Epsom woman left shaken after confrontation with an angry male pedestrian

May 9, 2024

Epsom woman left shaken after confrontation with an angry male pedestrian

Auckland woman Jo Hamilton was confronted by a male pedestrian in the Gilles Avenue after she was returning from a late-night dinner. Photo: Fravash Irani

Auckland woman Jo Hamilton says that women in New Zealand need to be better protected after she was confronted by a male pedestrian in central Auckland.

Hamilton was driving home through Epsom on Friday evening when the man purposefully approached her car while apparently crossing the road despite traffic.

The man approached her car as she tried to drive around him, she honked her horn in warning and he then hit it with a large umbrella.

Hamilton says that she has no idea what his intentions were, but she was shaken by the incident.

“I just thought, what if there was a girl my age walking down the street without the protection of her car.”

Hamilton says that New Zealand’s laws around the use of tasers and pepper sprays need to be loosened so women can better protect themselves.

“Just knowing that you have another layer of protection if you don’t have a car can help,” she says.

“Locking your vehicle when you’re alone will help Aucklanders be cautious and careful,” she says.

However, she says that her TikTok video explaining her experience received negative comments from men.

“A lot of men don’t understand the power dynamic between a big man looking at a woman.”

On her post, she received comments from other people sharing similar experiences and pointing out that it’s an issue across Auckland.

CEO of Women’s Refuge Dr. Ange Jury says Auckland women shouldn’t be forced to take safety precautions because of incidents like this.

“I think the bigger question is around the levels of violence we see in the streets, that’s the big problem.”

She advised relatives to rally around to help women to feel safer.

“Friends and family of victims can support them by doing whatever it is they think they need to do that could help them potentially feel safer,” she says.

Dr. Jury also wants Aucklanders to challenge others when there is a behaviour that shows a lack of respect towards women.

“Causal sexism, off-colour jokes, the things that demonstrate a lack of respect for women, aren’t acceptable,” she says.

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