Woman told by police to wear a longer skirt after being sexually assaulted

A woman has told how when she reported a sexual assault to the police she was told to "wear a longer skirt".

Linda Johnson, who is Mayor of Beverley, near Hull, told a council meeting about bolstering safety measures for women, that a man assaulted her in broad daylight in the 1970s.

Cllr Johnson said she hoped society had moved on from the “misogynistic response” she received from the officer.

But the 65-year-old said recent rapes in Hull, and the tragic deaths of Sarah Everard, Libby Squire and Sabina Nessa, showed more needs to be done to correct lingering sexist attitudes, Hull Live reports.

Explaining the assault she faced in her 20s, Cllr Johnson said: “It happened in Grimsby when I was in my 20s in the 70s, an older bloke pushed me up against a wall and assaulted me.

“I didn’t tell my parents about it and I didn’t have much of a description of him to give to the police, there was no CCTV there in those days either.

“It happened in broad daylight, so it wasn’t even like it happened in the dark.

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“I spoke to a police officer about it afterwards and he told me I should have thought about wearing a longer skirt."

Cllr Johnson, who seconded the Liberal Democrat call for more CCTV and lighting in public places and support for safety schemes, showed councillors her rape alarm while discussing the assault.

She also said responses to recent attacks, including comments from figures including Prime Minister Boris Johnson about what women should do to stay safe, showed “unhelpful attitudes” continue.

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The councillor said: “Blokes don’t have any idea what women have to deal with.

“Not all blokes have negative attitudes towards women by any means but the killings of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa show this violence still goes on."

Cllr Johnson said education, particularly in families from an early age, had to be part of efforts to tackle violence against women and misogyny.

She added: “Ultimately mistreating women and misogyny has to be perceived as completely unacceptable in a similar way to how attitudes have shifted on something like climate change.

“You’d hope things have come on since it happened to me, but all this is still going on.”

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