A Reddit User from Melbourne has shared a worrying story about his Saturday night out in St Kilda.
User translunar_injection posted the lengthy story to the social media site yesterday detailing a clearly distressing situation while he was walking home on the weekend.
The incident unfolded around 1am on Fitzroy St.
THE STORY POSTED TO REDDIT:
The whole thing has left me pretty angry and also I want other women to know how this unfolded because it was fast moving and this could have gone so wrong.
This happened last night, well this morning, around 1am on Fitzroy Street in St Kilda, starting around the intersection at the George Hotel.
I live on this street and ducked out to the 24 hour shops near the corner to get a drink and some chocolates before coming back to watch a film I had lined up. It was kinda typical for this time on a Saturday night, plenty of people around generally but definitely winding down and pretty quiet in patches.
So I'm coming back from the shop and cross the Canterbury Rd intersection, heading north back up Fitzroy Street in the direction of St Kilda Road. There's a women in her 20s, dressed up, not drunk but a little unsteady on her feet, walking in the same direction. Loud loud heels. She's on her own. We're walking in the same direction and I overtake her.
There's a sex shop on the right hand side just past the George, and as I walk past, she's a couple of steps behind me, two guys are in the doorway. Late 20s, early 30s. They both see her and make there way over to her. They start walking with her real close, matching her pace, and try to start up a conversation. One of them mentions how loud her shoes are. She's kinda responding but trying to shut the convo down. I'm getting a bad feeling already just by the fact that they're so obviously walking in step with her now it's like they're not going to leave her alone. So I kinda decide at this stage I'm going to stay with her wherever this ends up going. I slow down and I'm a foot or so ahead of her / them but a couple of feet off to the side. I try to shoot her a concerned look on the side but I'm not sure if she gets that I'm not with them - this is the first time she's noticed me.
They keep trying to talk to her, ask her where she's going. This is now about 40 or 50 meters on now, we walk past the Adina (sp?) serviced apartments, and one of them says does she want to come up? She says no thanks. So one of them peels off and walks into there, and the other one says he's going to walk the girl home. So at this stage now I'm definitely concerned.
The three of us keep walking up Fitzroy St, towards Princes St now. He's still very close to her, pestering her with more questions. She says something like she doesn't know the area, she's not sure where she's going, but she's looking for a place on St Kilda Road where she just moved. He says he'll walk her there. She tries to say she's fine but he's insistent. If you know this area you'll know that after Princess St it gets pretty quiet at the top end of Fitzroy Street, and it's definitely dark and quiet around St Kilda Road at the top. And now I'm thinking this is definitely bad and trying to think what I can do. I'm a shorter guy, he's 6 foot plus and solidly built so I'm thinking trying to confront the guy directly could end up pretty bad. It's kind of a worry how quickly we're making it up Fitzroy Street. Like there are still people around but we're flying past them and I just don't know how to get someone's attention or help. I think she may have felt similarly.
We get to Princess Street and are waiting at the intersection. They're off on the left side of the light pole, I stand to the other side of it. I bend around the pole a bit to make eye contact with her, that he can't see. I mouth silently "ARE YOU O.K?" She doesn't get it the first time so I repeat it and she looks directly at me and shakes her head, no. I give her a nod to confirm I understand.
He's still pestering her and we start crossing the street. At this stage she brilliantly gets the idea to come over to me and ask if I know the area, she's looking for [gives me the address]. I say I live just by there and so I'll walk her there to show her the way. (My apartment is 200 metres behind us in the other direction by now ...). Now she makes a very good move, and turns to the other guy and says "This guy [me] lives just by there so I'll walk with him". Thank god, the other guy says "oh ok" and turns around and leaves. We keep walking silently until he's safely away, and then we turn back in the direction she really needs to be going and I ask if she wants me to walk with her a bit more and she said she did. She said she had been very scared that something bad was close to happening. I walk with her until she gets on to the street she lives in and we say goodbye and she thanks me.
This really frightened me. Just how quick it happened and how few opportunities there were for her to throw this guy off before she potentially got into a very, very isolated position alone with him on a deserted St Kilda Road junction.
I have been thinking all morning how you get out of a situation like that. It's harder in real time than you might think. My takeaways are: Don't hail a cab and get in. [Edit: someone below said this is bad advice, you should get a cab if you can. On second thoughts I think they're right] This was initially what I was hoping she'd do last night in the first stages of her being harrassed. But I think a guy like that, there's a real risk he'd get in the car with her. If the driver starts taking instructions from him and not her it could be really bad. The best option I think was to walk into a pub or a bar, or anywhere, especially if it has restrooms. At least you have a chance to get on your own there and telephone someone.
The main thing I feel though is so much anger towards this guy. He is just a flat out menace, if not possibly an actual rapist. Just the fucking worst. At not stage was this woman ever signalling that she wanted his company, she was just trying to get home. What kind of person just invades someone's space like that and insists on walking with them totally uninvited, to their house, at 1am? And his mate, who knew what was going on, who just peeled off at their hotel and let him continue with it.
I've never known or seen men actually do something like this before. It's unbelievable that these men have families and friends and colleagues and and out there.