Voices

#IWalkWithWomen: Six months on from the murder of Sarah Everard

Grazia research reveals that half of UK women still feel unsafe on the streets.

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director

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It is six months since the murder of Sarah Everard placed women’s safety at the top of the media agenda, yet research suggests little has changed. 

According to Grazia magazine, almost half (48%) of women do not feel safe walking the streets. 

This is despite the fact that 77% of both men and women agree that the tragedy was a defining moment in terms of the conversation around women and safety. While 37% of men have thought about or researched ways to make women feel safer on the streets since Everard’s tragic death. 

Despite this drive for change in the last six months, 48% of women have felt nervous about someone walking behind them, 29% have been worried about someone driving slowly past them, and over a quarter (26%) have received unwanted male attention from a stranger.

As many as 23% have felt frightened while at home alone and 21% have felt threatened while walking outside at night.

The nationwide survey of 2,000 men and women also revealed as many as one in five women (22%) have been wolf whistled at during the last six months, while 21% have been cat called. 

Meanwhile, 2% have found themselves being approached by someone in the street, despite giving no indication that they wished to have a conversation. 17% have felt threatened on the street in broad daylight, while one in ten women (12%) have received sexist abuse from a stranger.

The research has been carried out in partnership with GoFundMe who have created a centralised hub for those who want to take action and help charities working to end male violence. 

Hattie Brett, editor of Grazia, explained: “Six months on, while it’s positive to see men actively wanting to be part of this conversation and considering ways to make women feel safer, the statistics around women’s actual experiences are still shocking. No one should feel unsafe walking home. Whilst conversation continues to be crucial, we now call on the authorities to listen to the groundswell of support for systemic change that will make women safer.

She continued: “Earlier this year we united with other platforms across our parent company Bauer Media to launch the #IWalkWithWomen initiative, hosting a panel discussion focused on women’s safety. It felt vital to ignite a conversation on how to tackle violence against women, given the outpouring of emotion and anger from women across the UK following Sarah Everard’s tragic death.” 

The creative industries have put its efforts into ending male violence against women. Sophia Johnson and Sophie Szilady, a creative team at The Brooklyn Brothers, recently shared how they turned to creativity to create the space and the words to confront violence against women.

While the Get Home Safe campaign saw 150 businesses from across the advertising and media sector write to the government to request that taxis employees take home from work before 9pm are viewed as a legitimate business expense. 

To donate to the #IWalkWithWomen initiative please click here.