Women’s Safety

It’s been a tough week where we have seen a young woman, Sarah Everard, who should have been able to go home safely in the evening, disappear from the streets of London.

It then transpires that under suspicion for her abduction is a man, a police officer. A man who has an greater of duty of care for woman is being investigated.

This week has highlighted just how unsafe it is for women. From when we are young women and girls have constantly had the onus of their safety placed upon us. We have this burden to the point that it has become second nature. A underlying action and second nature. Often unnoticed.

We have constantly and often as a unnoticed reflex action:

  • Texted a friend to say we are home
  • Checked who is walking behind us
  • Taken different routes home
  • Crosses the road and check whether we are being followed
  • Pretend to talk to someone on out phones so that someone doesn’t think we are on the home
  • Be careful what we wear, don’t expose too much

As women and girls we shouldn’t have to go through this. This heavy burden is constantly upon us to the extent that we have got used to carrying it.

There needs to be a dramatic change within our society, within the complaints system, with investigations and within the justice system. For years women have been encouraged to report assaults and rapes, yet the ratio of the complaints to convictions are low. The comments made at and to women considered by some men as ‘just banter”, “where’s your sense of humour?”

Enough is enough Women’s complaints need to be taken seriously, greater follow through in the criminal justice system and misogyny needs to be a crime. The time for change is now. When will the Government listen? When will they act to legislate misogyny as a hate crime? When will women of all ages be able to live their lives in safety?

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