The Mancunion

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Female student raped as she walked home through Fallowfield

The 19-year-old was raped in an alleyway near Whitby Road in Fallowfield at around 3:30am last Saturday, on her way home from a night out

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A female student has been raped as she walked home through Fallowfield from a night out.

The 19-year-old was walking down Ladybarn Lane in Fallowfield at 3:30am last Saturday when a man approached her and offered to walk her home.

She asked him to leave her alone but he continued to try to speak to her and grab her. The man then dragged her down the alleyway that runs between Whitby Road and Filey Road where he raped her.

The offender was said to be 5 feet 9 inches tall, of black or Asian origin and with very short black hair. He was wearing baggy blue or grey jeans, a long-sleeved top and was clean shaven.

Police have since increased patrols in the Fallowfield area and have urged students to pre-book taxis to make their way home rather than walk alone.

Women’s Officer Jess Lishak said: “Unlike the attack last month, this woman was not assaulted by an unlicensed taxi driver, she was walking home. She was a person, walking on public streets, to her home. Neither of these sexual assaults happened because women didn’t get pre-booked taxis, they happened because men decided to rape or sexually assault them.

“Yet the police and the media continue to ‘[urge] students to pre-book taxis to get home rather than walk home alone.’ No. When will we start responding to horrific acts of rape and violence against women and girls with outrage and disgust at the perpetrator, without suggesting ways that women might avoid being raped?

“Out of every 100 rapes, only 40 will be reported to the police, of which 10 lead to an arrest, 8 will be prosecuted, 4 will lead to a felony conviction and only 3 out of 100 rapists will spend a single day in prison. We need to refocus the conversation.

“At the University of Manchester Students’ Union, we’ve been taking really positive steps towards tackling the symptoms of ‘lad culture’, victim blaming and rape culture that contribute to the normalisation of sexual assault and rape. Our ‘We Get It – zero tolerance to sexual harassment campaign’ sends out a clear message that sexual harassment, assault and rape will not be tolerated on our campus. We’ve seen an incredible response from students and staff with over 5500 pledges signed so far, which has now led to improved support at the University.”

This attack follows recent evidence that shows 36 women every day are reporting rapes to the police, and 37 per cent of female students and 12 per cent of male students have faced harassment in the form of inappropriate groping and touching.

Detective Inspector Damian Simpson of the Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said: “This was a harrowing and deeply distressing attack for the young woman and we will be providing support to her throughout this difficult and traumatic time.

“The attack will obviously raise concerns in the community and especially among the student community and I would like to assure the public that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that we catch this man as quickly as possible.

“If you heard a woman scream around the time of the attack, or saw a man walking around in the area at the same time please contact us as soon as possible with any information you may have.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, the Serious Sexual Offences Unit on 0161 856 1945 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted is encouraged not to suffer in silence and report it to the police or a support agency to get the help and support available. You can call Greater Manchester Police on 101, or alternatively people can refer themselves to St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 0161 276 6515.