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Jojo Moyes in an interview: "As a teenager, I was groped all the time"


She grew up in the poor London district of Hackney and constantly had to be wary of abusive men: In an interview, Jojo Moyes gave insights into the dark phases of her life.

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Jojo Moyes: "If I take a shortcut this way, the guy from the carpentry shop will try to pinch my butt"

Photo: Jens Kalaene / dpa

Jojo Moyes has gone through difficult times: she divorced her husband after 22 years, lost her mother and had to lock herself up during the corona pandemic.

"I think that qualifies me as a survivor," she told the "Tagesspiegel". 

With the help of antidepressants, therapists and little routines, she got over it all.

At first she had reservations about taking medication, but a friend advised her to do so.

Sometimes everyone needs help to get through tough times, she told Moyes.

In the meantime, however, she has stopped taking the pills.

Moyes is now taking more time for himself, taking more vacations and doesn't want to travel as much as he did before the pandemic.

Moyes has had part-time jobs since she was 14: “First as a cleaning lady, at 17 as an agent in the taxi dispatcher, later in a bank where I prepared account statements in Braille for blind customers.”

Moyes, 53, grew up in Hackney, London, in the 1970s and 1980s.

At that time there was a high crime rate there, the writer told the "Tagesspiegel".

She was constantly harassed.

“When I got off the bus, it was normal for guys or men to follow me home.

I got into the habit of putting the key ring around my finger – in case I had to rush into the house.” Walking around the city as a girl felt like you were on constant alert.

“As a teenager, I was groped all the time.

In broad daylight!'

This was by no means unusual: »Every girl who grew up in London knows such experiences.

When I went to my cleaning job, I had to weigh up the following: If I take a shortcut along the way, the guy from the carpentry shop will try to pinch my butt.

If I avoid the pub, I'll be three minutes late at work.'

At that time she was very insecure: when I started to take care of myself at the age of 17, I kept asking myself how much money I still needed to pay the rent.

Do I have enough for a taxi home in the evening so as not to run into any men?” Today you would call the police, but back then you had to live with it, said the writer and journalist.

Even today, the police in the British metropolis are discredited.

Most recently, she caused a stir with racism, sexism, misogyny and the murder of a young woman by a police officer.

In February, London Police Chief Cressida Dick was forced to resign in the wake of the scandals.

Moyes had a surprise hit with her novel »A Whole Half a Year«, which was published in 2012.

Moyes tells the unlikely love story of a young woman who cares for a paralyzed man and tries to dissuade him from seeking euthanasia.

The novel was filmed with Emilia Clark.

Moyes' new book "My Life in Yours" will be released this Thursday.


Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2023-02-02

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