Trigger warning - if reading this story causes you distress, please seek support.
(A list of support services is available via the "Her voice, story, and words' blog post.)
I was coming home from a friend’s 30th birthday celebrations at a pub on Victoria St Richmond. It was around midnight when I decided to leave the celebrations and head home. I lived about 6km away in St Kilda so I jumped on a tram city-bound and got off at Punt Road.
My plan was to either hail a taxi or jump on a bus that would take me to my doorstep. I started walking down Punt Road and was instantly harassed by passing cars with wolf whistles and “show us your tits” kind of comments. It was quite a balmy night, so it was busy with traffic. I ignored the comments and continued on my journey home.
A car pulled up beside me with 2 males in the front seats of the car. “Jump in, we can give you a lift anywhere you like,” they said to me. I was drunk and approached the car. I went to put my hand on the car door but then abruptly pulled back; something was warning me not to get in that car! I politely declined their offer of a lift and kept walking towards Swan Street where I knew the bus stop was, fully lit and at a major intersection.
About 5 minutes later the car approached me again, pulling up on the side of the road. “Hey jump in we can give you a lift, wherever you want to go”. I replied with “no thank you I am fine, l’m just heading home.“ “We can give you a lift home, jump in” was their reply. Again, I declined the offer of a lift and kept walking. I was starting to freak out, adrenalin ran through my veins, l was being stalked by 2 guys in a car down Punt Road.
Punt Road is divided down the middle with nature strips and these guys were driving in circles trying to convince me to get in the car with them. I kept walking; my senses heightened. The car approached me for the 3rd time. On this occasion only the driver was in the front seat, “jump in, my mate has gone, I can drive you home” the driver said to me. I remember I got angry, “I’m not fuc*ing getting the car with you!” I screamed at him, “get the fu*k away from me.” I was starting to get hysterical by now. I was really scared but determined not to get in that car. He drove off again, I was not easy prey.
I finally reached the safety of Swan Street intersection; the bus was due in a few minutes. I felt relieved and a sense of safety under the glare of the street lights. As I stood there, I again saw the same car that had circled around me; like a shark getting ready to attack its prey. Both men were back in the car, they were turning right to head into the city. I freaking lost my shit when I saw them again; I screamed, I swore at them, I gave them the finger, I went berserk! I must have looked like a crazy woman and put on quite a show for the cars stopped at the lights.
I have never felt so relieved when that bus pulled up and I jumped on. I was home about 10 minutes later where I completely broke down, sobbing, crying, and retelling the story to my flatmate. I never went to the police. I didn’t get their car rego. number and because it was dark l couldn’t really see their faces. This night has haunted me ever since as I think what might have happened if l had got into that car. Use your gut instincts. I knew that as soon as I touched that car door handle that night, that I should not get into that car.
Lily, thank you for sharing your story.