Susan | Naming your body parts

As a student, I was walking home with my flatmate in east end of London after a bonfire party, we were bundled up with scarves, coats and hats. A naked man ran up behind me and grabbed me, putting his hand between my legs. After a bit of a scuffle he ran off.
We ran home and rang the police. I recounted my experience to a male officer, who would not accept my phrase ‘between my legs’ as he said that could be at my ankles. He kept telling me to change the phrase (I tried upper thighs, crotch, vulva) until I said ‘touched my vagina’ which of course was not true. He was very pleased with himself at this point, told us it was unlikely the man would be caught and we never heard another thing from the police.
In the weeks following the attack my friend and I were afraid to be out, and I felt the policeman had abused me by getting me to talk about my body inappropriately.

Constabulary: City of London Police

Timespan: 1982

Did you report it to the police?: No

Your ethnicity: White British


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