Women’s advice to men on how they can help them feel safer walking at night

Last week, 33-year-old Sarah Everard went missing in South London causing the police to ask women to stay at home after dark.

A Met police officer – who was reportedly not on duty at the time – has been arrested in connection with her disappearance.

The case has sparked a conversation between the genders about safety.

A man posted on Twitter asking about how he could help women feel less anxious when alone on the streets – and women have responded with some top advice.

He wrote: "I live less than five minutes from where Sarah Everard went missing. Everyone is on high alert"

"Aside from giving as much space as possible on quieter streets and keeping face visible, is there anything else men can reasonably do to reduce the anxiety/spook factor?"

One woman replied: “If you're walking behind a woman, even at a distance, and it's dark, cross over to the other side of the road and walk there instead.

“I’ve had men do this a couple of times and it's like a huge weight lifted.”

While another added: "To be honest just knowing that more men (or people!) would intervene or help if they saw something happen would be such an reassurance.

“I live in South London and have been bothered, harassed by men – and taken a fall during runs too – nobody has ever noticed/helped in 15 yrs."

While a third noted: "Thank you Stuart. This really means a lot.

"One of my male friends told me that if he feels he might be walking near a scared woman, he pretends to be, or gets himself, on the phone having a normal conversation.

“Silent people are more frightening than hearing someone talking".

Another social media user said: "Thank you for this tweet, a lot of us needed to see this today.

“I would add that if a female friend asks for you to accompany them on what you would normally consider a safe journey, never judge them or tell them they're being dramatic.

“Trust me, we wish we could go alone!"

Some women were angry that the police asked women to stay at home.

Farah Benis, founder of Catcalls of London and FFA Security Group, told Tyla that it is “archaic nonsense” to expect women to change their behaviour or avoid walking alone.

She said: "It is absolutely not fair to put the onus onto women rather than men to protect themselves.

“We have been doing this for years already and yet, women are still subject to harassment and violence every single day, all around the world."

While Maya and Gemma Tutton, founders of Our Streets Now, added: "Women should feel safe and be safe in public space, no matter the time of day.

“This is our fundamental human right.

"Individually, there is nothing women and marginalised genders can do to ensure that they are safe.

“We are harassed whatever we wear and wherever we go".

Follow Catcalls Of London here, and support Our Streets Now's campaign to make street harassment illegal, here.

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