It’s 23.20 on a Wednesday evening and I’m writing this from my warm and cosy bed. To the right of me is a mound of crumpled tissues and my face is red and blotchy after all the tears I’ve mopped away. I’m angry. I’m so fucking angry.
My Thoughts On The Sarah Everard Case
I’ve just read the statement from Sarah Everard’s Mum, the BBC news report from today’s hearing and now found myself watching the police interview of Wayne Couzens for the 3rd time. Adam has begged me to switch it off. He’s worried about me, he says. I can barely hear him. My ears are burning and my eyes are hazy. I pull back the playhead and play it again. Another round of Wayne Couzens denying he had seen Sarah Everard. “Liar, you fucking liar” I can’t help but shout out. It helps a bit. I want to throw my phone against the wall with rage. I’m so upset. I can’t stop crying. I’m crying for Sarah’s family.
Why My Upset Turned To Rage
I cannot fathom how her mum managed to write such a composed and strong statement, it’s so admirable. I’m crying for her sister who had to clear her flat knowing that her sister had been brutally raped and strangled. I’m crying for her friends, her boyfriend and her co-workers. For the friend whose house she’d just left. I cannot stop the tears. It soon turns to rage. Rage for all the times I’ve had to change my route due to the worry for my own safety. Rage for all the taxis I’ve had to get when I wanted that fare money for extra drinks. Rage that I walk with my car keys wrapped between my fingers ready to fight back. Rage for all the time I’ve walked down a dark street holding my breath and praying to a god I don’t believe in that I’ll get to the end safely. Rage for all the times I’ve been grabbed and felt up in bars and for just keeping my mouth shut cos it’s not worth it. Rage for all the inappropriate comments made to me. Rage for all the outfits I’ve chosen not to wear because some men can’t control themselves. Rage for the unwanted sexual comments. So much fucking rage.
Women grow up getting that speech from their mums. Don’t walk alone at night, stick to main roads, don’t wear anything too revealing and the best one yet, if anything happens to you, try and find a police officer. Kinda reminds me of going to church as a kid you know!? Don’t know why you’re there, don’t understand it, you know it doesn’t feel right but you know you shouldn’t question it. It’s the same vibe. Shame on the men who take advantage of us.
It’s Not All Men
This isn’t an ‘I hate men’ post. Not at all. So before any men reading this start to get offended by what I’m saying, this is about some men. A certain type of man. A type that there sadly seems to be a great number of. And while I’m writing this and clarifying the type of man this is referring to, I’m conscious of the fact that I shouldn’t really feel the need to. It’s not about you or your ego or how you’re perceived, it’s about the women. Violence against women. Yes, it’s not ALL men we’re speaking about but for us women, it could be ANY man that attacks us.
Did you know one woman is killed every 3 days in this country? British crime surveys show that at least 1 in 4 women experience rape or a sexual assault at some point in their life. Let’s stop telling women what to do to stop them getting attacked. Our behaviour is not the problem. It’s men’s behaviour that is the problem. And while we’re there, let’s call it by its correct name. Not violence against women. It’s male violence. Em Clarkson is my new person on Instagram, she speaks about this alot. Violence aganist women. It’s rare to find celebs and influecers that speak their true thoughts about this and I admire her, for speaking up, for not being afraid to possibly upset people with her views and for sharing
I very rarely walk on my own through Liverpool City Centre but when I do, I find myself making snap judgements of men. ‘Does he look safe enough to walk past‘, ‘I wonder if he’ll attack me‘. I mentally recite an outfit description at least 3 times after seeing a bloke. ‘Dark hair, approx 5’10” blue jacket, white t-shirt, jeans and Adidas trainers‘ before I feel safe and then I instantly dismiss, trying to clear space in my mind before seeing the next man. I find myself mentally apologising to men that are innocently walking down the street who haven’t attacked me. Apologising for thinking they could possibly be a rapist. It’s exhausting but it’s what women do to feel safe.
I know in Sarah Everard’s case that her rapist and murderer, Couzens, wasn’t your usual lad off the street. He was a police officer. But it happens from men of all walks of life. I’ve never had much faith in the police. After this, I can’t say that I have any faith in them whatsoever.
My Final Thoughts
It’s nearly 00:20 so I need to wrap this up. It all went a bit west didn’t it? Sorry, I didn’t mean to. It’s the rage talking. And the fear. I’m fearful for my female friends, their kids, my family. All the women I know. I’m scared for us all. What a scary time to be a woman. Another woman was taken from us in the past week. Sabina. Another woman taken from the streets. Another victim of a gendered attack. Another woman who was walking home. In fact, as of today’s date, 80 more women have died in the UK by the hands of a man since Sarah’s death.
Stay safe and I’ll see you on the next one,
Statics from @ourstreetoursnow
Inspired by @em_clarkson