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Keeping Safe: How Sarah Everard’s Death Changed Us

Having been brought up to trust the police this is a very very sad state of affairs.

The premeditation of the plain clothes policeman gives an air of fear for women trusting authority.

I had an honest and frank discussion about this subject with my friends and we tried to work out what could possibly motivate this man to behave in this way. After looking at all the angles, we realised… It’s not about the sex is it? It’s about the power, the control and the domination.

This is not “boys will be boys”, the man’s nickname was “The Rapist” amongst his female POLICE work colleagues. And he had not only one but TWO indecent exposure allegations which were not investigated, one just months before murdering Sarah.

It would appear he was known to have been an unsavoury character so why was he still in the police force? More importantly why was his behaviour covered up?

After my heartbreaking chat with my mates… I wondered if more women had changed their routines for themselves or their children as a result of this horrible breach of trust from the police.

So I asked.

Have you changed your own behaviour after hearing what happened to Sarah Everard?

In short.. yes. I have sat down with all three of my children, two girls and a boy. Have given both girls rape alarms which they carry in their bags. They also have whistles. My son is too young and never travels on his own but I will also give him one when the time comes. 

I have told them to never go with anyone, not even a policemen, without calling me first. They never walk anywhere alone, ever, always in pairs. Basically we try to live in London without fear, but we always take a taxi if we know we will be travelling alone. Expensive but that’s life at the moment. I put the fear in them and I don’t mind at all if it means they are alert at all times. 

Tina Hobley

I’ve definitely changed the way that I commute to and from work now, since the horrific case of Sarah Everard. I used to get public transport to and from the station, but now I drive to the station. I finish my radio show at 9 pm and I get back to the station at around 9:45 pm. It’s dark, it’s late.

I used to feel safe getting on public transport, because there were still other people around. But now I don’t, so I drive. In fact, that was the first change that I made, and I did it immediately, just to make myself feel more safe.

If I’m really being honest, I’ve never really trusted every single police officer that I’ve come across, because some have ulterior motives. And as we’ve seen with the Sarah Everard case, a police officer abused his power and status, and murdered a young innocent woman. And now one of his colleagues, has also been investigated for sexual assault.

I haven’t always trusted them and I trust them even less now. It’s really disappointing because who do we turn to for help? The people that are supposed to look after us and protect us are the ones now putting us in danger. Not ALL police, but it’s a scary time we live in right now.

Tinea Taylor

As women, we are programmed from a young age. I once worked in a pub and when I finished I would ran home, even though my home was about 500 yards away. Since Sarah, I no longer walk to work by myself in the dark!

Jenni Falconer

#MeToo

I have altered the way that I have been to work lately, I now drive to a tube station so that I can drive home and park right in front of my house as walking from the tube station now makes me think and it’s quite negative! I’ve also told my daughter to drive right up to the front of the house, do not go to a policeman if asked and do not go out on your own at night. My younger daughter finishes work 11pm and I’ve told her so many times to not leave work alone.


How do we educate our children, boys and girls, to trust authority at a time like this? And how do we create safe conversation for our boys at a time like this? Imagine boys who are wrongfully blamed for being abusive, does this push them into a shell?

With that question in mind, I reached out to a cause that’s very close to my heart. The Female Lead is actively working to change the narrative and educate both girls AND boys.

“The Female Lead book profiles women from all walks of life; from politicians to artists, journalists to teachers, and engineers to campaigners. This is not a book about celebrities, though many of the subjects are well-known. These are women who have led their field, who have broken the mould to achieve, or who have inspired changes through relentless endeavour”

I remember when I first interviewed my dear friend Edwina Dunn founder of The Female Lead about this book. She said their ethos was: “to get these books into schools to not only highlight great girls who are going to become great women, but also to educate boys to embrace and respect girls”, I always remember Edwina stipulating this when I first interviewed her.

The Female Lead have donated 18.000 copes of our first book to schools and in November this year we will be launching our second book, which will also be gifted to schools and universities. These books tell the stories of women from all kinds of backgrounds, as a celebration of their achievements and diversity, showing young people all of the routes to success and fulfilment in life.  Any schools can nominate themselves for a book and we hope that boys will read it too, for it is essential to bring men along on the mission for equality and respect across genders. Our hope is that girls will see what they can be, and boys will truly understand women’s stories and their humanity, hopefully disrupting the objectifying representation of women that they may be consuming in other media. We Rise By Lifting Others is the title of our second book and speaks to our need for a collective effort to make positive change in the world. Not just for women, but for everyone.

Bea Appleby
Editor
The Female Lead

Educating boys will, hopefully, reduce the amount of men who think the way this policeman did. How do we get our children to trust authority, and why is it the woman who always has to take precautions? Would love to have a conversation with you about this – Let’s talk this out ….. hit me up on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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