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.
“Reclaim the night. Walk more. Ride more. Then you’ll never walk alone”
I could not have said it better myself. Thank you.
I feel desperately sad for her family and friends, and I hate that this will make me feel unsafe as I head out tonight.
But it shouldn’t be this way. It just shouldn’t.
Reclaim the night. Amen x
I am devastated with what happened to Jill and I wish it didn’t have to be this way for women but there have been crimes like this for a long time in Australia (Anita Cobey, Claremont murders, etc) which follow a similar pattern of a girl walking alone at night. I love the idea if reclaiming the night but I will always encourage everyone that there is safety in numbers and to take precautions at night. It is (very sadly) the Australia that we have been living in for a number of years. I am not victim blaming here just wanting to make sure all women & men are more cautious when they are vulnerable after a few drinks because you can trust yourself but you cannot trust others around you.
I call bullshit on those statements too. There will be a reclaim the night rally on October 25th in Melbourne if people are interested.
Right On! She did nothing wrong and therefore is purely and sadly a victim. We are being to trained to not trust anyone so even men are avoided that may offer assistance to us as we are afraid they too may be baddies.
Great post Bianca. Jill Meagher’s murder is a god awful tragedy but we should not live in fear because of it. Reclaim the night for women and men alike. Thanks Mumabulous
I lived alone for 8 years, on a park. I walked home alone every goddamn night I lived there. Sometimes I got scared but mostly I loved it and wouldn’t have had it any other way. I mean seriously, who’s going to walk you home? Sadly a young girl was gang raped there a couple of years ago. She had every right to be there, middle of the night or otherwise. They’re the arseholes.
I have not been able to get this out of my head all day. I woke up and had the biggest cry about it. Great post B
I hate the fear mongering that comes after tragedy. Scare all the women, keep them in the home. Where the overwhelming majority of violence towards women occurs.
My heart broke this morning and the tears flowed- i was hanging onto hope she was ok. That way too lcose to home from me, ive walked those street, ive had a drink, ive stumbled a little… its a cruel cruel world and now i am just more scared shitless…
Great post xx
I do love your writing Bianca, and I do get your point, but I would much rather be aware, prepared and take precautions. It is not about fear or doing right or wrong, but lessening the risks. I think as a woman is important, and it is important for me to teach my four daughters the same. You can still be aware, cautious and empowered at the same time. x
You’ve said it so well. Just so tragically awful. A friend of mine walked home from a NYE gathering some years ago to her place not far away and was attacked. Somehow, she still doesn’t know how, she managed to free herself. Since then though I have always had an eye on who is around me, drunk or not, as I walk home. Some things just change the way you see the world. People SHOULD be free to walk home in safety.
Devastating. My mother told me when I left home not to put myself in dangerous situations, like walking down a dark street by myself, swimming alone at an empty beach etc. I mostly heeded her advice. I have been most fortunate in my life not to be attacked or molested. Still, it saddens me deeply that women should have to think like this, and that most probably I will be advising my own daughter to do the same.
Agree with every single word. x
It’s really easy to say, “Reclaim the night, walk more, then you’ll never walk alone,” but who is doing it? If you’re the only one, then you ARE alone. I’m not sure where YOU live, but I live in the U.S., in an area rife with registered sex offenders. I have a 15-year-old daughter who wants to go for walks alone, past areas where there are large patches of trees on both sides of the street. You hear of abductions on an almost daily basis, and many don’t turn out so well. Yes, it’s easy to say those profound words you said, unless it happens to your child, or to you. As someone who was nearly abducted, I can say that I won’t walk alone.