Call to action

"Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world."
- Howard Zinn

Safe way home

Disclaimer: This topic mostly concerns women (81.3 percent of victims of violence1 are women), that's why we are talking about them in the first place. However, it can also affect men and non-binary people! In 99% of cases of sexual violence, the perpetrators are men. Similarly, 97% of sexual harassment is committed by men.2
In March 2022, Sarah Everard disappeared in London on her way home. A week later she is found dead. Raped and murdered by a police officer. Her fate triggers a worldwide debate in which women share their experiences. After campaigns like #MeToo, one would think that the issue has slowly been understood and shared among the masses. Unfortunately, the statistics speak against it. It seems that there is still a need for education.

The Problem

It's getting darker outside more quickly again and this increases the uncertainty when you're out alone at night. Whether on the open street, in a parking garage or in an elevator, women are constantly encountering situations in which they feel uncomfortable and frightened. Cases like Sarah Everard's reinforce the fear. Let's talk about the hard facts and what people can do to make women feel safer on the street.

#notallmen but #allwomen

One in 3 women is affected by violence at some point in her life.3
Whenever the topic of sexual violence and catcalling is brought up, there are the counter comments with #notallmen. After all, not all men are bad people. Nor are all women bad drivers, and yet people say women don't belong behind the wheel. We don't need to start with long-gone stereotypes here.

The probability of being a victim of sexual violence4 as a woman is 35%.5
The issue doesn't affect all men either. But too many. Andyou can always educate yourself, too. The issue goes much further than being content with the fact that you yourself have never sexually harassed anyone. Do you change sides of the street at night so she doesn't feel like she's being followed? If the answer to that is no, then there's still a lot to learn.
97% of all women between the ages of 18 and 84 have been sexually harassed.6

Women can't know which are the good guys and which are the bad guys. So why make it more difficult unnecessarily instead of giving women a sense of security?

The Data

Statistically, it cannot be proven whether women have to be more afraid at night. (Sexual) harassment is generally rarely reported. The number of unreported cases is enormously high.
But it is a fact that women adapt their behavior at night to feel safer.

This includes:
  1. Live location is shared with friends
  2. Changing sides of the street if men approach you or you get the feeling of being followed
  3. Key between fingers to be able to hurt possible attackers
  4. Talking to someone on the phone (or pretending to)
  5. Taking detours to walk on lighted streets
  6. Keeping headphones in your ears, but not playing music
  7. Turning around several times to make sure that you are not being followed
  8. Write a message to your friends as soon as you arrive home

What u can do:

  1. Change sides of the road or pass quickly and with enough distance. In the best case, change sides of the road first.
  2. Keep your distance (also in buses/trains). It happens again and again that men walk faster than women and thus catch up with them slowly. However, this makes women feel threatened and unsafe. So, always keep enough distance. On buses and trains, this means simply sitting further away.
  3. Get out of the way when a woman approaches you. This shows that you respect her. Often, women feel unsafe when they are forced to walk between a wall and a man, for example.
  4. Be loud. Everyone feels a little safer if you can hear the person and are not surprised from behind. You could call a friend and just chat.
  5. Show your face (don't wear hoods) and take your hands out of your pockets
  6. Escort friends home. Even if the walk is short and seems safe.
  7. Respect boundaries & assess the situation (do you really need to flirt with the woman who is waiting for the cab alone at night or ask someone for directions who is just jogging through the forest alone with headphones?).
  8. Catcalling- always inappropriate, but it makes you feel even more uncomfortable at night. Just stop it.
  9. Intervene if you overhear something! No matter if strangers or your own friends. Ask the victim if everything is okay and if you should call someone. Confront the perpetrator.
  10. Educate yourself & others: Often harassment is associated with the victim's clothing or drunkenness - It's not the victim's fault, it's the perpetrator's! Listen when friends confide in you. Also explain to your friends what they can do to make women feel safer at night.

Offers for those affected:

  1. Help number (in Germany): 030-12074182 on the way home you talk on the phone with an employee, while you share your location (reachable thursday to sunday from 20 -24 o'clock, fridays & saturdays from 20 - 3 o'clock)
  2. Emergency keychains: by removing a stick, a loud tone sounds, attracting attention & scaring off the perpetrator (e.g. on Amazon from 10€)
  3. Women's cabs - this offer is often only available in larger cities, but with certain providers you can directly order a cab with a woman as driver
1 Includes murder and manslaughter, assault, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, threats, stalking, coercion, false imprisonment, pimping, and forced prostitution.
4 This includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault as well as rape
[1] Includes murder andmanslaughter, assault, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, threats, stalking,coercion, false imprisonment, pimping, and forced prostitution.
[4]This includes, but isnot limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault as well as rape
ursachen-und-folgen/vergewaltigungsmythen [6]