Men do not realize how easy they have it sometimes.
Being a woman, you know the feeling of constantly living your life in fear. Men make plans whenever and however they want and execute them accordingly, but women have to make their plans by considering the safest options they can pick and even those plans are modified at the spot sometimes because they fear they might be in danger at some point. Men can just decide to have a walk outside their home at night. Women can’t do that without fearing someone might attack or abduct them. These things may sound crazy to some people, but it is a very real issue and most women go through it every single day. It is becoming a growing problem and our streets are not safe for women anymore.
After the abduction of Sarah Everard on the 3rd of March, there has been a huge outrage and women have started sharing their concerns and experiences on the Internet. Not that this was not an issue before and women never spoke about it, but their voices are getting even louder now. Barrister Harriet Johnson started a discussion on Twitter regarding the things women have to do to feel safe. A lot of women responded to her tweet and their answers are eye-opening.
Sarah Everard was a 33-year-old marketing executive that was last seen in Clapham, in south London on the 3rd of March, 2021.
Following her disappearance, a senior London Metropolitan Police officer got arrested in a house situated in Kent and some human remains were found in a wooded area in the city.
This was the tweet by Harriet Johnson that led to the discussion on Twitter.
Women responded to her tweet with things they do to make themselves feel safe when they aren’t home.
Plan International UK told Bored Panda in an interview that self-defense lessons are vital for women, but the use of defense tools like pepper spray is prohibited in the UK. If you live in the UK and feel like you are in danger, call 999.
A Plan International UK representative gave some advice to women. “You are not to blame for the harassment you experience. Only the harasser is to blame, and only their behavior should change. Trust your instincts, if something feels not right then it probably isn’t. You are not alone. Unfortunately, half of the girls in the UK experienced public sexual harassment this summer. This means there are lots of people and places you can reach out to for support and solidarity.”
Parking spots seem like hunting grounds for these men.
How sad is it that people would run to put out a fire but not come to the aid of a woman?
People have different kinds of experiences of being attacked, so Plan International UK gave them general advice to try to leave the situation safely. “This is because it depends on many factors including how serious or unsafe the incident is, how the individual girl feels, and where it is happening—we would not want to suggest any action that could further escalate the situation. However, if you feel threatened in the moment or you are in immediate danger, call 999.”
You are not safe in broad daylight either.
Avoiding eye contact just so they don’t select you as their next target.
Report the situation to the police, and take these steps. “Make Notes. Always write down the time, location, and a description of what has happened as soon as you feel able to do so. Send it by email to yourself or take a photograph of any notes so there is a time-stamping. You may be able to refer to contemporaneous notes later if necessary to help remind you of critical details you noticed when it was fresh in your mind. Try to be as factual as you can: this happened, then that happened, and these were the details, and this is how I felt.”
You can’t even enjoy a drink.
Always tell someone you trust if you have been victimized. “That might be critical supportive evidence later. You can also write to local councilors or your MP about the incident. If it is carried out by an identifiable employee, you could also write to their employer asking for measures to be taken,” Plan International UK said.
“Seek support and comfort. Do not suffer alone in silence. Experience of other forms of abuse shows that one of the most frightening things is to carry the burden of what has happened on your own. Part of the damaging effects of abusive behavior is that it can be isolating and create an unwarranted sense of shame in you. There are various ways to find support. If you’ve experienced public sexual harassment and need to talk to someone, you can call Childline on 0800 1111 or visit their website.”
Women started sharing their own experiences later on.
The scary thing is, not all forms of public attacks are illegal yet. “Girls have told us that they’ve been turned away by the police when they have tried to report it. This is why we are running the #CrimeNotCompliment campaign to call for new, clearer legislation to make public sexual harassment a specific criminal offense. We would encourage all to join the campaign here.” Plan International UK is currently working on a campaign with Our Streets Now.
If you have never been attacked, consider yourself lucky.
The outdoors were not supposed to be this scary.
“Sarah’s disappearance in these awful and wicked circumstances is every family’s worst nightmare,” the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, said.
Dick explained that it is very rare for someone to get abducted off the main streets in London, but after Sarah’s disappearance, women have an elevated sense of fear. “I completely understand that despite this, women in London and the wider public—particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing—will be worried and may well be feeling scared.”
Some men don’t even have to be drunk to attack you.
Teaching your daughter these things and seeing the horrified looks on their faces is so disturbing.
Balancing fear with safety.
Staying safe costs us money too.
Our safety is not a joke.
What are the things you do to feel safe? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.