Following the disappearance of 33-year-old Sarah Everard last week, women who reacted furiously on social media to being given safety advice to women listed their own security demands.
Since the disappearance of a woman named Sarah Everard last week in Clapham in the south of London, thousands of women have posted on social media explaining why they feel unsafe in public spaces and voicing their demands. London is expected to witness women’s protests at the weekend.
Reacting angrily to the London Police Department’s advice to women in Clapham to not go out alone, many women said that the fact that women were always expected to change their behavior in terms of security distracted attention from the decisions and actions taken by men.
Women’s groups also made a call on social media under the hashtag # Sokaklarıİ Want (ReclaimTheseStreets), inviting women to attend a commemoration for Sarah Everard in the Clapham area’s large park (Clapham Common) on Saturday evening at 18:00. Calls are being made for similar solidarity actions to be held at the same hour in different parts of London.
Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing manager, disappeared after leaving a friend’s home in Clapham at around 9:00 pm last Wednesday.
Since then, they have been detained, first on suspicion of “kidnapping” and then “murder,” and on suspicion of assisting him, and it was announced that a body was found in a woodland near their home in the Kent region where they live.
The disappearance of Everard led many women who felt unsafe on the streets and in public places to remember and share their experiences of harassment, rape, and violence that caused them to experience these feelings.
Some said how he stretched his way in order to go from the well-lit streets, some tried to create a kind of deterrence by pretending to talk on the phone, wearing shoes that could run, or carrying their keys in their hands as a means of defense.
Anna Yearly, one of the executives of the non-governmental organization Reprieve, tweeted: “All the women who send a message saying ‘I came’ to inform their friends that they are safe when they go home, who wear flat shoes because they might need to run, and who have their keys ready are not your fault. “It’s never our fault.”
A study commissioned by the United Nations Women’s Organization in England and published just this week shows that almost all young women between the ages of 18-24 in the country have been subjected to sexual harassment (97 percent) and 80 percent of women of all ages at least once in a public sphere in their lifetime. It was reported that they were subjected to sexual harassment.
While explaining the findings of the study, Claire Barnett, UN Women’s Organization UK Officer, said, “This is a human rights crisis. It is not enough to say that this is a difficult problem to solve.”
With the disappearance of Sarah Everard, in some of her social media messages, women made a lot of suggestions, asking what men, who were surprised at what happened, and who intended solidarity with women, could do in public spaces.
Edwards said, “I live less than five minutes from where Sarah Everard disappeared. Everyone is on the alert. Apart from walking as far as possible to women on the streets, opening their faces, what reasonable things can we do as men to lessen women’s anxieties and fears?” he was asking.
The men were told what kind of messages they could send and how they could act so that the women around them felt more comfortable and understood that they did not pose a threat.
Women emphasized that more men should ask this question to women in their lives, and care should be taken not to walk right behind or too close to women on the roads and not to give the impression that they are following them.
A woman said that she was worried that the man behind her would speed up her steps, so if you wanted to pass the woman walking on a deserted road, measures such as crossing the opposite sidewalk and leaving distance could be taken.
Another woman added, “It is very scary to realize that a man has blocked your path,” and wrote that it is possible to use paths such as not cutting the road in narrow streets and paths, underpasses, staying behind him until the woman passes.
Another suggestion was to make the woman feel that her presence was not a threat by talking on the phone or making a noise in some way so that she would not be suddenly afraid.
One woman urged men to be ready for active intervention when they saw a woman frightened or in distress, and from afar she said, “Hey Jane are you?” She said that measures like calling out could prevent a dangerous situation.
In addition, men were also asked to warn their boyfriends when they see their distressing behaviors and share these recommendations with them so that the behaviors common in society can change.