Cora Currier in The Nation:
I can see, but not clearly describe, the patch of concrete, the base of the tree, the few brief seconds that the man and I struggled before my head hit the pavement. I spent the next week in bed with a concussion, staring at the ceiling of my hot bedroom, forbidden the use of words: no screens, no books, no stimuli. The nonverbal blur that followed was a time that passed as a smear across my brain. It soon came to feel like a muted extension of the attack.
When Sarah Everard was murdered in England in March, I thought about my experience again. It seemed to be the very kind of random violence against women that many saw in Everard’s murder: A woman walks home alone at night; a man she doesn’t know attacks her. Countless women took to social media to talk about their fear of such attacks, the admittedly useless strategies they employed to prevent them, and their sense that, at any moment, they could be next. And yet, as Charlotte Shane wrote in Dissent, something about this outpouring felt off. “Specific harm should be the issue,” Shane wrote, but “potential harm and ambient anxiety become the focus.”