When Will it be Safe?

The other day my friend and I were doing a fun questionnaire and one of the questions was “what would be the first thing you would do if you woke up as the opposite sex?”. My friend, without a single moment’s hesitation, told me, “I would walk alone at night.” We both started laughing at that and she may have said it as a joke, but it is actually a serious thing. Growing up, I have always been told it is not safe to walk at night alone or drive alone anywhere. Society always talks about equality between men and womxn, but parents are okay with their sons walking home at night rather than their daughters. Nobody is worried about a boy getting hurt at night. This is an actual concern because other than getting told to not go out alone at night, girls themselves are scared.  I am scared to walk by myself at night even when I am living in one of the safest cities in the state. How sad is it that from a little child to an old adult, womxn still cannot feel safe to walk down the street?  Why can’t we as strong and independent womxn in 2021 still not feel safe to go out at night or feel scared to walk by ourselves? It is because we still hear tragic stories like Sarah Everad

Woman reading on windowsill with sunset in background Photo by Yuri Efremov from Unsplash     Sarah Everad was a 33 year old womxn who took all the precautionary steps; she called her boyfriend and let her know she was walking home from a friend’s house and she disappeared by 9:30pm. She was found murdered a week later by a police officer. A police officer whose first job is to protect citizens. This was an innocent girl who was going back home from a night of enjoyment never thinking that she cannot make it back home. Sarah is not the only girl. There are many cases in India, too, where it is absolutely not safe for girls to be alone at night or walk alone at night without having the fear of being murdered or raped brutally. It makes me so sad and angry that no matter how much civilization has progressed it is still not safe for girls to walk by themselves down the street. A  British survey shows that 32 percent of British womxn do not feel safe walking alone at night compared to 13 percent of men. When will it be safe for us to walk down a simple road, when will it be safe for us to just breathe the simple night air without being worried about getting kidnapped, raped, or murdered? 

Photo of young brunette woman wearing a backpack and walking down a street alone shot from behind Photo by Karel Rakovsky from Picjumbo     April 2021 is sexual assault awareness month and there has to be a change. Thousands of people in London including the Duchess of Cambridge paid their respects to Sarah and her family in a vigil where the police according to New York Times tried to disperse the protesters due to Covid 19 restrictions. There have been many cries and chants saying “Arrest your own!” or “Shame on You” or “Reclaim These Streets.” We can hold as many candle vigils and have many protests every time an incident like this occurs but it is still happening. There has to be a  real change and it has to happen right now. As the future generation, it is up to us to make a real change so that girls can feel safe to walk alone at night. 

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