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Daily editor hits out after ‘sexual and aggressive’ abuse by men

Samantha HarmanA regional daily editor has hit out after being subjected to “sexual and aggressive” abuse by men in recent days.

Oxford Mail editor Samantha Harman, left, has revealed she has been harassed twice in a week while out running.

In one instance she says she received abuse from a cyclist working for takeaway company Deliveroo, while in the other a man in a white van pulled up beside her and “started shouting stuff I won’t repeat.”

Samantha voiced her outrage at the incidents in a series of posts on Twitter.

She wrote: “Twice in a week I’ve been running along minding my own business when a man has made sexual/aggressive comments to me. First it was a Deliveroo cyclist, then this morning a man in a white van pulled up beside me and started shouting stuff I won’t repeat on Twitter.

“Now, forgive me if I’m wrong, but I’ve never heard of a happy couple say ‘we met when I/he was shouting at her/me in the street – it was so romantic’.

“I should add that most blokes, when you tell them stuff like this happens, think it’s disgusting and can’t believe this sort of stuff happens in broad daylight to women in 2018.

“But it does. Most of the time we just roll our eyes and run on or tell them where to go. But sometimes, even for a split second, when a moron is crawling along next to you in a big white van making sexually explicit remarks, you do think … how am I gonna get out of this one.”

Last year, Huddersfield Daily Examiner reporter Susie Beever spoke out after being sexually assaulted while conducting a vox pop, while Yorkshire Post associate features editor Catherine Scott wrote of how she had been propositioned early in her career by a man “in a position of power” who was at least twice her age.

And in June a new survey carried out by pressure group Women in Journalism Scotland revealed one in ten women working in the media in Scotland have been sexually assaulted at work.

In response to Samantha’s tweets, a spokesperson for Deliveroo said it was “concerning to hear” of Samantha’s experience.

The spokesperson added: “We’d like to follow up on this further if it hasn’t been done so already. Can you please [direct message] us with further specific details of the incident?”


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  • October 30, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Well said Samantha.
    There is a certain type of man-child who has lived his life in a cave who believes he has a right to shout anything at a woman because she is there solely for his amusement and pleasure. It possibly comes from his upbringing. What Samantha is telling us is nothing new. That is the sad thing about it. But it doesn’t do any harm to remind people about these morons who just won’t grow up.

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  • October 30, 2018 at 11:12 am

    And it’s not just women who look a certain way, because you can also draw unwanted attention for not looking the way men perceive you should look as well. But I think it’s also true to say that blokes will verbally abuse other blokes (who might be overweight and running, for example). I might not be popular for this but stereotypically men in a white van/builders van (exactly as Samantha says) which leads me to believe it’s down to lack of education. The world needs a larger dose of tolerance and empathy.

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  • October 30, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Lydia you are right. The world is too obsessional, intolerant and selfish now. Many men have yet to learn that if you have to respect a woman before you can hope to woo her. Shouting filthy comments is pure ignorance.

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  • October 30, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    Not to demean in any way what Samantha and other women have gone through, but I (male) have had females (as well as men) hurling abuse at me when I’m out running. Me, I deal with it by asking them what they want to be when they grow up, which I appreciate isn’t always the safe option open to a woman runner. Trouble is, morons like this never grow up.

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  • November 1, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Shouting filthy comments is indeed pure ignorance. And the world is full of it. My objection to this sort of public complaint is twofold, however. Firstly it implies that it is just women who suffers from this sort of thing, when it isn’t. Secondly it feeds a something-must-be attitude, which I think is pervasive at the moment and absolutely poisonous. I am a man. I have had been shouted at by men in the street, but mostly by women, particularly young women. I have had my backside pinched numerous times in bars, only by women. I have been threatened within a sexual context, only by a woman. I have been punched in the face, only by a woman. What do we learn from all this? Aside from the fact that there are just as many unpleasant/flawed/ignorant women out there as men. I am not really sure. But this is the age of complaint, rightly or wrongly, so why shouldn’t you add your story to this pile.

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