On March 3rd 33 year-old Sarah Everard went missing from her walk home from a friend’s house in London. She walked home on a well lit street, wore bright clothes, and talked with her boyfriend on the way, but she was still murdered. Her murderer was Wayne Couzens, an active police officer for the London Metropolitan Police. Everand’s body was discovered March 12.
Everand’s death sparked protest and vigils across the country that were violently broken up by police for “breaking Covid-19 guidelines”. This reaction from the police outraged people all over the world. Women are now sharing their personal stories of surviving violence from men. An example of this is the “97 Percent” trend on TikTok. This trend references a study conducted by the United Nations that showed that 97% of women aged 18-24 in the United Kingdom experienced sexual harassment in public. With this trend women are sharing their experience(s) that made them join the 97%.
It’s not only the response of the police that is very scary but also the response of men. They say how women shouldn’t walk alone. They say how we should dress modestly. They put up their hands and say “not all men” but never hold other men accountable. They just laugh off weird jokes that their friends make about women. It’s not all men who are committing these atrocities but all men excuse it. “Not all men but almost all women” is what women are saying on TikTok.
Things won’t be okay until all women can walk down the street without the fear of sexual harrassment or murder. Until all women can walk at night or go on runs alone. Until police can do their actual job descriptions that include protecting and serving. Protect and serve us, the people. Our society has let harassers off the hook for far too long and it’s about time the justice system holds them accountable for their actions. First it’s hollering at girls in the streets, then it’s following them home, then it’s murdering them. If almost every woman has a story of being made uncomfortable by a man, or fearing for their lives then things need to change, our lives are on the line.