• Cindy Martinez

97% of Women get Sexually Assaulted in the U.K.

As many of you know, a shocking statistic came out on March 10 saying that 97% of women aged 18-24 have been sexually harassed in the United Kingdom. Although this statistic does not pertain to the United States I do not doubt that our percentage is that far off. As a young woman who is terrified to leave my house at any hour of the day because I'm scared of the possibility of getting catcalled, stared at, or even assaulted, I was not very surprised by this statistic when I should have been. This percent is disgusting and more than just shocking.

As this statistic gained more attention social media began to do its thing. Multiple people around the world came out and shared their support while others not so much. A hashtag saying not all men (#notallmen) also gained popularity. At first I wasn't sure what it meant but I soon found out that it was being used to “unintentionally” rebuttal the statistic and say that not all men are the problem, some men are “good.” This made my blood boil. Women were finally getting the attention they deserved and then men went ahead and made it all about themselves. The problem about this is that of course not all men harass women but that's not what this is about. Men are making this statistic about themselves when they should take a step back and realize that this is about the women who have to deal with burdens because of their gender for the rest of their lives. I fully understand that men are also harassed and assaulted but spreading this hashtag is completely defeating the purpose of the opportunity for women to receive the attention they deserve. Sure not all men but literally almost every woman.

Most of this attention was brought on by an extremely popular app, TikTok. I personally feel that TikTok can be a great app for not only entertainment but education as well. However, during the time this statistic was released, multiple people went on TikToks to make insensitive comments implying that the women enjoyed being harassed or that it was their fault. Once again this was absolutely repulsive to me. As someone who has dealt with inappropriate behavior from men like this before, I cannot even begin to fathom why anyone could ever make comments like these especially over an issue so serious.

All our lives women are made to feel guilty for the things that happen to them. On March 3, Sarah Everard disappeared in South London while walking home in the evening. Everard was announced dead and a police officer was then charged for the crime. Who are we meant to trust if even a man of the law was able to cause harm? This shouldn't even be an issue. Women are always in jeopardy. After this incident police publicized a statement warning all women to not go out past dark. This left me speechless. Women are not the issue so why are they dealing with the consequences. I don't understand how people in power are just watching this happen and not doing anything to prevent it. I'm tired of men invalidating women's experiences when they have no right to speak in a situation they have never been in.

It’s genuinely tiring that parents have to teach their daughters to protect themselves from men and the world around them when we should honestly be educating the boys. Why do I have to watch what I wear and how I present myself to prevent danger from coming my way? Why do I need to learn how to use pepper spray to be able to defend myself if a man comes my way? Why do we have to be cautious when walking alone? It's not fair to women and the generations of women to come. Why can't men stand up and take responsibility for their actions and realize that they are the problem? When they allow sexist jokes, catcalling, and objectification to slide they become a part of the problem. In order to make change men have to work alongside women and demonstrate their support to end this terror.

Sources:

https://mashable.com/article/sexual-harassment-un-women-uk/

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/17/world/europe/sarah-everard-uk.html


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