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Dublin: 10°C Monday 17 May 2021

A brave woman is calling for a fightback against harassment on Ireland's streets

Laura Duncliffe has spoken out after she was attacked while walking with friends.

Washington Street, Cork
Washington Street, Cork

A 20-YEAR-OLD WOMAN has spoken out against sexual harassment after she was attacked while on a night out with friends.

Laura Duncliffe was walking along Cork’s Washington Street with friends last weekend when they were verbally harassed by a group of men in their 30s who were standing outside a pizza restaurant.

One of the men then followed the group and lunged at Duncliffe’s skirt, lifting it over her waist before running back to the cheers of his friends and leaving her feeling ‘mortified’.

In the hours following the attack, the brave student took to social media to speak out about the incident and a culture in Ireland which allows these attacks to continue.

“I stood there in genuine shock and disbelief that a man in his thirties would actually do this to a 20-year-old woman who, to be fair, actually looks one or two years younger,” she said.

“Luckily, one of my girlfriends stepped in and gave him a well deserved slap across the face. The appalling fact is I’m sure that a lot of other girls experience the same thing on nights out; whether it be men thinking they have the right to pass little sexual remarks, or they have a right to put a hand on you.

The fact that these little creepy perverts number one think this behaviour is okay, and secondly get away with it, is an absolute disgrace.

“If you have the mentality that a woman is ‘asking for it’ because of the item of clothing she is wearing, you really really need to reevaluate your thinking”.

“If you happen to experience any of this disgusting behaviour in the future off little creeps, please don’t just walk away and let him get away with it, please do something about it.”

Duncliffe received an outpouring of support in the hours after posting about her ordeal online.

Speaking on Today FM’s Anton Savage Show she said:

“The overwhelming support has been unbelievable. It’s the last thing I expected. I’m after getting so many messages from both men and women.

I’m not doing it for me by any means. I’m doing it for people who have experienced similar and who have left comments and sent messages.

Duncliffe has since reported the incident to the Gardaí.

“I went to the Guards to report it and I have to say they were fantastic.

“Not all men have harassed women but nearly all women have been harassed by men in my experience.

“Is it right to brush something like this under the carpet? These people think it is OK and if they get away with it once then they will go on to do it again.”

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