By Chloe Tempestoso
This blog piece is very different to my usually Project Middlesbrough work it’s about my experience of being a woman what I feel is wrong with society’s attitudes towards women’s safety, in regards to sexual harassment or sexual abuse rape,murder of women.
to my fellow women out there this is open letter to you in relation to the recent events in the last few months just how I been feeling about the whole situation, you course would know I am speaking about the tragic deaths of Sarah Everard most recently Sabina Nessa two women just simply walking who were tragically lost their lives.
We seen last week Sarah’s killer was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole meaning he will die in prison can only be some justice to the horrid crime the individual committed, yes, I will not be naming his name in this piece don’t even feel his worth any space. The Sentence can only give some level of comfort to Sarah’s family and women across the UK some justice for Sarah and knowing the monster will never be released from prison.
Question that’s on my mind is how a serving police offer was allowed to even do this, I know people will say you can’t stop someone doing something yes that’s very true even I admit. To hear there were reports a week before the murder it was reported he was accused of flashing to other women, how was this individual allowed to be still serving and keep his warrant card, something that is very questionable.
What’s even more sad to hear is people’s comments regarding the murders instead questioning why the killer would commit such a horrid crime, we seem to always blame the victims like somehow its their fault, they could have somehow helped stopped this from happening to themselves. I will give you an example Sabina Nessa murder first thing I heard people say was she was out alone that time of night really or London is not a safe place for a woman. The same with Sarah’s death I heard why she got in the car with him, or did she not question him first.
Suggesting somehow both women are partly at fault with what happened to them lets get this clear it doesn’t matter whether a woman is walking alone at 3 o’clock in the morning or midday in a crowd of people this should never have happened, blaming the victim is part of the issue with attitudes towards women I hear both genders make these comments I’m basically stating don’t blame the victim. Women should have the right to walk alone anywhere at any time without being stalked having sexual comments made towards them, be sexual assaulted raped or killed.
Sexual harassment now I’m going to be speaking from my own personal experiences how many times do you hear when a woman is raped or murdered, this a very rare doesn’t happen much I hear them type of comments all to often even about sexual harassment. I’m 26 years old I been subject to sexual harassment three times I am sure most women reading this have themselves experienced some form of sexual harassment its far too common today. Most people are totally unaware that being touched on the breasts, grabbed between the legs, or squeezed on the bottom could constitute as sexual assault many women see this behaviour as normal would never think to report it to the police. When I was younger going out first experiencing night life and adulthood on one or more occasions, I was subject to being touch in a private area without consent, thinking nothing of it remembering thinking it was acceptable behaviour it was part of lad culture, at the time I was only in my early 20s looking back wish I reacted differently I was not educated or ever told this was not okay behaviour. Today I feel this type of behaviour is still seen as acceptable by most people as seen as normal as just part of people being drunk, and the lad culture lets face the fact its not okay at all being touched in a private area without consent when I experienced this it was by three individuals I did not know.
I always been a very confident women in my youth and early adulthood you’re most probably wondering what I mean as in it would never bother me walking around my area alone in the evening or walking home from the bus stop after I finished work after a 8/9 o’clock finish, I never thought nothing of it. I would always have them comments made towards me should you be walking home alone at that time plenty of more, somehow making me feel I was committing some crime and doing something wrong. I always been a keen traveller took group trips gone solo being on flights alone let nothing stop me get in the way of travel goals, I again heard comments “you fly alone”you shouldn’t go to that country on your own your asking for trouble” always making me feel I done something wrong even other women telling me I’m brave for doing the things I do , I simply see it as enjoying my life and yes I am sensible of course there’s some places I will not travel to . I have the right as a women to walk home alone and travel alone without being harassed or sexual assaulted or attacked shouldn’t have even think about many women do because somebody else has urge to behaviour in a disgusting way towards me.
In regards to women being stopped by solo male police officer we heard the head of the police in London state women should flag a bus down if they felt unsafe about going in a car with male police officer or phone 999 to make sure there a police officer don’t even know what you can say to that advice except no women should have to feel that unsafe when in presence of a police officer , my message to the MET police is make sure your officers aren’t sexual monsters , we hear another officer in Sarah’s killers unit was convicted of rape this week , please make sure your putting the right people on the streets to protect us instead of making it our issue.
This is not an attack on men to any male readers this is not attack on you, I am not someone who believes that all men have these attitudes I know vast majority of men do not share these attitudes towards women.
We have so far to go as an society to change attitudes towards women and making women feel safe to live there lives freely without being subject to any form of abuse, my message to all the women out there don’t be afraid to live your life, it’s not fair for any of you to feel unsafe.
Let’s stop sexual abuse towards women, try changing attitudes by educating people, stop blaming women for sexual abuse.