Why we should all be united in anger over women's safety

I was talking to someone this week when conversation turned to Sarah Everard and female safety. Because of what they told me, it is a conversation I have replayed constantly since.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 6:00 am
Flowers and messages on Devonshire Green in Sheffield after A ˜Reclaim Sheffield Streets™ vigil to the tragic disappearance of Sarah Everard was cancelled on Saturday. Picture: Chris Etchells

Apart from being flashed as a teenager and occasionally randomly shouted at, I have not experienced the horrifying things that women in Sheffield and up and down the country have been sharing online since Sarah’s death.

Examples of these incidents include women being followed and harassed. Staying at home because they don’t feel safe to go out at night. Changing their behaviour, their route home. Being attacked.

The woman I was talking to had experienced something sickening. They had been grabbed and sexually assaulted out of the blue by a stranger on a night out in Sheffield. They left immediately while the perpetrator presumably carried on with their evening without a care.

That women cannot go about their normal business without fear in 2021, when humanity has evolved to send a space mission to Mars and come up with a vaccine for a new deadly virus in less than a year, is unbelievable.

It is fundamentally unjust and it is happening, every day, maybe not to me and maybe not to you, but to women, friends, relatives, colleagues, in the future it could be our daughters.

That is why we all need to not just care about it, but be angry about it, and demand change now.

You can read Carol Stewart’s thoughts on how this can be achieved on page 20, and see what our cartoonist thinks of the Government’s immediate steps aimed at improving female safety on page 16.

A different kind of safety is also in focus in this week’s Telegraph.

Calls for a safe crossing on Abbey Lane, close to Ecclesall Woods, have attracted more than 5,000 signatures and will be taken to Sheffield Council this month. Let’s hope this issue gets resolved soon. See page 12.