This story was shared on Twitter – the full thread is here
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A few days ago, I was walking through a @TfL station with my partner. I paused in an area with interesting echoes & few people around to test ideas on dual-impulse echolocation using my cane. Fascinating #caneadventures.
Suddenly, a drunk guy came up to me, ranting aggressively.
Drunk guy was ranting e.g. “we have you on camera”, “we know you’re not really blind”, “stop faking it”, etc. I ignored him, talking w/ partner, but going full alert. He continued & got nearer, ~2 cane lengths away. I told him calmly to kindly fuck off. He got more aggressive.
“Make me”, he said. So I yelled at the top of my lungs, “hey station staff, this guy is harassing me, please make him go away”. He laughed. (At the same time, I covertly switched grip & position of my canes, preparing to defend myself if necessary. And started dissociating.)
(& my walking stick isn’t for funsies). So I stood still, in full alert. I didn’t know whether he was armed. (My partner later told me that he had a bottle in his hand.)
Fortunately, a little while later, he finally left, still raving. I stayed there until I was sure he’d gone. He might turn around & attack me from behind while my concentration’s on O&M. Too risky.
Despite my very loud yell for immediate help, @TFL
station staff didn’t interact with me (or the drunk) at all, during or after. My partner later told me a staff member had been nearby and watching.
:Maybe next time, intervene earlier, and don’t leave a blind person to have to deescalate & prepare to physically fight off a drunk aggressor? Or at least come running when I yell for help? I know you’re not @BTP, but you could help divert him & stand between us.
Criminologist and Co-Director of Centre for Gender Studies at University of Sussex