Sunday 21 January 2018

'I was mortified... I couldn’t go to sleep' - Woman speaks after stranger pulled up her skirt on Cork City street

Laura Duncliffe (20) from Cork
Laura Duncliffe (20) from Cork
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

An Irish woman who was the victim of an assault last weekend has revealed that she has been overwhelmed by the supportive response from people around the country.

Laura Duncliffe (20) from Cork said she was “mortified” after a man pulled up her skirt on Washington Street in the city after a night out only to be jeered on and praised by a large group of his friends.

Prior to the incident, Laura and her two friends had been whistled and jeered at by a large group of men which they ignored.

“I stood there in shock and disbelief that a man in his thirties could do this to a woman,” Laura told Anton Savage on Today FM.

“After they whistled I didn’t entertain them one bit. We walked straight passed them and it was the last thing on my mind. The only thing I wanted to do was go for food.

“But as we walked along he left the group and he pulled my skirt up around me while the rest of them cheered. My friend gave him a well deserved slap across the face,” said Laura.

The 20-year-old, who is 4'11, admitted that she was surprised that nobody asked her if she was okay following the incident, which she said left her mortified.

“Nobody stepped in, even though there was a big crowd around because it's quite a busy street with a good few bars and takeaways, but I understand as well. I understand why someone wouldn’t want to get involved if they didn't know me because who knew if this guy was an absolute psycho or not. I understand not stepping in.

“But afterwards nobody asked me if I was okay and anyone who witnessed that would have seen how shocked and frightened I was. If someone even came up and asked me if I was okay but not one person did,” said Laura.

Laura revealed that embarrassment was the primary emotion she felt following the incident, which soon followed with anger.

“I was mortified. I came home that night and I couldn’t go to sleep. I was just sitting up and thinking about it. I was mortified.

“The personal embarrassment of it was one thing but then when the fright and shock leaves your system and the more angry and annoyed you get that someone could potentially get away with that,” she said.

Laura revealed she has been overwhelmed by the response of a Facebook status which has been shared throughout social media.

“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,” she said.

The 20-year-old revealed that she has been encouraged to report the incident to the Gardai who are now investigating.

“I went to the guards and I did report it. They were fantastic,” said Laura.

“You go through these stages of thinking ‘Am I being overdramatic’, ‘Am I being a drama-queen’.

“But it’s not alright to brush something like that under the carpet."

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