Before we begin, I want to include a trigger warning. This article contains topics of sexual assault, rape, kidnapping and brief mention of murder.
On March 3rd, 2021, Sarah Everard was walking home from a friends house in London when she disappeared. Later, news broke that Sarah’s body was found in a wooded area 50 miles away from her abduction site and currently officer Wayne Couzens was charged with kidnapping and murder. This event sparked a wave of emotions and women everywhere are speaking out about how unsafe we feel when doing simple things like walking home, and how tired we are of being terrified of men. In response, there’s been a wave of men saying “well not all men do that.”
Stop. Saying. This.
1 in 6 women have been a victim of rape. A study in the UK showed that 97% of women have experienced a form of sexual assault. NINETY SEVEN PERCENT. I can’t think of a single woman in my life that hasn’t felt threatened by a man, physically or sexually. So many women are coming forward about abuse in their relationships, saying things like
“i said no and he wouldn’t stop asking so I just gave in”
“he thought that by being my boyfriend, he had permission to my body whenever.”
Being groped at a party.
In high school, boys walking through the halls and slapping the girls’ butts as a “joke”
I am so sick of this being normalized for men to the point the only response they can gather is “not all men”. What do you gain from saying that to a victim? Or to any woman? Are we just supposed to trust that you’re not like “these” men? Do you trust that a bee won’t sting you? Do you walk up to a docile snake with no issue because you trust that it won’t bite you? If I gave you five boxes of apple juice but told you one was filled with urine, would you drink them all no problem?
No, because you understand the possibility of danger. You understand that you have to be cautious. When a victim speaks out and a man responds “well I’m not like that” you are shifting focus from what the victim is saying and placing it on how you should be “praised” for not being a predator. We, as women, have a right to be terrified of men. There are far too many cases where women are threatened, stalked, abused and assaulted because she said no to a man.
In 2019, my friend had been threatened by a man for refusing to send naked pictures of herself. He stalked her social media, found where she lived and threatened to show up to her house if she didn’t do it.
In 2020, after I had opened up to someone I was interested in about my own history of assault, he threatened to show up to my school if I didn’t respond to his messages.
I’m tired of not being able to leave my room at night. I’m tired of not being able to listen to music through my headphones because I have to be hyper aware of my surroundings. I’m tired of having to anxiously share my location with everyone I’m close to when I get in an Uber. I’m tired of my mom being worried every time she hears something on the news. I’m tired of listening to rape jokes and being ridiculed when I don’t laugh because “it’s just a joke”. I’m tired of having to go into a building when a man is walking behind me. I’m tired of my abuse being minimized because “not all men” assault women. I’m tired of having to constantly explain why this refusal to educate and spread awareness is damaging.
We deserve better. We deserve to feel safe and respected, and we deserve to have our voices heard.
Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1 (800) 799-7233
Sexual Assault Hotline: 1 (800) 656-4673