Open arrival at Charles cross we were greeted by a lady on reception who told us to wait whilst she went and grabbed the people we were having a think tank with. We were all a little confused as we all have a pass to get us in and out of the building and normally we would go straight on through because we had access. About 25 minutes had passed and we were still sat there, a man came down and collected us and escorted us up to the room. As we arrived we felt the ladies sat in there who were taking the think tank were a little frosty. There was a mis-communication with the whole situation downstairs and one of the ladies eventually asked why we were so late. I explained we were late due to being told to wait in the waiting room and for us to switch our phones off as well. So the start was a little frosty but we soon got into it. We introduced ourselves and were asked to give our views on sex crimes and if we have any experiences ourselves. The most common thing that was bought up was how many sexual attacks happen that go un-reported. My personal experience was when I was in first year staying in halls. I lost my friends in Pryzm nightclub and ended up walking home by myself. There was this one guy in the club who kept standing by me and following me around – I really felt there was nothing to it. Unbeknown to me he had actually followed me home. I was about 5 minutes away from my halls when I realised, he was quite close to me. Luckily for me I used to run 100m for for South England so I knew I could get away fast. I started running and he also started running. I had my key phobe in my hand ready to let myself in. I got in safely and went to bed. I never reported this as I felt it was just a one off, I’ve never seen that man again. In hind sight I should of reported it.
We got a lot out of this think tank, we made the ladies who were in charge more aware that there isn’t a lot put in place for sex victims to get hold of someone. We made them aware that not all students get the welcome pack with all the phone numbers on and support lines. This is something we feel should be put in place more. Especially for students who have come from a far.
I found this think tank a little hard. I did feel a little reserved today as ive always found this subject a little scary to talk about. I feel one day I will be gradually be more confident about talking about as I do want to work in this field of work. Milgram talks about reasons as to people don’t come forward about there personal sexual assaults. The main problem is the shame of the assault. Shame is at the core of the intense emotional wounding women and men experiences when they are sexually violated. Expert on shame Gershen Kaufman stated in his book ‘Shame is a natural reaction to being violated or abused. In fact, abuse, by its very nature, is humiliating and dehumanizing’ (Gershen Kaufman, 1980).
I also think I felt a little reserved due to the start of this placement. I feel as a volunteer we take our on time out of the day to be there and help the police and their services out, I felt the way we were treated at the start was very unfair and should be taken more seriously. I looked into a couple of surveys online and found that volunteers and specials tend to have a good time whilst working in the police but I did find a lot of them felt mistreated more often then none. 66% of specials and volunteers feel there efforts are well recognised whilst 34% of people felt they weren’t. I also found less than half of volunteers feel that their force understands the skills and experience they bring, and has given them opportunities to use them. (Citizens in policing survey, 2017)