Naga Munchetty admits terrors over lone encounters with men at night
Naga Munchetty discusses walking home alone
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Naga Munchetty, 47, was discussing the topic of women being sexually harassed while they walk home alone and feeling unsafe in the dark in case of an attack. The “furious” BBC Breakfast star said she was appalled that at the age of 47, she still has to “constantly” look around her in fear.
She raised the issue in conjunction with a new storyline on the Channel 4 soap, Hollyoaks, about a man with a hatred of women, who spikes their drinks in nightclubs, and takes photos of them unconscious in order to humiliate them.
The topic has also been prominent in the news following the high-profile deaths of Sarah Everard, who was murdered by a policeman, and Sabina Nessa.
“I’m very angry, just furious that women still have to think about these things,” Naga indignantly exclaimed.
“I’m 47 years old and I’m still thinking about how I’m going to get home after a deserved night out – that’s my issue.”
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She admitted that as a “small-framed” woman at the height of 5ft 4in, she does “walk with keys in my hand” for her own safety.
“If I’m walking alone, I look round at least every 30 seconds and I’m constantly surveying what’s going on in front, to the side, and behind me,” she confessed during a BBC Sounds podcast earlier today.
She discussed some of the experiences listeners had written in to share with her about their own night-time terrors.
One woman admitted she was “jumped on and kissed” by a man she didn’t recognise while travelling home alone after a night out.
The experience left her so shaken up that it took her months to “pluck up the courage” to start going out after dark again.
The very first time she did, a group of men on motorbikes stopped beside her and one remarked: “You look like you need a good seeing to”, leaving her confidence “shattered again”.
Naga exclaimed that she was “absolutely furious” by the news, while she also heard the opposite side of the story – from a man who acknowledged he’d walked home in the dark every night for two decades without any fear of the “drunk groups” around him.
He said he never felt unsafe, vulnerable or under threat due to his “male privilege”.
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Naga then joined a phone chat with a man who said he was aware of current fears and wanted to know how he could prevent women and girls feeling nervous around him.
“I would feel safer if the man walking behind me crossed the road and sped up so I wouldn’t have to wonder what was going on behind me,” she declared.
“The thing that would help me is if I heard something – music or clearing your throat, or a phone conversation,” Naga added, explaining that it enabled her to “acknowledge” that the person was there.
Meanwhile, Naga also tackled the issue of corrupt police officers on a previous episode of BBC Breakfast, when she spoke to Kit Malthouse – then the Minister of State for Crime and Policing – about the death of Sarah Everard.
The conversation followed her murder at the hands of police officer Wayne Couzens, who is now serving a life sentence for Sarah’s kidnap, rape and murder.
“There are now concerns amongst women, amongst men, amongst people in this country now, if they are approached by a police officer and asked to get into a car and are handcuffed or restrained,” Naga told Kit.
“Is it safe? You now say it’s very unusual to see an officer on their own, so they should… really ask questions straight away,” she continued.
Kit responded that “concerned” members of the public could ask for proof of identification, and contact the police control room via the officer’s radio, or dial 999 to “make enquiries”.
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