Call for Warwickshire County Council to turn street lights back on over safety fears
Warwickshire County Council is being asked to switch street lighting back on to help people feel safer after women shared harrowing tales of sexual harassment and violence in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder.
Chloe Fojtik, 22, launched the petition calling upon the county council to keep on street lighting which typically switches off at midnight.
She told the Herald: “It’s something I feel strongly about. With what has happened to Sarah Everard it has amplified that sense of not feeling safe when out at night.”
Shockingly Chloe suffered sexual harassment just this week near her Stratford home after launching the campaign. She said for young women such incidences were a “constant”, describing what happened the student who also works as a care worker said:
“I went to a local shop on my way home from work at 8pm. I walked into shop and was harassed by two middle aged men. They said something along the lines of ‘I know we’ve only just met but I’m already in love’ which instantly made me feel uncomfortable and then they kept saying things of a sexual nature – like ‘Ooh don’t stare at me too much or you might get pregnant’ it literally made my skin crawl.
“When I left the shop they followed me, making jokes – luckily I had my car outside and quickly got away.
“It made me angry that people don’t think especially in light of recent events.”
Sadly Chloe is not alone. After starting the online petition, she has been contacted by over 50 local women sharing their experiences of intimidation and abuse. She said: “It’s been crazy and horrible to hear how widespread it is. The stories range from women feeling so scared at night they always walk with their keys between their fingers, ready to defend themselves, to full on sexual assaults.”
These shocking stories have been forwarded to leader of Warwickshire County Council Izzi Seccombe.
See this Thursday's Herald for the full version of this story.