Sue Hill, a retired detective’s safety advice for women has sparked outrage in the United Kingdom (UK)
Hill advised women to make sure they don comfy shoes while out at night in case they need to run from attackers.
“Be aware of your surroundings, be alert,” she said. “Make sure that you’re wearing shoes that you can run away if need be.”
“Also take your headphones out — you can hear things better. Keep looking over your shoulder.”
“If you’ve had a few drinks you’re more vulnerable because you’re more likely to take a few more risks:”
Hill appeared on UK breakfast show This Morning in the aftermath of Sarah Everard’s disappearance after walking home in London.
Hill did go on to say that; “It’s not women’s responsibility to keep themselves safe. They should be able to walk out there, of course they should.”
“But we all know they can be more vulnerable if you’re out and about late at night.”
Hill’s advice was met by a torrent of outrage from viewers.
One tweeted: “If I am walking the street alone I should not be a target. I will not just wear trainers just in case I need to run away!”
Another: “Hi #ThisMorning next time you bring someone onto the show to talk about women’s safety, could you make sure she focuses on teaching our sons to respect women instead of telling us women to wear trainers and take our headphones out at night #wearenottheproblem.”
Many women in the UK are expressing sadness and disgust, that they feel unsafe walking the streets of London, after the alleged murder of Everard.
Everard was last spotted at 9.30pm on March 3, as she made her way home from a friends house in south London.
PC Wayne Couzens, 48, has been arrested on suspicion of Sarah’s kidnapping and murder.
Police believe the elite protection officer had never previously met Everard, and described the violent outcome as a ‘stranger attack’ police sources have told The Times.
Police believed he had murdered her, after human remains were found in woodland outside of London. however Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has not yet confirmed if the remains belonged to Everard.
An unnamed woman has also come forward and revealed that she was sexually assaulted on the same night and in the same area that Everard disappeared.
The woman said she felt a “creeping sickness in my stomach” after seeing missing posters for Everard.
Writing in the Evening Standard the woman said she had since reported the attack she endured to the police.
“Whether or not it was helpful in their investigations, or was linked to Sarah’s disappearance, I do not know;” she wrote.
“But what it does tell me is that on one evening, in one small residential corner of a city, more than one woman was targeted by an attacker.”
She revealed that she had been left feeling “shocked but not surprised” by the sexual assault. However she also shared that she had been horrified seeing other women take to social media to share their own violent experiences at the hands of men.
“Did those victims, also like I did, calmly accept their experience as just part of being a woman,” she wrote.
“How many other women experienced something that evening and felt safer staying silent? Could it have been anyone of us? Had I in fact had the luckiest escape of my life? It’s a thought I find absurd and terrifying in equal measure.”
Many women are angered that the onus has been put onto them to take responsibility for their own safety.
“The disappearance of Sarah and the absolute tragedy around that has really touched a nerve with a lot of women,” stated Anna Birley one of the organizers of a planned Reclaim These Streets vigil in honor of Everard and demanding change.
“We feel really angry, that it’s an expectation put on women that we need to change our behavior to stay safe. The problem isn’t women, the problem is that women aren’t safe on our streets.”
The vigil will be held on Saturday and will include a minute’s silence.
Another solution to control violence against women was put forward by Green Party peer Jenny Jones in the House of Lords. She suggested that a curfew should be put on men, rather than women being told to change their behaviors to avoid the violence men impose.
“I would argue that at the next opportunity for any bill that is appropriate, I might actually put in an amendment to create a curfew for men on the streets after 6.00pm, which I feel would make women a lot safer, and discrimination of all kinds would be lessened,” she said.
Jess Phillips, Labour’s shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, read out in the House of Commons the names of all 118 women murdered by men in the United Kingdom last year.
Jess Phillips MP reads the names of the women killed in the UK in the last year, where a man has been convicted or charged as the main perpetrator— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) March 11, 2021
It takes her more than four minutes https://t.co/LV5vCq3GoA pic.twitter.com/qeKR1ImXIo
A survey conducted on UN women this week found that 97 per cent of young women in the UK reported being sexually harassed, while 80 per cent said they have experienced sexual harassment in public spaces.
The sexual harassment reported by more than 1000 women aged between 18 to 24 that were polled, included being groped, followed and coerced into sexual activity.
Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic , Domestic abuse against women all over the world has skyrocketed, with the the UK’s national domestic abuse hotline alone seeing a 34 per cent rise in calls between April and December last year in comparison to the same time period the previous year.
The UK Labour leader, Keir Starmer has stated that; ” The case of Sarah Everard has to be a turning point for how violence against women and girls is dealt with.”
“We need to listen to women on this, but men also have to understand and speak out on this, because we need to be as clear and as confident and as strong as we can about the need for change.”