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Walking Home in 2021

It’s frightening that we live in a world where women still can’t safely walk alone.

This week, we’ve seen the unfortunate case of a young woman going missing whilst walking home in LondonSarah Everard. Social media platforms have since gone wild, as many share their outrage at the fact she couldn’t walk home, and expect to arrive safely   

Further rage ensued, as certain media titles decided to tell women ‘not to go out alone’ – how is this the only option in 2021? Wear bright colours, pick sensible clothing and footwear, check in with loved ones, etc. These are all things we find ourselves doing, from crossing the street to avoid catcalling, to jumping in a taxi to escape any trouble. But, and this is a BIG but, women aren’t the ones who should be told to change.   

Many are using their platform to talk about times they’ve personally been followed, groped and even stalked, showing how normalised things like this have unfortunately become for women. A new study (carried out by UN Women UK) has even revealed that 97% of women have been sexually harassed, how is that OK?  

It’s time for all men to stand up and act as allies – doing what they can to help us feel safe. To the majority of males, this may sound crazy and like something you ‘obviously’ do, but do your friends? Do your colleagues? Have you witnessed other men making women feel uncomfortable and just looked on?  

Women making these conscious decisions to avoid harassment, or god forbid anything worse, should not be normalised. Men, treating us like equals and allowing us to walk home safe, should be. Start shutting down sexual or inappropriate conversations about women, even (and especially) when we aren’t around. Try to understand and listen to why women are scared in the first place, it’s usually due to past, negative experiences. You might not be part of the problem, but you can be part of the solution.  

Sarah Everard did everything right, she wore trainers and bright colours, she stuck to main roads, she called someone. Sarah should have made it home; Sarah should have got to see her family again.  

Image Source: Getty / Hollie Adams

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