JADE WILSON was on her way to drop leaflets for the Together for Yes campaign, an initiative mobilising a Yes vote in the abortion referendum on May 25 when she was accosted by a male stranger.
The UCD student was lending her support to the campaign when she was approached by a man who had been staring in her direction.
Speaking to The Irish Post, Wilson said she was by herself before the man in her presence spat on her green T-shirt, which bore the Together For Yes slogan on it.
Wilson said perhaps it was due to a woman being on her own that motivated the man, with whom she had no former contact with, to act in the way he did: "I think that if I had been with a group or if I had been a man it wouldn’t have happened."
She said she was on her way to Heuston train station in Dublin's city centre when the unknown man spat on her T-shirt: "I was heading towards Heuston to leaflet outside the station. I hadn't even verbally engaged with this man at all. He reacted purely from the sight of my t-shirt."
Wilson added that the effects of the assault were worsened as she was alone when it occurred: "It was extremely dehumanising. If I had been with a group I would have been comforted immediately as well, but instead, I just stood there alone in shock and disbelief."
When asked about how she feels about the incident now, the UCD student said that there is a level of hypocrisy of the No side coming up to the referendum: "To claim that you love women and are interested in providing better support systems for them in crisis pregnancies, and to then spit on a woman who is on her way to leaflet... it’s pretty appalling."
Despite the unfortunate incident, Wilson added: "Luckily, I’m not the type of person to be discouraged by something like that. I’m glad it didn’t happen to a more emotionally vulnerable young woman. I felt seriously unsafe though."
Just going to leave this here. Taking the day to recharge. Will try again tomorrow. 😣 pic.twitter.com/vDX4aNNA3S
— Jade Wilson (@jadeswilson) May 18, 2018
The contest between both sides of the referendum is hotting up as there are just 5 days left before Irish people must vote in the referendum to decriminalise and legislate for abortion.
Similarly, in April of this year, a member of Irish activist group LGBTQ+ for Choice was physically attacked for wearing a Repeal jumper.
— LGBT+ for Choice (@LGBTforChoice) April 28, 2018