On the 3rd March at around 9pm a woman called Sarah Everad left her friend’s house to walk home, she rang her boyfriend and spoke to him for about 15 minutes, that was the last time, that we know of that anyone had contact with her.
Reports are now coming in, that her remains have been found and a man has been arrested.
Why am I telling you this? because we need to have a conversation about this, over the weekend I saw comments about the fact she shouldn’t have walked home alone. This is the wrong mindset.
This case has hit hard with me and with a lot of other women, as far as we know Sarah did everything right, she was wearing bright colours, she walked in a lighted area. The simple fact is though, she had a right to walk home without fear of violence
The thing is as a woman I spend my life, trying not to get raped or attacked. The thing is, why is that on women? Should it not be, men should not rape.
Now, I am sure I will get well its not all men. Its not, I know amazing, kind, thoughtful men. But while its not all men It is always a man who rapes and thinks they have a right to a woman.
As a woman, I have been subjected to sexual harrassment, its not because I am the most beautiful woman out there, its baceuse a man has decided that they won’t take no for an answer. That my no is not as an important as their yes.
I should be able to go out into a street without fear of being attacked, but that is not the case for women. There have been cleverer people than myself who have explained this far better than I can do.
But the thing is, I have crossed over the road to avoid someone, I get my door keys out early if someone is behind me, I have made a phonecall to someone just because I felt uncomfortable, that someone was too close.
I have rescued a woman just by talking to her because a man wouldn’t take I am not interested as an answer and I have been rescued by women when I have been in that situation.
But its always on women to solve this, we get told not to go out late at night, not to wear certain clothes, not to drink too much, not to be on our own, when this could all be all solved by saying men should not attack and rape.
An example of this, is when we walk the dog late at night, myself and my partner share it. During the hottest nights, I am still getting myself in a big jumped and a hat while my partner goes out in shorts and a t-shirt. Why do I do this? Because I know its risky for a woman to be out late at night, so I try and hide that I am a woman. But its still a risk for me, as a woman and not my partner as a man
If you are reading this and are a man and thinking well I am not part of the problem, be honest with yourself, have you called out your male friends, when they have cat called, have you used the phrase well boys will be boys.
If you are reading this and are a woman, you are probably nodding your head.
I get into debates on the internet, I have received PMs threatening to rape me, I have had men contact my partner and tell him he needs to control me. This is not a unique situation to just me, this is any woman who stands up for themselves, who has a voice and uses it.
It is time that those amazing, kind and thoughtful men who are not part of the problem, become part of the solution by calling out those men close to them who don’t respect women, who excuse the behaviour by he’s a bit of a lad,
A woman should be able to walk in the streets without fear of being attacked.
My thoughts are with Sarah’s family and friends.