didn't treat what was happening to me seriously enough, I thought the man was just getting a bit annoying and creepy which is why i reported it, but i should have done something sooner. I worry that I can't spot danger, and something will happen to me, which will leave my little boy motherless.

It makes it hard for me to relax on the train, but I also have similar worries if I travel alone somewhere in my car. Overall I imagine what would happen if something were to happen and I was never there to pick him up from school, or ever again.

What can I do? Will things naturally get better?

alwayssleepy Thu 08-Jan-15 12:29:52

sorry for the spelling mistake in the title - should be anxiety

Have you considered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? I suffer from depression and anxiety, and had a course of CBT last year, and found it really helpful, especially in tackling the anxiety issues.

CocktailQueen Thu 08-Jan-15 12:40:27

Oh, sending you huge hugs. Well done you for reporting him.

Looking on the positive side, you are more aware now and would know what to do in the unlikely event of anything similar happening in future.

I think that the more you go on trains etc. now and get used to the idea that nothing odd or creepy will happen, the better you will feel. I think your anxiety is totally understandable in the circumstances, and I believe it will fade over time.

Agree with STDG that, if it continues, CBT can be helpful in tackling persistent unhelpful and negative thoughts.

vinegarandbrownpaper Thu 08-Jan-15 12:46:00

Someone on the sex offenders register isnt necessarily dangerous per se. Taking unwanted sexual photos or exposure can get you on the register without that person being likely to cause physical harm or a threat to your life. Its important to get this into perspective and realise that not only did nothing actually dangerous, happen, agencies and support were very quickly there at your side. This will come in time I'm sure so don't worry that it will be perennially overwhelming. .flowers

alwayssleepy Thu 08-Jan-15 12:54:45

Thanks for your replies. The incident was a few years ago now, I think 7 years and I feel my feelings have resurfaced since having a child, and more so now I leave him at school and go to work for a few hours on the train. It's as if I wasn't as worried about something happening to me, but now I would be leaving my son behind I worry, and this is amplified by leaving him at school.

I have had some therapy as a child, due to school refusal, but I did feel like a well balanced individual until this happened. Perhaps I should consider some CBT again.

vinegarandbrownpaper unfortunatey the officers decided to tell me that his previous conviction that got him on the register was for some sort of sexual assault, which I sort of wish they had never told me and then I could believe he was just a creepy man taking pictures.

I current get on the train 4 times a week for work, sometimes more. This week I have felt particularly anxious after going back after the two week holiday.

MaybeDoctor Thu 08-Jan-15 13:44:52

I am glad that you have posted. There is a lot of support on here and I think that you should continue posting.

If it is any help, the British Transport Police recently had a stand at my mainline station, advertising various initiatives. I had some time to spare so I got talking to them and one of the officers proactively said that I should never feel concerned about reporting unwanted sexual behaviour on trains, that it was something they wanted to totally crack down upon and that any complaints would be taken very seriously.

I still have the card - it is called 'Project Guardian'. Maybe there is a website?

For what it is worth, I also feel twinges of anxiety when leaving my son at nursery/school and setting off on the train work - as I don't like feeling too far away from him. But it does get better, especially once I get to work also gets better as time goes along.

MaybeDoctor Thu 08-Jan-15 13:45:52

Meant to say - it gets better when I get to work and also gets better as time passes.

alwayssleepy Thu 08-Jan-15 14:10:43

Thanks for that, I have checked our Project Guardian and it says that a lot of these crimes dont get reported as most people dont feel the are serious enough, that makes me feel a bit better that I did report it. Perhaps my weirdo radar was working ok.

I sometimes feel I attract this sort of strange behavior somehow, as if I give off some signal that says 'pick on me'. This wasn't the only time I have been the subject of this sort of thing, there was someone when I was at middle school that i never reported, then I was sexually assaulted 16, then I got myself an abusive grooming boyfriend, and then I met a lovely man, but then this train thing happened, and then I had to change driving instructor cos of some weirdness and he was touching my hair, and sometimes I just feel like a victim and I'm waiting for the next thing to happen.

Oh and that man who was wanking next to me by the cash machine a few years ago...

Rather makes me feel like staying at home where im safe.

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