No, not all men are predators. But all women have experienced predatory behaviour.

Police investigate the disappearance of Sarah Everard
Sophia Purdy-Moore

A serving Metropolitan Police officer has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the disappearance of 33-year-old Sarah Everard. She was last seen in Clapham, south London on 3 March. Police say they have found what appears to be “human remains” in an area of woodland in Kent, though they have not confirmed an identity. Women took to Twitter to send their love and solidarity to Everard’s friends and family, share their experiences of harassment and assault, and vent their frustrations at advice telling women to “be careful and not go out alone”.

Women share their experiences of harassment and assault

Women took to Twitter to hit out against victim-blaming claims that Everard’s decision to walk home alone was foolish, and to share their experiences of harassment and assault while going about their daily business. Georgia O’Brien shared her experience of being attacked in broad daylight:

Helena Wadia shared her traumatic story of sexual assault, saying that perhaps if men saw consequences for their actions more frequently, they may feel less emboldened to brazenly attack women. According to figures from July 2020, a survivor reporting rape has a one in 70 chance of the case being charged:

Bella Sankey shared her experience of being assaulted “in broad daylight”:

Ash Sakar shared:

Rosamund Urwin added:

Sharing her fears about going for a nighttime run, Olivia Alabaster concluded, “enjoy the streets, men, it’s still very much your world”:

Putting the onus on women

Highlighting that trans women are at greater risk of gendered violence, another user highlighted that Everard did everything women are “supposed” to do when walking alone:

Aidan Milan highlighted just how ridiculous advice for women to “be careful and not go out alone” is:

Joanne Harris added:

Sophie Gallagher shared the familiar ‘rules’ of walking while being a woman:

Harriet Johnson echoed this, saying:

Another user highlighted the normalisation of women’s hyper-vigilance while going about their daily business:

Chanté Joseph shared the ever-present “fear of death and violence” that women feel when walking home at night:

Who polices the police?

Rossalyn Warren shared a reminder that “this is the same Met police who still employ officers who took selfies next to two murdered women in a park last year”:

Hatti Rex shared:

Kelechi Okafor added:

Megan Nolan hit out against the “cloth eared” response of increasing police presence to help women and girls feel “safe on the streets of London”:

Jenny Stevens shared her traumatic experience of assault, adding that “the police did nothing”:

Harriet Marsden shared that she would “never report a rape or assault to the police”:

According to data from the Office of National Statistics, only 17% of sexual violence and abuse survivors decide to tell the police. Seeing these accounts of police negligence and abuse, it’s no wonder that so few women feel safe to seek help from the police.

#NotAllMen

In response to the defensive #NotAllMen hashtag, Jameela Jamil stated:

Meanwhile, well-meaning men took to Twitter to ask what they can do to make feel women feel safer. Diyora Shadijanova responded, highlighting that individual men aren’t the problem. The problem is a patriarchal society which needs root and branch transformation:

Moya Lothian-Mclean advised:

Reclaim These Streets is holding a vigil for women threatened on the streets at Clapham Common on 13 March:

In the UK, a man kills a woman every three days. Women sharing their experiences of assault, harassment, and victim-blaming demonstrates the extent to which all forms of violence against women are normalised in society. The police and government should be protecting women by addressing and tackling the patriarchal norms that perpetuate violence against women, not telling women to stay indoors. Victim-blaming responses to Everard’s disappearance are extremely disappointing, especially during the same week we celebrated international women’s day.

Featured image via This Morning/YouTube.

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  • Show Comments
    1. 92 Police Scotland officers were accused of sexual assault and rape in 2019. Only 1 to date has been prosecuted and that was from 2017. At this moment in time there are 362 PS officers with accusations against them for various crimes and less than 5% prosecuted. Police across Plague Island are out of control. Time for the citizens to take them to task, through Civil Litigation action as our Chumocracy won’t!

    2. I totally get the shitty state of affairs with regards women and their safety and agree wholeheartedly that attitudes need to change at a systemic level and for our society to make some huge changes about how we see gender and race and equity. To do this one has to bring the target ‘audience’ along with you, ridiculous statements like this headline certainly don’t help that happen. I am pretty progressive in my thinking with what most consider to be a left leaning, liberal philosophy and am quite well informed, I say this because the headline in this article is ridiculous and completely inaccurate. I have asked my wife when she ever felt the victim of a predator or predatory experience and she told me never, so with one sample the headline becomes untrue. This sort of headline might serve as ‘click-bait’ but it only alienates the people whose attitudes need to change, basically most men.

      1. Your wife is very fortunate to have you, but many, many other women are not so fortunate.
        A quick spin around my female friends is 100% yes, including myself.
        We feel that way, because we know that a perpetrator will never be punished.

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