I am typing this on my phone so please forgive succinctness and spelling/grammar mistakes.
The basic details are this:
I was in the shower at daycentre (there are two women’s showers). I had been feeling very down and tearful because of the attack at the weekend. Someone entered the second stall and sounded like they were sitting down and they started singing in a foreign language. The women’s toilet block is usually lovely and peaceful because there are so few women. It annoyed me but I thought it’s not so weird to whistle a tune as you get undressed for the shower. But she started to get louder and she kept going. My thoughts were fully occupied with other events and I found this very intrusive. Eventually I snapped and told her to shut up. She didn’t even miss a beat. She started shouting back ‘who are you? You’re crazy british. Why don’t you go home?’
I said ‘if you hadn’t noticed, this is a homeless daycentre. It’s for people who don’t have homes.’ she kept repeating ‘go home. Go home.’ then she said she wanted to see who I was and stood outside my shower cubicle whilst I finished showering and getting dressed. I wasn’t nervous but I was in no mood for a fight with anyone and I hoped she’d just go away.
When I came out I noticed it was the greek woman I had talked to a couple of days ago. She has only been in the country for a month but she has been living in the night shelter (which annoys me greatly – like I said before british from the regions are turned away and told to go back where they come from but many europeans are allowed to stay there despite having no recourse to public funds. There seems to be no consistency.) i’d got annoyed with her a couple of days previously because she had suggested that if you were stubborn enough you could access the social system in the uk because they didn’t send everyone home.
So anyway she asked me why I had a problem with her. I said it wasn’t right that she should be using these expensive resources if she claimed there was nothing wrong with her. It was the height of arrogance to turn up in another country and expect someone else to pay for you to live there. It was wrong. I told her to go back to her country. Then she said in fact the british shouldn’t be allowed to use the daycentre because they were all crazy and wanted to be homeless and in fact the europeans should be the only ones allowed to use it because they used it properly to get a job, somewhere to live and move on. I said but she didn’t get it, she should be doing that on her own – this place is to help people with real problems.
Then she started off again. Go home, go home, etc and I started to get upset because of course I have nowhere to go. Then she started calling me crazy and telling me I should see a doctor. I told her to stop talking to me as I didn’t want to talk to her but she wouldn’t shut up. She kept going on about me and the british being crazy and wanting to be homeless.
This was the point I stood up (i’d been putting on my shoes) and went to hit her. I was capable of walking away and getting help from staff so I can’t claim that as an excuse. I went to slap her across the face. She deflected my hand and I ended up slapping her arm instead. Then she grabbed my wrists and held me tightly. ‘you think i’m something but i’m not what you think’ she said and then hit me in the stomach (not that hard – she pulled it). She pushed me against the wall and kept telling me over and over to see a doctor so I went crazy and tried to punch her. She is much taller than me and I wasn’t able to land a blow because my arms simply didn’t reach. I was shouting at her to go away, to get out. Then the staff came in. They said we both had to come out. I said no she had to leave and tried to push her out the door. Eventually she said she was going to leave. She went back into the cubicle and removed her things and three cups of coffee – she hadn’t been going to take a shower – she was just sitting in the changing area drinking coffee.
Then as I said I started crying and a nice member of staff came and talked to me and told me I was barred and I admitted I had been on edge since being attacked. She gave me 10 minutes to compose myself and this is when I overheard the staff talking about me and saying there was nothing they could do to help me.
I don’t know what she told them happened but as you know I got barred for six weeks.