The murder of Sara Everard has sparked debate on women safety all over the UK. Politicians, journalists and other public figures joined countless women on social media in sharing their experience of feeling unsafe on British streets. As a result, women have been sharing their stories about abuse from men throughout the years, whether it be at school, work, home or in any other type of social settings. The main topic has always been safety.
Growing up, most girls have been taught to fear for their safety when going out alone or to a foreign country. There are countless TikToks and videos for women on how to stay safe when getting in a car, walking alone at night etc. These videos always include showing women how to protect themselves and what they could use in order for them to feel safer, and they always stress the importance of looking over our shoulders.
I was watching BBC News today and a women spoke about how boys would always harass girls in secondary school and I have also seen this first hand growing up. She spoke about boys touching girls without consent in inappropriate and abusive ways... Or when girls are walking home and they feel intimidated and unsafe when there is a group of boys sitting or standing in group, the girl always crosses over because she knows sheï¿½d be cat called, looked at inappropriately and harassed. This must be called out and we must encourage young girls to always speak out about this, so appropriate action is taken. Boys must learn from a young age about respecting and helping women & young girls to feel more safe. This will then hopefully stay with them throughout their adulthood.
This problem must be tackled first hand, just like sexual assault. This is where the role of education comes in. Thanks to the MeToo movement, children are now educated in school about sexual assault, in order to prevent it from happening. Similarly, they should teach the importance of preventing young girls and women from feeling unsafe. Young girls and women shouldnï¿½t have to fear for their lives whenever they get into a car, walk past a group of boys, walk home at night or stay in a hotel by themselves. This fear has been etched into our mind since childhood and its time to take a stand!
Women are not safe anywhere. Not at work. Not in public spaces. Not even at home! There is no safe time of the day and no safe clothing!
Therefore, men, not women, need to change their behaviour.
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