Guest Blog By Nicola Kenyon
I have so much to say. So much to write and it’s taken me until now to put it into words.
I have followed the case of beautiful Sarah Everard for days and the journalist in me has taken over. I need to write about this as there are so many thoughts in my head.
Why is it still not safe for women to walk home at night?
I started off at the weekend sick of reading the victim blaming. The ‘Why did she not take a taxi?’ ‘Why did she walk alone?’
She did nothing wrong.
She did everything right.
She wore the bright clothes, she walked the busier routes, she made a phone call. It was 9pm on the busy streets of London.
I asked my husband if he had self defence lessons as a teenager, if his mum had ever bought him a brooch with a massive pin and told him to stab someone if you’re ever attacked, if he’d ever been handed a personal attack alarm by the university students union. Of course, the answer was no.
I am terrified going to the shops at night, wondering who’ll be waiting in the car park. The second I get in the car, I lock the doors. If I go for a run, I leave the headphones at home and scan every street for houses with lights on should I need to pretend I live in any of them. I walk home from work with my phone in my hand so I can make an emergency call at any moment, yet balance this with the fear of being mugged for it.
Ask any woman you know if they feel the same.
Every woman has ended a night out with the words ‘Text me when you’re home.’ Every woman has pretended to be on the phone. Every woman has taken a different route. Every woman has pretended to look in a shop window to see if the man behind her will pass. Every woman has turned a corner and started to run.
And let’s go with the ‘Why didn’t she get a taxi?’ question.
They can be just as terrifying. Is it even a taxi or are they fake plates? With every turn you wonder if they’re taking a different route to avoid the traffic or to take you somewhere else.
Every woman you know deals with this at some level. Take that in for a minute.
I try to keep the fear at bay. Not let the fear win. But then this.
Every woman has felt scared.
Every woman feels saddened at the death of #SarahEverard.
She deserved to be safe.
We all deserve to be safe.
She was just walking home