'No one here is claiming that all men are rapists and killers'

Sarah Everard has been missing for a week and the police investigation into her disappearance has prompted a national...

Sarah Everard has been missing for a week and the police investigation into her disappearance has prompted a national discussion - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Women across Ipswich have spoken up about their collective fear of walking home alone as it is confirmed that human remains found in Kent are those of missing Sarah Everard.

The case has sent shock waves through the nation but also drawn attention to the fear that so many women have of walking alone, or getting a taxi alone, because of predatory behaviour they have experienced in the past.

In fact, a new study has shown that  97% of women aged 18-24 have been sexually harassed in their lifetimes - and now they are speaking out about it to make others, particularly men, know how their actions make them feel. 

Even those who do not act in a predatory manner are being urged to consider how their actions could be perceived by a woman who already feels vulnerable - as highlighted by social media assistant Amy Peckham-Driver.

Many women are saying 'we could all be Sarah' in response to her disappearance from Clapham

Many women are saying 'we could all be Sarah' in response to her disappearance from Clapham - Credit: PA Media

Reacting to Amy's story, Charlotte Jarvis said on Facebook: "This is not an 'anti men' post. It is a frustrated response to the inevitable and defensive response by many men who feel they are being 'tarred with the same brush' as the perpetrator of this crime.

"No one here is claiming that all men are rapists and killers. No one here is claiming that women are not capable and have been convicted of such crimes.

"But it is simple numbers, therefore an irrefutable fact that more women come to grief at the hands of men than vice versa. And most women know this."

Several readers have said they too worry about being alone in a car with a man, carry nail scissors for protection, plan their routes in advance and text someone to say they got home safely — things most men do not even have to consider doing.

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One woman referenced the UN Women UK poll revealing damning statistics of abuse and said: "We shouldn’t have to argue with anyone to get them onside, women are still being attacked at a much higher rate than men. Yes other crimes happen but this is not the discussion for right now.

"Right now we need to address the elephant that’s been lurking for much too long in this room, the one that means we have to teach our daughters to worry and fear."

Dan Beaumont remembered the Steve Wright murders which resulted in the deaths of five women in Ipswich and said: "The fear I've known in women in this town has never left since a Mr Wright left many families in turmoil and scarred since.

"It is sad times indeed dark times when no one can walk home safely in a society built in civilised thinking."

Ben Wiles agreed and said: "Men we have a responsibility to do much better and call each other out on bad behaviour, if you don’t think this is all men then you are part of the problem, it’s 2021 the pub and locker room talk needs to end, it’s not longer 'protect your daughter' it’s 'educate your son' time."

However some readers struggled to understand the issue from a female perspective, disagreeing entirely with the fact the discussion is being had at a national level.

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