Hartlepool woman left 'pretty shaken' after facing vile sexual slurs in front of son
A councillor has called for better sexual education in schools after facing disgusting catcalls in front of her 14-year-old son.
Hartlepool borough councillor Amy Prince has revealed how she faced vile sexual comments from a van driver on Sunday afternoon while walking along the town’s Raby Road.
The Labour member gave the account at the latest Cleveland Police and Crime Panel meeting after new commissioner Steve Turner set out how tackling violence against women and girls was one of his top 10 priorities.
Cllr Prince said: “I was walking with my 14-year-old son and got catcalled quite violently.
“I was pretty shaken and so was my son.
“Are we looking at education in schools?
“The way that man spoke to me was absolutely foul and my son was genuinely hurt that someone would speak to his mum like that.
Almost 48 per cent of respondents said they felt “very unsafe” with more than a third feeling “fairly unsafe” in the region’s town centres at night.
Lewd comments while exercising outdoors and poor lighting in parks were highlighted as making women feel unsafe.
In response to Cllr Prince, Mr Turner said there was a “real challenge” in approaching such problems.
He added: “I think domestic violence is quite a hidden crime.
“I can talk quite comfortably about some of our rural communities where behaviour is taken for granted because it’s passed down from father to son, and mother to daughter.
“In some other communities, it would be classed certainly as coercive control, if not domestic abuse.
“That’s not recognised in those communities because it’s always happened. A man goes out to the pub on Sunday and expects his dinner on the table when he comes back.
“It’s very cliché, and thankfully not as common as it used to be, but it is still there and there is an educational element to that.”
After the meeting, Cllr Prince, who represents Throston, said the culprit shouting sexual slurs was a man parked in a white van on a Sunday at 12.30pm, adding: “It was quite intimidating.”
The recent survey will form part of a bid for government cash to tackle violence against women and girls across Cleveland.