This morning the town where I live woke to the news that a young man was attacked in one of the parks. Just a few minutes walk from my house, the park and playing field was cordoned off by the police at all the entrances.
Last night, while K was with himself, I was out walking from 11.30pm until about 1.30am. The attack is believed to have happened sometime between 2am and 4am and I walked past the park twice. I saw and heard nothing.
Concerned friends have told me not to go out walking but I remain unconcerned. I lived in the city of York until I was 23 and was never scared while walking at night, the rural market town I live in now feels incredibly safe to me.
I’m not stupid, I know there are risks. But I am careful – not using shortcuts, staying on well lit main roads, making sure I can hear and see what is around me. I avoid people, especially drunk people, and will cross the road or change my route to avoid them.
I walk at night because I have to, because it quiets my mind, because it helps me to know I am alive. I can only do it when K is away, and although I don’t always feel the need to go out I do look forward to the chance to walk and leave my thoughts behind.
I will keep walking, by day and by night, for as long as I need to. I will continue to be sensible, to do all I can to keep myself safe. Ultimately, I am an adult, I have full mental capacity, I am able to make decisions.