IT was a bad week to be a woman last week.

Just when we thought it was safe to accept a drink from a gentleman stranger, it turns out that drug rape is on the increase in our pubs and clubs.

For those of us who want to avoid such dangers by being in a steady relationship, a national campaign informs us that 25 per cent of all women with partners suffer from domestic violence and two are killed every week at the hands of their other half.

Enough to make you want to turn to drink, but hold on, the latest survey reveals that women are turning into dangerous drink bingers. And don't bother seeking comfort in food because we're a nation of fatties who will die of obesity if we even slow down on our walk past the Sainsbury's cake counter. And no man will ever love us if we grow bigger thighs than his. It's not easy being a lady in a big bad man's world.

After reading about domestic violence, I began observing couples on the street, in restaurants, on buses and trains, my eyes bulging and my head pounding with irrational suspicion. Was that man picking on his girlfriend? I didn't like the way he looked at her. Every man became a suspect. Oh God, was this world full of dirty lying brutes?

In the light of such bleak truths, it's hard not to be turned off the lot of them. Part of me just wants to lead a spinster's life, sitting at home and knitting bonnets for my cats. Cats in pretty bonnets won't drug you up, push you around and make you feel fat.

But why should we let some people out there kill the little romanticism we have left in modern life? Even if there are some men with trouser pockets full of Rohypnol and GHB, am I wrong to say that I want to keep the faith and welcome a drink from a man with a warm smile?

It's all too easy to become cynical with such a welter of frightening statistics but what a sad world it would be if we only trusted the company of cats.

PAMELA Anderson was said to be disappointed after visiting David Blaine's glass box, in which the illusionist is dangling over the Thames in a 44 day fast. "I did not see anything move in the box," she reportedly said. What did she expect? Magic? I think the whole thing is a disappointment not because he is refusing to perform a floor show but because it's a rubbish idea. Perhaps I just can't keep up with the 'Hip Houdini' but what's so 'Hip' about a fat man stuck in a box for days on end? He's not even struggling to escape from it. Houdini would be turning in his grave.