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So do I need to stop taking my two dd's for walks down lanes now???

(48 Posts)
emkana Sat 23-Apr-05 19:46:46

Is this what the world has come to?

We regularly go for walks in the local park. Quiet lanes, surrounded by houses.

Does the stabbing mean that I should stop doing this now??? Is it not safe to go for walks???

What do you all do?

bobbybob Sat 23-Apr-05 20:06:11

I thought most stabbings like this were by people who knew the victims, not random attacks. So unless you have enemies, I would say the exercise outweighs the risk of being stabbed.

As they say on Crime Watch - something about it's not as bad as it looks.

emkana Sat 23-Apr-05 20:07:09


Feel really sick now. Surely this case is so rare that it's unlikely to happen? Can we really let our life be restricted in this way on the off-chance that something like this might happen?

I mean surely people still lead their lives... even though there is the possibility of crime? Or am I naive?

emkana Sat 23-Apr-05 20:08:08

Sorry, posts crossed.

Don't quite understand your Crime Watch quote?

Caligula Sat 23-Apr-05 20:11:01

You still lead your life, but I think what people do is put up unconscious barriers to doing things. How many women do you know who would walk home longer than a 10 minute walk after 11PM? I know precisely zero. But the chances of being attacked are actually quite minimal and in fact, you are far more likely to be attacked on the street if you are a man aged 16-24. (And they stride around the streets at 11pm quite happily.) We still restrict ourselves though, but we take our self-restriction so much for granted that we tend not to question the fact that we feel we have to get a cab or drive for that short journey.

KBear Sat 23-Apr-05 20:28:41

I was talking about this today with my Mum. I think it's about minimising risk but living life as normally as possible. For instance, when I hear about a girl being attacked or something on the news it tends to be very late at night, she was walking across a playing field, taking a short cut etc, headphones on etc. I know we should be able to do it but it's probably not sensible. I think be aware of your surroundings at all times, be alert but live your life.

bobbybob Mon 25-Apr-05 00:11:50

The bit they always used to say on Crimewatch, about not being too worried, because crimes like the one's they showed were quite rare,which is why they make the news.

Gwenick Mon 25-Apr-05 00:17:50

I agree - they thankfully ARE very rare - and I think to stop living your life because of them is only letting the (thankfully relatively few) criminals, prepared to commit that sort of crime, win.

BadgerBadger Mon 25-Apr-05 00:27:16

Have you thought of doing a self defence course or taking up a martial art?

I started to feel like this too, but it angered me TBH. I certainly don't think ladies should feel they have to go out of their way to feel safe.

But, OTOH your personal safety and that of your children is something you can take steps to improve, IYSWIM?

FairyMum Mon 25-Apr-05 07:12:04

I look at these kinds of tragic attacks as freak incidents. They upset me as much as they upset everyone else and I so feel for this young mum and her family, but it doesn't scare me personally. I think it's one of those freak crimes which you can't really protect yourself against. It could happen (and has happened) in the middle of a busy high, in an open park, in your own home....I also quite happily do walk home after 11 pm, but only in certain areas and I do take precatiouns.

Fio2 Mon 25-Apr-05 07:42:19

I will carry on walking. i walk my dogs were it is really isolated and lonely and have never been scared. I take my mobile phone with me.

I also walk back from the pub after 11 on my own

handlemecarefully Mon 25-Apr-05 08:42:18

Seems I'm in the minority. I live in the New Forest, and although it quite busy with other walkers during the weekends, it can be quiet during the week - hence I don't walk there - I get in the car and drive to other places where it is guaranteed that there will be other pedestrians. Always have and always will. Don't find that approach particularly limiting (i.e. don't feel I am 'missing' out).

I know the chances of random attack are extremely remote - but personally I prefer to make them zero by not putting myself in a situation where it could happen.

I can recall quite a few incidents of fatal attacks on women over the past few years that occurred during daylight hours actually. I'll reel a few off if you like.....

moondog Mon 25-Apr-05 08:49:00

I am fearless alone but a wuss when with the children.
Was scared very badly when about 8 months pregnant when out for a walk in a big country house park near me with dd (then 3). She was messing about in a stream and this middle aged bloke with a Staffie (I hate these dogs anyway,one nearly killed my own!) made a beeline for me, let his dog comed sniffing all around dd's face,telling me she was 'harmless' then in the same breath telling me how with the dog's earlier owners, it had escaped from their house and killed three other dogs before being caught.

I felt so sick and terrified as this was happening (noone else in sight) and as calmly as I could, picked up dd (no mean feat being pg and her weighing a tonne) and walked away,with her kicking and screaming as she quite understandably wanted to stay and play.

F**ing w***er.

I alway say to dh that I hate the vulnerabilty that comes with being a woman alone with small children.

emkana Mon 25-Apr-05 08:50:32

So do you still take your children for walks then, moondog?

handlemecarefully Mon 25-Apr-05 08:53:06


Sounds horrible that experience. Do you think he intended to be menacing?

It's responsibility for the children that makes me ultracautious. I would take more risks if I wasn't a mother.

moondog Mon 25-Apr-05 09:00:34

I don't go there on my own with them anymore,which is a shame as it is one of my favourite places in the world.
Did he mean to be menacing?
Still pondering that one,but anyone insensitive enough to think that it is ok to approach a pregnant woman and a small child in a quier wood (and he had to make quite a detour to come up to me) with a slavering hound either has Asperger's Syndrome or is just pathalogically insensiti ve to what is 'on' and what isn't.
i know that my father and dh would make a point of not going near a woman in such a situation for fear of causing alarm.

Still feel upset thinking about it now. Just had/have horrible images of dd's beautiful little face being ripped off.

handlemecarefully Mon 25-Apr-05 09:08:00

Oh don't moondog!

moondog Mon 25-Apr-05 09:11:21

hmc, it has given me a vague understanding of what people mean by 'flashbacks'. Thought it was a nonsensical idea before.
Anyway....musn't dwell or freak people out!

lou33 Mon 25-Apr-05 09:13:55

I walked back from the pub on my own at 12 o'clock the other night, but it's along one of the main roads through the village, with lots of houses on the way.

handlemecarefully Mon 25-Apr-05 09:16:04

lou33 - in many ways I would consider that safer than walking through an isolated area in broad daylight.

lou33 Mon 25-Apr-05 09:19:39

I do feel quite safe , and have walked back later on my own after a lock in, but I guess you should never feel too complacent abut my safety. Main road is still like a country lane here, not many street lights, need a torch to walk most of it, but i feel safer walking about here than I would alone in london at night.

moondog Mon 25-Apr-05 09:35:25

Lock ins lou...!
Haven't been to one of those for ages!
<wistful and jealous sigh>

flashingnose Mon 25-Apr-05 09:44:31

No, please don't. There is safety in numbers - I would hate the UK to complete its transition into a place where no-one walks anywhere and kids never play out by themselves because of fear.

honeyflower Mon 25-Apr-05 10:28:15

Not sure I buy the idea that you are safer driving to a populated park than just walking to a relatively lonely one. How many people get stabbed in the same circumstances as poor Abigail Witchalls every year, and how many people die in car accidents? You may feel safer in your car, but you may not actually be any safer. I don't know anyone who's been attacked like this, but I have two very close friends whose lives have been very badly affected by car accidents.

expatinscotland Mon 25-Apr-05 10:29:27

Amen, flashing! I for one am not going to let thugs and criminals bully me into not enjoying my life or compromising everyday simple pleasures.

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