Never walk alone. Don’t drink too much. Your skirt’s too short. You should carry pepper spray. I call bullshit on those statements

I’ve walked many dark streets, drunk and alone. I’ve got into many cabs, drunk and alone. I’ve said many times: “I’ll be fine, it’s only a short walk”.

I’ve also swam in the ocean, where sharks have swam. I’ve walked across streets where cars have driven. I’ve flown in planes and traveled on boats. I’ve sat on seats, that arseholes have sat in. I’ve walked past houses where creeps live.

I am completely devastated by the murder of Jill Meagher. She was just doing what many women and men do every night. She was enjoying her life. She was walking down a street. She was so horrifyingly unlucky.

This will change the way women behave. This will change the way men behave. Men are not immune to violence.

You can not live your life if you stop doing everything that may put you in danger. You can take safety measures. For many this would mean not walking alone at night. Not swimming in the ocean. But these will not stop the individuals who want to cause another harm. It will not stop the sharks eating others.

If there’s no-one walking at night then these individuals will find other ways. What next? No walking in the day? Or perhaps no-one walking at all? You can not live in fear.

I say that, but would I tell my girls the same advice. I hope I don’t need to. I hope, for my girls, they will be able to do whatever they damn well please. This includes walking – day or night.

Reclaim the night. Walk more. Ride more. Then you’ll never walk alone.

She was walking down a street. She did nothing wrong.

bigwords x