If you’ve been on the internet over the past week, you will have noticed that a woman, Sarah Everard went missing as she walked home in south London.
The Police notified the public on last Wednesday, that a body had been found in woodlands in Kent. Unfortunately, the body has since been identified as Sarah – who sadly did not make it home despite having walked down a well-lit main road at around 21:00 GMT.
Shortly after this story was released by the media, a disturbing statistic from a study run by “UN Women UK” showed that 97% of women aged 18 to 24 in the UK have been sexually assaulted and 70% of women of all ages have also endured sexual assault. Of course, what kind of movement would be this if swarms of men in disbelief didn’t take to social media, to share their crude thoughts.
One Instagram user commented: “C’mon lads, we can do better and raise it to 100%”
And another said: “But when is it just being too sensitive?”
This type of thinking is what can lead to someone being sexually assaulted, and a man thinking his actions were completely justified.
The same study also highlighted that only 4% of women who took part in the study said they had reported the incidents whereas 45% of women said they didn’t believe reporting the incident would help change anything. ANOTHER – yes, another – shocking statement revealed that “every ten minutes, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence”.
A wave of strong, powerful women have taken to platforms such as Twitter to share their experiences with sexual assault, and tips on how they have dealt with it.
Once again, women’s voices are being silenced by pathetic and weak men who cannot stand to have the limelight taken from them, even for just a second. #notallmen began to trend on Twitter on Thursday 11th of March. Those using this hashtag are claiming that it’s women’s fault for getting themselves in these situations and that not all men should be painted with the same brush.
Whether a man has sexually assaulted a woman or not, they are not exempt from being held accountable. Now of course, not all men are predators, but a lot of men have witnessed a sexual assault and done nothing. This is the exact issue women are trying to raise.
If one man, educated his friends, family members and colleagues on sexual assault and ways men can become more respectful to women, the 97% figure is likely to drop.
One Twitter user said: “Embarrassed to be a Male and be hearing all these horror stories that women have to go through, yeah it isn’t “all men” but “all men” can help put a stop to it instead of sitting silently because it doesn’t affect you.”
Instead of victim blaming and saying they were “lead on”, these men should take responsibility for their actions and educate themselves on what consent actually is. It doesn’t just come in the form of saying “no”. It can be body language, or “please stop”, “I’m uncomfortable” and many other obvious signs.
Now this goes without saying, but men do get sexually assaulted too. But this figure does not relate to these men and this issue is about women’s struggles. Men need to stop blaming others for their actions. Full stop.
This article may seem repetitive, but it was written to be like that. Women are repetitively and constantly looking for ways to feel safe in the streets, taxis, nightclubs, work spaces, schools, hospitals, care homes, parks, buses, trains, the list is endless.
One Twitter user shared what they do to make themselves feel safer in public spaces and public transport. They said: “Just told Ben I always rip out and leave a single strand of hair in every taxi I get in so it could potentially be used as evidence if anything were to happen, and he couldn’t believe it. On today’s episode of things, I do as a woman that I’ve never thought twice about.”
There were a few replies to this tweet that deserve to be noticed for how disrespectful they were.
“I’ve read some bull in my time, but that’s right up there with the best of it. Tell us something else that doesn’t happen.”
“Do you come with a shovel”
#notallmen needs to become #menstilldontunderstand because according to their recent twitter antics, a change towards sexual assault is still a long way away. And also, they clearly STILL don’t understand.
Below, are some tweets that I believe need to shared.