Safety? Is it an illusion?

So, woke up this morning to the horrific news of Jill Meagher in Melbourne. Police are calling it a “a genuinely random, opportunistic attack”[1] Immediately there are calls for women to partake in self-defense courses and even horribly insensitive suggestions that Jill should’ve accepted the offer of being “walked home” by her male colleague.

Excuse me?!

Do we really live in a world where women cannot walk 5 min alone without a good strong male around to help them out? I think Catherine Deveny said it best in her blog post[2]:

Don’t tell me not to walk alone at night. Tell people not to rape and kill.

This has been an issue that has angered me for quite a while. I like to exercise, going for bike rides or runs by myself. And yet, I don’t feel safe doing it in my own neighbourhood when it starts to get dark. So I have to arrange my entire day so that I have time to do what I enjoy doing before it gets dark!

Women all round the developed world do this (don’t even get me started on the women who DON’T live in our so-called developed world!) and don’t think any more of it. In fact if something horrible does happen, more often than not the victim gets blamed, not the nasty evil rapist, but the victim![3]

Ok, I’ll take a deep breath and stop now, there is no solution to this issue. It is literally a state of mind in (almost) every man and woman in the world. Unless we can collectively stop blaming the victims and condemning the criminals it will continue on.

However, like Catherine says in her post, if you think you have witnessed anything at all that may be suspicious, please call Crimestoppers (0800 555 111) it is anonymous and you might save someone’s life, or at the very least bring closure to their family.

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Accreditation for the image used above: D Sharon Pruitt [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons