I was left absolutely terrified after chilling confrontation with man on a walk…he wouldn’t stop after I told him to

A WOMAN was left “terrified” after she had an unnerving encounter with a man while she was out walking.

Mikayla Gradara, was on her “usual morning walk” when she was approached by the man who she said was behaving “aggressively”.

Mikayla Gradara was left "terrified" following an unpleasant encounter with a man while she was out walking


Mikayla Gradara was left “terrified” following an unpleasant encounter with a man while she was out walkingCredit: Instagram
Mikayla posted her story on Instagram and it prompted many others to share their experiences


Mikayla posted her story on Instagram and it prompted many others to share their experiencesCredit: Instagram

The 26-year old was walking along the popular hiking trail in Athelstone, Australia on Wednesday when the frightening interaction occurred.

Mikayla said she first saw the man threatening an older woman and “sticking his middle finger in her face” before he spotted her, The Advertiser reports.

She told the man to stop but he carried on.

The young woman recalled feeling trapped and said: “He began walking towards me but, unless I turned around, there was only one way to go.”

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If people weren’t around, I really couldn’t imagine what could have happened

Mikayla Gradara

“I tried not to make eye contact and just kept walking, but he started blocking the trail so I couldn’t walk around him.

“He then started bouncing on his feet as though he was in a boxing ring before he came up right into my face.

“I said to him, ‘Can you please stop?’ But then he jolted at me in a really intimidating movement.”

Now “absolutely terrified” Mikayla began to dial Triple-0 while raising her voice at the man, which drew the attention of some nearby walkers.

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“I thought: ‘Okay, well, if he pulls out a weapon then I probably won’t be able to defend myself,’” she said.

“If people weren’t around, I really couldn’t imagine what could have happened.”

It was only when Mikayla attempted to record the man, and bystanders came to intervene, that he left her alone and fled.

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While she was thankful there were people around to help Mikayla told The Advertiser: “I feel like I’ve been watching my back ever since – even the slightest noise has me constantly turning around.”

After sharing her chilling story to social media in the hopes of raising awareness, she was shocked at the amount of people who shared similar experiences.

But – there were some who claimed Mikayla should not have been out walking alone – to which she pointed out women “should be able to feel safe stepping out anywhere”.

Mikayla wrote on her Instagram Story: “The point is that this shouldn’t be happening and there needs to be a stop to it.

“People should be able to freely exercise, go out, socialise, etc without having to worry about their safety.”

Ms Gradara’s interaction comes at a moment when women’s fears for their safety are more pronounced than ever.

In the past 18 days, nine women have been killed across Australia, all allegedly by a male perpetrator.

Last Saturday’s horrific mass stabbing at Westfield Bondi Junction saw five women (and one man) murdered, who NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said were “obviously” targeted for their gender.

Speaking at a family violence symposium in Melbourne on Friday, the nation’s chief politician called on men to step up and bring Australia’s “crisis of male violence” against women to an end.


“To create lasting change, women cannot be expected to solve violence against women alone. It’s time for men to step up,” Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said in his speech.

“It’s our responsibility to educate ourselves, our sons, our colleagues and our friends. We must focus on prevention, working together and finding new ways of doing things.”

How you can get help

Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

  • Always keep your phone nearby.
  • Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call 999.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
  • Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
  • If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
  • Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.

If you are a ­victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support ­service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – messageinfo@supportline.org.uk.

Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available weekdays from 8am-6pm and weekends 10am-6pm.

You can also call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.