With the horrible, tragic case of Grace Millane in the news, we’ve been talking a lot about what women do – and what we shouldn’t have to – to be safe in our country. So I wrote on Twitter:
My mum wants me to text her when I’ve gotten on the bus. My coworker says she’ll stay up until I let her know I’m home safe when we share a taxi. I message my partner to say where I am and what time I expect to be home when I go out.
I make eye contact with security cameras. I still carry my keys between my fingers and find excuses to turn my head when someone’s walking behind me so they don’t realise I’m looking at them and listen to hear if they speed up when I speed up.
I’m nearly 35 and I’ve spent my life knowing that these things are, at the same time, what I must do to keep safe, yet will not keep me safe. That I’m considered ~crazy~ for doing them and yet will be asked why I didn’t when something happens.
I have no pithy call to action tonight, just a lot of sadness.
And many people responded, women and men. I wanted to record those responses here.
I did this just two nights ago texting my husband to tell him I had to walk 5 minutes alone to my car after an event. Held my keys in my hand. Let him know when I’d made it safely.
I do all of these things regularly.
My daughter rings me and talks to me as she walks to her car.
I always ring my husband and he talks to me until I am in the car.
Currently awake waiting for wifes next location update. Tautoko.
I do exactly the same things.
It’s better to hold your keys like you would a knife than have them between your fingers. Its what I do
I’m 60 and the streets are no safer for women than they were when I was in my teens and the police still tell women how to stay safe and to watch out for each other, rather than direct a campaign at the men who attack women, and tell their mates to watch out and stop them.
I still do these things. I was taught them in my late teens . I am over 60 . I should feel safe. I still think zbout where and how I park the car. So it is lit at night . That I am not trapped between the car and a wall or fence when I open the door .
That the house is completely locked at night. That the curtains are drawn
Same here, always phone hubby when I leave work on a late shift, speak to him until I get on the bus and always have my phone ready and my keys out! Hate it! I’d love the freedom to go running after work in the dark but it’s just not safe…how is that right or fair?
These things are so ingrained that I didn’t actually even realise I do them, but I do. And you’re right, these actions are unlikely to stop me being hurt by someone with intent. I’m over it not being understood that women experience this world in a different way to men. It sucks.
I do this with my mum as well – no matter what time of night it is, she’ll always answer too.
There’s an effect on freedom. My wife calls when she’s waiting at the bus stop late at night… I worry about my female flat mate who works late in the city centre and walks home. They’ve very different lenses to experiencing public life than mine and it ain’t right.
How fucking sick is this. Our intimate partners know we will call but it isn’t something we discuss.