The disappearance and murder of Sarah Everard in South London led to many people going onto social media to highlight how women are often expected to adjust their behaviours and routines for their own safety whereas, the same is not expected of men.
Women on social media have explained how frustrating it is that they constantly told by society in order to keep safe that they have to follow certain actions to take precaution against dangerous men. These actions include avoid going out at night, only walk on the main roads and go out in groups to avoid the risk of getting assaulted. Many people on social media have highlighted the fact that Sarah Everard took the necessary steps society tells women to take to avoid assault yet, she was still a victim of a horrific crime. This led to many women expressing how they are constantly living in fear of men in the streets and thus, brought up the topic ‘what men can do to make women feel safer in public?’.
Women are rightfully so afraid of men with a article by the BBC highlighting the fact that women are likely to be sexually assaulted with the figure stating that amongst younger women 1 in 10 have said they have experienced a sexual assault crime in the past year. What makes it even more scary is the lack of justice as the BBC reported that the majority of sexual offences do not get solved. The crime survey in England and Wales shows out of 151,000 people, 144,000 were women who were victims of rape or attempted rape in the last year. 7 out of 10 women have also experienced sexual harassment out in public. This has to change and to make it change men, have to do their part to create a safer environment for women. I will now proceed to present a list of some of the most common suggestions made by women on social media to help them feeler safer on the streets.
1. If a woman is walking alone give her space
It can be scary walking alone especially at night so doing an action as little as crossing the road makes the women aware that you are not a threat and can make women feel a lot more comfortable in the streets.
2. Call out bad behaviour or intervene
If you see a woman that looks uncomfortable it can help to go up to her and pretend you know her as often it would lead to the other person making her feel uncomfortable leave her alone. Also, men should be calling out other men even if they are friends and correct their behaviour and educate them.
3. Make your presence known
To avoid scaring people you should try and make your presence known. Doing something as little as talking on the phone can remove the element of surprise as she would be aware of your presence thus, reduces the fear.
4. Most importantly, support your female friends
This one should go without saying, but make sure to support your female friends. Encourage them to report any forms of assault to the police and do not play it off as something very little.