Following long and many dicussions over at Freethoughtblogs (read Pharyngula, Almost Diamonds, Lousy Canuck, The Atheist Experience, The Uncredible Hallq, Butterflies and Wheels, The X-Blog. Each blog usually has more than one post but I think you're famliar with all of them) and Skepchick, I decided to write this down as a testimony.
Many comments revolved about the actual level of harassment/ danger women face, victim blaming, and reporting. So here's my story.
Thankfully, so far in my life every day was a day I was not raped. I'm fortunate, I'm lucky. It's not because I do/ don't do X. One day stands clearly out amongst all those days and it is the day when rape suddenly became something that could have happened.
That day I'd gone to the cinema to watch The Lord of the Rings. Although we started in the afternoon it meant that by the time the movie was over and we'd said goodbye it was kind of late. Not middle of the night late, but between 10/11 pm. I walked back to my car which I'd parked in a Park and Ride a bit outside the city centre.
I walked back the main road and that's when I noticed the guy. Actually I noticed him because he cat-called me while walking in the opposite direction. Now, to get to my car I had to turn right from the main road uphill into a street that isn't "highstreet". About 250 m up that road I had to turn left into the carpark which isn't more than a bit of gravel and two light-bulbs, set back from the road and surrounded by buildings that are mostly used for comercial purposes and mostly uninhabited.
When I crossed the road I noticed that the guy was now walking in my direction. And since he was taller than me he walked faster than me. He was gaining on me, but he was not yet "officially" following me. When I turned left into the car-park he did so, too, still shortening the distance while I was moving further and further away from the main street, from the well lit side-street, from other people. That was what was obviously his intention: To get me as far away from any possible help before he attacked.
Thankfully my brain helped me out. I acted as if I was reaching for a car further back and just made a dash for mine when I was actually there. How I wished for a car with a remote control. But I made it. The distance was still big enough for me to open the lock, get in, close the door and lock it again while he tried to get after me.
I left the car park pretty shaken and upset. I told a female friend about it. Her reaction was to ask whether I was stupid to park my car there, she's so glad nothing happened but I mustn't ever park there again because it would be irresponsible of me.
Of course I did not report that. All this would have meant would have been that a great many more people would have criticised me, blamed me, lectured me while no wannabe rapist would ever be caught or prosecuted. (remember, you must take my story skeptically. Maybe his car was just parked there as well. Maybe he thought that this was his car and I was trying to steal it. Maybe he just wanted to ask me the time and now I'm painting a poor innocent guy as a rapist.)
No, I did not report.