Preparing for the worst

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Verdi Wilson, who works in the violence against women sector, told me: My plan is to continue as before, as I have never said anything motivated by “hate”. But I expect vexatious complaints and have deleted all my chats and messages to ensure other women’s safety if the police decide I need to be taught a lesson. It is very sad that women I know are now going back to being anonymous on social media as they are worried about their livelihood. The threat of having a non-hate crime incident against you is frightening if you need a disclosure for work, it could seriously impact your future. The example of Murdo Fraser is terrifying. I’ve joined the Free Speech Union for some protection, because expecting decency, protection, and common sense from the police is not something that can be trusted these days.

Shonagh Dillon, The Critic, 6th April 2024.