Updated: Apr 13
As many of us are reading the news stories and articles written about the death of Sarah Everard, we are reminded of the dangers they all fear when walking home at night. Keys in their hands, pretending to call someone, looking over their shoulders. They are living by these unspoken rules for their own “safety and protection”. Sarah Everard followed every single “rule”, yet it wasn’t enough to protect her.
In the wake of her death, many women have come forward and expressed how this is an unsettling reminder of the fears they face every day. Whether it be walking home at night, getting into a taxi or even just leaving their houses in broad daylight. These fears have become normalised and are not seen to be anything out of the ordinary, when in reality, the statistic of women who are in dangerous situations and are disregarded is chilling.
If you had a bowl of fruit, and only a small percentage of that bowl was poisoned. Would you trust the rest of the fruit in the bowl? When women are faced with a situation where the risk is rape or murder, the last thought that goes through their head is that ‘not all men are like that’. They can’t afford to take chances.
What surprised me most when going online was the number of people who had begun victim blaming. “Why was she out so late at night?” “Why didn’t she take a taxi home?” Maybe instead of blaming the victim people should assess and evaluate the statistics. Women fear for their lives every day. They are doing their absolute best not to get attacked. They should not have to think of ways to survive when running errands, or just walking home.
Statistics show that 97% of rapists will never spend a single day in jail. Ninety seven percent. These people are walking around freely every single day. If every woman who had experienced sexual assault was to go to the police, there are
not enough court rooms or police officers to deal with the problem, and that in itself is petrifying.
How do we fix this? We need to begin by giving women a voice, a platform to talk. To be heard. Their voices need to be heard. They deserve better.
She was just walking home.