Beverley mayor assaulted in Grimsby told by police she “should have worn a longer skirt”

Beverley mayor Linda Johnson

Beverley mayor assaulted in Grimsby told by police she “should have worn a longer skirt”

A mayor who was sexually assaulted in broad daylight in Grimsby in the 1970s was told by police she should have “worn a longer skirt”.

The mayor of Beverley, Linda Johnson, 65, told an East Riding of Yorkshire Council meeting that she was still affected by what happened over 40 years later, the BBC reports.

Speaking at a meeting focusing on boosting safety measures for women living in the area, Ms Johnson said recent attacks on women showed that “unhelpful attitudes” are still prevalent.

She said attacks such as the one she experienced in her early twenties “affect you for the rest of your life” and that she now carries a rape alarm.

“Sometimes when I’m walking alone I cross the road to avoid people and I don’t like going into the multi-storey car park in Beverley at night,” she said.

Speaking about the responses to the rape and murder of Libby Squire and the killing of Sarah Everard in London, Ms Johnson said “unhelpful attitudes persist”.

She added that she hoped the same sort of “misogynistic response” would not happen in this day and age, more needs to be done to tackle “lingering sexist attitudes”.

She said: “We had Boris Johnson’s comments saying women should just hail a bus down if they’re worried about being attacked.

“But what if a woman is leaving a pub late at night and there are no buses?”

Ms Johnson said that education – especially in families from an early age – had to be part of efforts to tackle violence against women and misogyny.

“Ultimately, mistreating women and misogyny has to be perceived as completely unacceptable in a similar way to how attitudes have shifted on something like climate change,” she added.

“You’d hope things have come on since it happened to me, but all this is still going on.”

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Lauren started working for Gi Media in March 2021. She graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2019 with a degree in Journalism Studies and a Gold-Standard Diploma from the National Council of the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). She has several years of experience writing for both local and national media outlets.