It is sad to start the year with news of a girl being raped just a few hundred metres from the University, but it is also vital that students, particularly those new to Glasgow, are aware of the need to look after themselves in a city of this size.
The West End is often thought of as a relatively safe part of Glasgow but this incident shows that awful crimes do take place here and personal safety should never be taken for granted. Sadly, it is unlikely that the man responsible for this attack will be caught and we should all therefore be thinking about how we can prevent this happening again.
The attitude of many of the older students on campus is that these attacks happen often enough that they lose some of their shock. It should always be shocking when something like this happens and it is important that when they do, they make people sit up and pay attention to the way they look after their own safety.
How many times have you decided not to take a cab home because you didn’t want to spend that extra fiver? How many times have you walked home on your own because you didn’t want to ask others to go out of their way? The feelings of embarrassment or awkwardness will fade far more quickly than those suffered after being attacked in this way.
The girl involved in this particular incident was not a student at the University of Glasgow but she was only 17 years old. There will have been many other girls who walked down Bank Street on their own that night, possibly from one of the unions’ Freshers’ nights. We should all use this opportunity to examine exactly how much care we take to look after ourselves and try to ensure that the idea of attacks like this happening every year becomes old news.