Grow

#reclaimthestreets

Picture is not my own from @allontheboard Instagram account

Hey everyone, how is everyone after a really heavy week? I wasn’t going to talk about this and I’ve had a really long think all day whether to publish this post or not, and I’ve decided that actually this is too important to ignore. Unfortunately this week has ended on the devastating news that the body remains that had been found, are in fact Sarah Everard’s. This is utterly heart breaking but there is 2 parts to this that have really got to me.

Firstly I want to speak about one of the parts. I’m not going to speak about it for too long because I want to speak about the next in more detail, but I find this as equally devastating as everything surrounding and including Sarah’s death. Now I’m not going to name this man, he doesn’t deserve a mention on here, but one of the things that has got me is, this man was a serving metropolitan police officer. Someone who is meant to be playing a part in protecting us and keeping us safe. We are meant to have trust in these people. That is hard to let sink in, and get my head around. There are also so many other questions surrounding what happened with the incident at the fast food restaurant, and the police attended the incident there, but until facts come out, I’m not willing to comment, but again officers who are meant to keep us safe. Is this going to change out trust slightly now towards the police? Lastly the only thing left to say on this first part is I really feel sorry for his kids. I don’t know how old they are, and that actually doesn’t matter, I just hope they get the support they need, as they are going to need it.

This next part is going to be a lengthier one. Here are just some of the things that men may not know we as women do as second nature.

  • Checking the backseat before stepping into the car
  • Walking with your keys in-between your knuckles when you walk to your car
  • Always being on guard when your alone
  • Coming up with a plan for what if scenarios when out alone
  • Locking the doors as soon as you get into the car
  • Checking behind to see if you are being followed
  • Being on the phone with someone while walking at night because it makes you feel safer
  • Carrying a rape alarm
  • Fear of wearing headphones/earphones out alone because that then makes us less alert to our surroundings
  • Change route because you feel in danger
  • Wondering whether you should walk faster because you feel in danger

That’s just some of the things we do. I mentioned carrying a rape alarm, I have one of these. Want to know why? Where my nan and grandad use to live in London, they were giving them out to homes, because of the risk of danger. What does that tell you? That was years and years ago as well. This is a problem that has been happening long before I was even born, but its only until now its properly being spoke about. Why have we kept quiet for so long? Well because its always “well why was she out alone at 9:30pm, and never “why was he out on the street planning to kidnap and murder someone.” It’s apparently our fault for what we were wearing, or for being out at night “late”. Nearly all of us have had a harassment experience. The problem doesn’t lie with women, it lies with men.

Now I’m aware that there may be some backlash from this post, but this isn’t an attack on men, obviously not all men are out to cause us harm, but there are things that men do probably without even knowing, that do make us extremely uncomfortable. We are asking for our voices to be heard, to be listened too, this may make you feel uncomfortable, for there to be a change, and if your are a man that are doing these things, educate your friends, your family members. We know its not all men, but we don’t know which men. We as woman can’t do more.

What can men do to make us feel better?

  • If you see a woman being bothered, walk over and support her
  • If you are friends are making downgrading remarks, wolf whistling etc, stand up for us, and tell them it isn’t okay, please don’t stay silent
  • If you see a woman walking alone, leave distance between you and her, so she knows your not trying to actively follow her
  • Try not to walk at the same pace as us, if you need to, crossover and overtake
  • If its dark outside and you are running approaching a woman, trying to run heavily past us and cross the road if possible so we aren’t spooked
  • If a woman opens up about sexual assault, please do not victim blame her, listen, hear and encourage her to report, do not pass it off
  • Try to keep your face visible at night if out walking, this will reduce the feeling of attack
  • If you try to chat to us walking at night, even though it is with good intentions, if we don’t reply, don’t turn on us, it can be quite unnerving

Sarah was all of us, except we made it home.

Rest In Peace Sarah.

A x

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