In her first TV interview since being pinned to the ground by Metropolitan Police officers at the vigil for Sarah Everard on Clapham Common, Patsy Stevenson has revealed she was "terrified".
The photograph of Ms Stevenson, on the ground, being arrested at the vigil shocked the nation and prompted criticism of the Met from across the political spectrum.
The vigil held in south London on Saturday became violent after police cleared the area, citing current Covid restrictions.
Speaking on ITV's Good Morning Britain, Ms Stevenson said she had attended the vigil "to lay a candle down" before scuffles broke out.
"I am quite small and it was two very large male officers who sort of pulled me back very quickly and then I hit the ground.
"From start to finish it was just a sort of whirlwind, it happened very quickly. I was only there to lay a candle down, I did not expect that to happen."
The student described how the vigil began to grow violent as police moved to disperse people: "We were terrified because we hear about police manhandling women and stuff like that."
"I was terrified. I have never been so scared honestly," she said of the moment.
"I think what was scary as well was as soon as I was pinned to the ground, I looked up and there were cameras everywhere."
She now faces a fine for breaches of coronavirus regulations.
The Met Police has faced widespread criticism for its handling of the vigil on Saturday, with Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick forced to defend her position amid calls for her to resign.
She is expected to meet with the prime minister on Monday who said he was "deeply concerned about the footage from Clapham Common on Saturday night".
Speaking on GMB, Ms Stevenson was asked if she had a message for Dame Cressida Dick.
"As someone who does stand up for women’s rights and things like that, I don’t have, it’s not that I don’t have an opinion but to be honest, I think we need to get the message away from: 'We are against the police, the police did wrong'."
She instead said the focus should be "on the main message which is: 'We now need to open a dialogue for change and to support women’s safety. This needs to happen now."
Asked if she had a message for the family of Sarah Everard, Ms Stevenson said: "I cannot understand what they're going through, all we wanted to do was show our respect and support and we're all terribly saddened that it happened."
MP Jess Phillips discusses the Sarah Everard case and what can be done to stop violence against women - listen to the ITV News Politics Podcast: