Change needed – Savannah Collis

Sarah Everard. A name you definitely have heard in the news recently; another woman tragically murdered. Sarah Everard’s death sparked the beginning of a movement I hope maintains this momentum. The death of Sarah has just added to the myriad reasons women don’t feel safe. And yes, I know it’s not all men!

I wouldn’t consider myself a major feminist if I’m honest but now more than ever I want to be an advocate for women feeling safer and men being better educated so we can all overall have a better quality of life. I am not naïve, and I know that you’re always going to get just generally bad people in life – I get that – but this tragedy still gives us an opportunity to question our attitudes, assumptions and behaviour.

Essentially all women want from men right now is: listen to us and let us voice our concerns etc, be supportive of us and don’t obstruct the movement and for men to want to learn. Just because you’re not a bad person doesn’t stop others, for example just because you wouldn’t litter that’s not enough, if you see someone else littering speaking up against them is the action necessary. I hope this silly analogy makes it make a bit more sense.

I conducted a survey, I sent it to lots of women I know and got it passed on to other women to also complete it. I have had 108 responses as yet and these range in ages from year 6 to about 50-year-old women. The reason I conducted this survey is to contextualise the statistics we keep getting shoved in our faces in the media. They’re just numbers when you hear them on the news; it’s similar to the coronavirus figures earlier in the pandemic: until you know someone, or it affects close to you the numbers don’t mean much.

So, this survey was about how safe women feel in society, these numbers are people you know or are connected to through school, family or friends. These aren’t just numbers, they’re women, they mean something.

Here are the results:

Have you ever changed your behaviour on a mode of transport because of a man?

Yes- 81.5% (88 women)

No-11.1% (12 women)

Maybe-7.4% (8 women)

Have you ever been made to feel uncomfortable on a mode of transport because of a man?

Yes- 83.3% (90 women)

No-13.9% (15 women)

Maybe-2.8% (3 women)

Have you ever felt unsafe on your journey home, walking, bus etc because of a man?

Yes- 93.5% (101 women)

No-5.6%  (6 women)

Maybe-0.9% (1 woman)

Have you ever changed your route home because you feel unsafe because of a man?

Yes- 63% (68 women)

No-26.9%  (29 women)

Maybe-10.2% (11 women)

Have you ever felt intimidated by a man?

Yes- 90.7% (98 women)

No-2.8%  (3 women)

Maybe-6.5% (7 women)

Would you feel safe to exercise in the evening outside?

Yes- 16.7% (15 women)

No-69.4%  (75 women)

Maybe-13.9% (18 women)

Would you feel safe to go on a walk in the evening?

Yes- 14.8% (16 women)

No-58.3%  (63 women)

Maybe-26.9% (29 women)

Have you ever faked being on your phone to avoid an uncomfortable situation with a man?

Yes- 86.1% (93 women)

No-11.1%  (12 women)

Maybe-2.8% (3 women)

Have you ever pretended you were not home alone if a man called or knocked on you door?

Yes- 52.8% (57 women)

No-42.6%  (46 women)

Maybe-4.6% (5 women)

Have you ever changed your choice of outfit because of the potential consequences from a man?

Yes- 71.3% (77 women)

No-22.2%  (24 women)

Maybe-6.5% (7 women)

Please help with the movement and don’t hold it back, every time you make a “woman in the kitchen” joke or other sexist “jokes” you become part of the problem. Help to make women more respected, feel safer and more equal, you can help regardless of your age, race or gender.

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