Victim: 'I was too scared to go out after rape attack'

A RAPE victim whose attacker was jailed after admitting the crime on Facebook has called for more practical safety measures on city streets in the wake of recent sex attacks.

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The 32-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, says more lighting, extra late night buses and a higher police presence on the streets would help make women feel safer.

The former call centre worker also hopes the assaults will reinforce the need for better education and support services for rape victims.

As the Evening Times reported in October 2012, the woman was raped in her Glasgow home four years ago and was given support by Rape Crisis Scotland and the Archway, the country's only sexual assault referral centre.

Her rapist, John Ssewagudde, was given a four year jail sentence in 2011 and deported back to his home country, Uganda, just over a year ago.

In the months following her rape, the woman said she was scared to go out with friends or leave her home.

She became frozen in fear when she saw men on the street who resembled her attacker.

She said the recent spate of attacks were "really worrying".

She said: "Although my rape happened in private, I was still scared to go out for a long time in case something happened or he found me.

"And I can see that a lot of women in Glasgow feel scared at the moment - they don't feel able to walk anywhere.

"It shouldn't be like this and there needs to be education to stop sex crimes from happening in the first place.

"I think it would also really help to look at getting more late night buses, and I'd like to see more police on the street.

"That way you would get home quicker."

The woman, now a mother-of-one who lives in the east of the city, said she was encouraged to see so many people at Monday's These Streets Were Made For Walking midnight protest march in Govanhill.

City Centre councillor Nina Baker backed the calls and said a lack of public toilets was also an issue.

She said the Greens would be proposing measures during the next full council meeting.

She said: "Night buses and trains would absolutely be a good idea, but we probably need to re regulate them to force that issue.

"Public toilets - I feel very strongly that the almost total lack of these in the city puts women at particular risk.

"Once the shops shut there are the pubs, but after they shut there is nowhere"

Ms Baker also raised the issue of the city's many back lanes.

She said: "All the lanes should be gated or the rear elevations refurbed so there are flush doorways all along and no corners out of sight from either end, plus good lighting and CCTV."

A Community Safety Glasgow spokesman said: "Safety is a priority.

"We work with a variety of stakeholders to look at ways of increasing safety and listen to their views."

rachel.loxton@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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