Women tell men how to help them feel safe after Sarah Everard disappearance
This comes after the 33-year-old's disappearance prompted women to speak up across social media
As a man writing this piece, I am privileged enough to not really have to worry when I see another bloke walking down the street late at night. For most, if not all women, they don't enjoy that luxury.
Since Sarah Everard's disappearance, the outpouring from fellow women sharing their experiences has been massive. If you didn't think experiencing fear while walking down the street is something universal for women, you do now.
For all those women who text their mates to let them know they got home safe,who wear flat shoes at night so they can run if they need,who have keys in their hands ready to use, it’s not your fault. It never is. So many of us have stories of being assaulted. It’s never our fault.
— Anna Yearley Carreira (@AnnaYearley) March 10, 2021
It is apparent that rather than simply deciding whether they are going that night or not, women regularly have to go through all manner of mental arithmetic to try and ensure not only their own safety, but that of their friends and family.
A recent survey showed that 97% of young women in the UK have been sexually harassed and 80% of those being in public places.
With all that in mind, one man, Stuart Edwards, also took to Twitter to seek out guidance on how to make women feel more at ease when found in the same situation.
I live less than five minutes from where Sarah Everard went missing. Everyone is on high alert. Aside from giving as much space as possible on quieter streets and keeping face visible, is there anything else men can reasonably do to reduce the anxiety/spook factor?
— Stuart Edwards (@StuartEdwards) March 9, 2021
As he tweeted less than 24 hours after, the sheer volume of replies to his question was staggering. More importantly, though, they were highly insightful and straightforward solutions that could be easily put into place. Here's just one that we men can all start doing:
If you're walking behind a woman, even at a distance, and it's dark, cross over to the other side of the road and walk there instead.
I've had men do this a couple of times and it's like a huge weight lifted.
— Hannah Al-Othman (@HannahAlOthman) March 10, 2021
Be sure to check out Stuart's thread to find out more specifics on how you can help combat female anxiety. In the meantime, here are some of the top tips we saw on how to make women feel safe at night:
- Give space - cross the road where possible and don't walk behind someone.
- Get a taxi or lift where possible, or offer to walk female friends home.
- Don't run close to women when jogging, especially at night.
- Phone a friend - this lets them know you are not trying to sneak up on them.
- Call out and report any form of harassment you see.
- Educate others, men in particular, on these simple tips.
Lastly, International Women's Day has just passed and whilst it is a day to celebrate all of our lovely ladies, it is also designed to help people recognise the challenges they face every day.
Our team put their own wonderful spin on the classic drinking game, 'Never Have I Ever'. These kinds of subjects should never be 'taboo' and you should never be afraid to speak up. Have a watch down below and, remember: keep talking.
“I went to the security guard and he was like, ‘Can’t do anything about it.’”
In an alternative game of Never Have I Ever, two female JOE employees share some of the everyday realities of being a woman with a male co-worker.#internationalwomensday #IWD2021 pic.twitter.com/6ycfgEQ3FO
— JOE (@JOE_co_uk) March 8, 2021