Women in Ireland have been sharing their terrifying experiences of harassment and violence in the wake of the disappearance of Sarah Everard in the UK.
The 33-year-old went missing in south London just over a week ago and last night, human remains were discovered in woodland at Ashford in Kent.
Police say it may take some time to confirm the identity.
A serving London Metropolitan Police officer has since been arrested on suspicion of Ms Everard’s murder.
Women in Ireland have been sharing their experiences on Twitter after the hashtag #NotAllMen – a reference to the common ‘not all men are like that’ reaction to news of gender-based violence - began tending.
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, three women told Andrea about their terrifying experiences in Ireland and elsewhere.
Dr Niamh Ni Chomain, a researcher at the University of Limerick, said she has experienced, “everything from everyday discrimination to stalking, to untitling to just the general fear we have as women in public spaces.”
She outlined one experience in particular that has stayed with her.
“It was at home in rural county Waterford,” she said. “I was out for a run in the woods and I just became aware that somebody was behind me and when I looked back, it was a man.
“At first, I thought nothing of it and then I looked back again and I realised he wasn’t wearing running gear. He was wearing a suede jacket – I can still picture exactly what he was wearing – and boots and jeans.
“I realised he wasn’t running; he was chasing me. So, I started obviously running faster and he was gaining on me – I wasn’t getting away you know.
“Luckily enough, I was near a sort of a crossroads and there was a turn just before it so I veered off and just ran straight into the trees and just hid in the undergrowth.
“He came round the corner and realised I had kind of escaped and he just started laughing.
“He was looking around for me and spent some time - he went up one path and then another - he passed by me as I was crouched in the undergrowth terrified and eventually, he gave up and left but I stayed there terrified for ages and obviously never ran alone again in those woods.”
Later on the show, Maria Farrell said she had a shocking experience while working in Brussels a number of years ago.
“I was walking to work through central Brussels but it was early and there weren’t too many people about,” she said.
“I noticed a man walking behind me. You know, you get the spider sense, like the hair on the back of your neck goes up, you just know.
“The guy came up behind me, fell back again, came up behind me again and then crossed the street, accelerated and went on ahead of me.
“Because I knew that route really well. I knew the road. I knew where the points of weakness and vulnerability were. I knew there was a little crossing up ahead where he could stand and wait and I wouldn’t see him until the last minute.
“So, knowing that, I walked out into the middle of the road. There was no traffic, there was no-one to ask for help and I happened to be passing a small building site.
“I picked up a small plank, probably about three foot long and I was there walking along in the middle of the road at 8am in the morning, knowing this guy was lying in wait for me.”
She said she was running on instinct at this point, noting, “you become like an animal; you are hunted; you are prey so your instincts are your gift.”
“I picked that thing up and as soon as I came to that crossing, he did it; he came for me – but I was already at a run.
“I held the plank over my head and I was roaring at him. Absolutely roaring at him. He took one look and because he realised, ‘oh OK this is not going to be such an easy one for me,’ he ran away and that was that.”
Broadcaster Louise Duffy and Andrea Gilligan also discussed their experiences of fearful early-morning walks to work in Dublin and you can listen back to the full segment here:
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