Wales' sexual violence adviser harassed at Cardiff v Swansea

1 week ago 20

Johanna Robinson

Image caption,

Johanna Robinson is the national adviser for violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence for the Welsh government

Wales' national adviser on sexual violence has described how she was sexually harassed by a man at a football match.

Johanna Robinson said it happened at the Cardiff City-Swansea City Championship match on Saturday night.

She said a man sitting behind her repeatedly grabbed her after she had told him to stop.

Cardiff City director Steve Borley said the club will investigate the incident and include the police if appropriate.

Ms Robinson, who has previously been a season ticket holder at the club, said she was sitting alone at the match after giving her original ticket away.

"Almost as soon as I sat down the man behind me started tapping me, trying to talk in my ear and crouching over my shoulder," said Ms Robinson, whose title is Wales' National Adviser for Violence Against Women, Gender Based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence.

"And then it just increased... the way he was touching me got stronger so it felt more like he was grabbing my shoulders, my arms, and my waist," she told BBC Wales.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Johanna Robinson was sitting alone at Saturday's match after giving her original ticket away to her son's friend

Ms Robinson added: "He just kept doing it and doing it... it made me feel unsafe, he made me feel unsafe.

"He was in my physical space, he was touching me inappropriately - I didn't know if he was going to go further with the touching but it didn't really matter. I just didn't like it."

She said she then turned around and asked the man to stop touching her, to which he responded angrily and looked at her in "disbelief".

She said the touching did then stop temporarily, until just before half-time when he tried to persuade her to go and have a drink with him.

"He tapped me on the shoulder again... and said to me very clearly that he hadn't done anything, that he wasn't a 'monster man'," she said.

"He was really forceful about that, that was his way of excusing it and moving on... that I should go for a drink with him because he wasn't a monster man... it's just ridiculous."

Image source, Johanna Robinson

Image caption,

Ms Robinson says she's had great support from Cardiff City since Saturday, but that incidents like this "simply aren't acceptable"

Ms Robinson said she then went to the stewards to report the incident and ask to be moved to another seat, which she eventually was after being taken to a supervisor.

However, she said the supervisor explained how difficult it was for her to be moved to another seat and that there wasn't a process in place for incidents such as this.

After posting about her experience on social media Ms Robinson said the Cardiff City director Steve Borley had been in touch, which she "really appreciates".

"I've had great support so far. My point is that it simply isn't acceptable. We need to do things so that it isn't down to the woman to do things to defend herself.

"We can see this all over the place now. How can women possibly feel safe when it's just everywhere? It's pervasive."

Mr Borley has apologised to Ms Robinson for her experience, and said the club will "fully investigate the incident and include the police if appropriate".

Cardiff City said it has contacted Ms Robinson and is investigating the incident.

A club spokesperson said any supporter who feels threatened or is concerned by the behaviour of others is encouraged to contact the club via the reporting hotline at the earliest opportunity.

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