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  • Writer's pictureanonymous woman

When I was about 11, I was seriously sexually assaulted by a man who pushed me into a phone box where I could not escape from him. When he let me out, I ran to the nearby railway station, where I hid in the women's toilets. He followed me and stood menacingly in front of the door, but other women chased him away. Since then I have suffered from intense stress and claustrophobia if I have to be in a confined space with men.

As Covid-19 is rampant in Britain, most people have had very little social life in the past year. I had a rare pub lunch with my husband last summer, during which I noticed that a person sitting nearby was a man dressed as a woman. I recently found out that our local council allows men to use women's facilities if the men claim to be transgender. My stomach knotted and I did not dare use the women's toilets in case he walked in. Instead I cut short our outing.

My future will be like that of women in the 19th century, before public toilets were available: they could not leave their homes for longer than they could go without urinating.


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