A woman was raped last night, or sexually attacked, the police won’t quite say, in a bathroom downstairs from my office. At 7.15 pm.

I’m often here that late. It’s sometimes occurred to me that the building is awfully quiet after five. When I walk home after dark I don’t walk through the park, I walk through almost empty streets instead, safe between lit living-room windows with people laughing within. Or so I imagine. I hadn’t thought of worrying about going to the bathroom at work.

Yesterday I left my office before four, walking home fast to fetch my daughter from school. Maybe I’ll just always leave by then.

[Update: The university’s increasing the presence of security guards and considering other means of making the campus safer. I don’t want to have to think about this. I guess I’ll just not stay after dark.]

3 thoughts on “dangerous workplace?

  1. Captain Sunshine

    When I worked for the campus police, we never had any problem with providing an escort for anyone going to their vehicle, or to the edge of campus. We would call them a cab if they needed to go farther, or we would take them home ourselves on occasion. I hope you can make use of the same service from your security guards.

    It always beat walking around for eight hours by myself. Hope they don’t talk your ear off too much 🙂 .

    CS

  2. torill

    We don’t want you endangered for the sake of research Jill. I have always wanted a cattle prod to prod sleepy colleagues awake – perhaps this is a more legitimate use for it, and we need to get you one?

    One thing I am curious about is who else but late-working professors use the building? In Volda they found that by giving students access through key cards the number of break ins, vandalism and other unpleasantness was dramatically reduced. They discovered this by observing how the media department, which has always been open to students and at the same time always had tempting, expensive equipment, had less incidents than the traditionally totally closed teacher’s department. When students have access to labs and studios 24 hours, they tend to use it, which means a stalker or a rapist can not count on being alone with his prey.

  3. Jill

    Apparently, since they shut down the student centre (studentsenteret), whch is right next to the park where the drug addicts hang out, addicts have started spreading out and using other university buildings, including our building – though I’ve not noticed this at all. Right now my building is open to the public until 7 pm, which is good because the university library is in my building (temporarily while they rebuild the library building) and it’s important that it’s open to the general public. It’s not good if it means we’re frightened at work.

    Students and staff do have access until late at night, using key cards. Pretty much all equiptment is in labs that are always locked with keycards and/or keys.

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